A weight off Kohli’s shoulders: Tim Southee after the former’s white-ball captaincy exit

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New Zealand pacer Tim Southee lauded Virat Kohli and said that his exit from white-ball captaincy will certainly help his game and will release a lot of pressure that he was under.

BCCI named Rohit Sharma as Kohli’s replacement in ODI cricket and the latter was relieved of his duties from limited-overs cricket.

Kohli and Southee have always maintained a close and professional relationship since the U-19 World Cup of 2008. In the semi-finals of the event, a Virat Kohli-led side defeated New Zealand where Tim Southee was the spearhead in the bowling department.

Said Southee in an event of Amazon Prime Video,

I don’t know what it was like to captain India and the pressures that come with it. Not only that, but IPL as well. He’s done it over a period of time. It will be interesting from a fan point of view to see him put all his energies on captaincy and channel them into his batting and fielding.

He further added,

I am sure it’s a weight off his shoulders, and the person that he is, he will be contributing in some leadership form or another throughtout the rest of his playing days.

Southee also recollected the time he spent with Kohli on and off the field,

I am sure it will be great for the new captain of RCB, and Rohit Sharma and team, to have someone like Virat to turn to and have a shoulder to lean on out of the field as well.

You see him as a very passionate guy who loves the game and brings energy for the side. Just how much time he puts in the game. I got to know him away from the game as well (at RCB), sitting over a coffee, drink or dinner and talk and find out about his interests.

Thoughts of Southee on Virat Kohli’s form with the bat

Kohli hasn’t been in great form for the last two years. His last century came in 2019. However, he is one of the fittest players even at the age of 33. Some attributes of Virat worth noting and appreciating are his work ethic and the willingness to improve his game.

Says Southee on Virat Kohli’s form,

I guess it happens when you bat the way Virat bats and score the volume of runs he gets, you have set such high standards. Then, for some games or however long he has not been as amazing as we are used to seeing.

He further said,

We have been lucky as a bowling group against Virat. The addition of Kyle Jamieson has done a lot for us. I haven’t had to bowl for him as much because Kyle has been the man to take care of him.

It was the tall fast bowler, who got the better of Virat Kohli during the final of the ICC World Test Championship and in the home series against India recently.

Kyle has dismissed Kohli 3 times with the red ball.

Jamieson was also Kohli’s teammate during the IPL. Besides his awkward, high release point, he can swing the ball both ways that tempted Kohli to fend outside off-stump.

Let’s see what happens and how Virat Kohli adjusts himself in limited-overs cricket.

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