`It is time for him to enjoy batting’; Shahid Afridi supports Virat Kohli: says ‘every player goes through this phase’

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Former Pakistani captain Shahid Afridi has jumped on to the Virat Kohli bandwagon saying he has captained for a long time and the time has come that he enjoys his cricket.

Afridi agreed with Kohli’s decision of relinquishing captaincy. He said Virat has played enough cricket to know what is right and what’s not. “The phase Kohli is going through is something all players have experienced. It’s time Kohli let go off the huge responsibility of captaincy if it means that he can enjoy his batting,” he said on ‘Game Set Match’ on Samaa TV.

“I believe this is the correct decision. There comes a stage where you can’t handle pressure, and because of it, your own performances get affected. So, I think he has captained for a long time and at a great level. As a batsman, it’s time he enjoys his cricket,” Afridi said.

On Saturday, Virat Kohli stepped down from Test captaincy a day after India lost the test series to South Africa 1-2. Kohli, who took over the reins of the Test side in late 2014, led India to several series wins on both home and away tours.  He is India’s most successful skipper in the format. Kohli led India in 68 Tests with 40 wins, 17 losses, and 11 defeats.

“It’s been 7 years of hard work, toil, and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now. There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team,” Kohli said on Saturday.

It was, however, a love-filled note penned by Anushka Sharma to Virat Kohli which melted hearts.

 “I remember the day in 2014 when you told me that you have been made the captain as MS [Dhoni] had decided to retire from test cricket. I remember MS, you, and I having a chat later that day and him joking about how quickly your beard will start turning grey. We all had a good laugh about it. Since that day, I’ve seen more than just your beard turning grey. I’ve seen growth. Immense growth. Around you and within you,” she wrote on Instagram and posted a picture of her husband.

” I am very proud of your growth as the captain of the Indian National Cricket team and what achievements the team had under your leadership. But I’m more proud of the growth you achieved within you. My love, I am so proud of you for not letting anything come in the way of your good intentions. You led by example and gave winning on [the] field every ounce of your energy to the extent that after some losses I’ve sat next to you with tears in your eyes, while you wondered if there’s still something more you could have done. This is who you are and this is what you expected from everyone,” she added

Anushka said their daughter will see the learning of these seven years in the father. “What you did was to always stand up for doing the right thing, the harder thing, always! You held on to nothing with greed, not even this position, and I know that. Because when one holds on to something so tightly they limit themselves and you, my love, are limitless. Our daughter will see the learning of these 7 years in the father that you are to her. You did good,” she said.

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