Paarl: Virat Kohli’s decision to quit Test captaincy needs to be respected, said India’s stand-in ODI vice-captain Jasprit Bumrah, who believes that the former skipper would continue to be a “leader in the group”.

Kohli announced his decision to step down via social media, a day after India lost a three-match Test series 1-2 to the weakest South African side in recent times.

When asked how Kohli informed the team, the normally reticent Bumrah said that the star batter called a meeting to announce his decision to quit.

“Obviously, as a team unit, we are closer, so we came to know earlier, that he would step down from Test captaincy and we respect his decision and valued his leadership. We congratulated him for his contribution as a leader, we wished him all the best. That was about it.”

Asked how he sees this decision, Bumrah said he wouldn’t want to comment on a personal call.

“I am no one to sit in judgement of his decision. It’s a personal decision and we respect his decision. He knows how his body is reacting and what frame of mind he is in.

“It’s been an immense pleasure to play under his captaincy and I made my Test debut under him. As I have spoken earlier also that he (Kohli) will always be a leader in the group and his contribution has been immense and will be immense,” the speedster added.

So what has been the biggest takeaways from Kohli’s captaincy? The fast bowler’s instant reply was the superb fitness culture that he brought into the team.

“He has been leader of the team. He brought the fitness culture and everybody got fitter as a team and his contribution has been immense,” he said.

“He has been a very important leader in the group and captain for such a long period of time. His knowledge will be used by us and as a team, his contribution and suggestions will always be important.

“We have always looked up to him and it will be same going further as well,” Bumrah added.

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