‘N Srinivasan didn’t allow the appointment of Virat Kohli as India’s captain in 2012,’ says former selector Raja Venkat
Designed by Srushti Takale

Indian cricket star Virat Kohli could have led India way back in 2012, if N Srinivasan had not intervened. This was confirmed by former Indian selector Raja Venkat, who then represented the East Zone.

India had a disastrous tour to England in 2011, which was followed by another poor outing in Australia. The side lost all the eight Tests. Venkat, who was then a member of the selection panel, further said that during the Australian tour, the side led by Mahendra Singh Dhoni was divided into several factions.

In his column for the Bengali tabloid ‘Ebala’, the former Bengal left-hander wrote: “We had thought about this (of making Kohli captain) three years back, we tried also. But because of then BCCI president Narayanswamy Srinivasan our efforts failed.”

Recalling the time in January 2012, when India were trailing 0-3 ahead of the fourth Test, Venkat put light on the then divided Indian side as he added, “Before that two selectors Mohinder Amarnath and Narendra Hirwani had gone to Australia. After coming back they had reported about formations of several factions within the Indian team. There was no team spirit.”

He said, “We thought before the One-Day series there was a need to choose a new captain, we were on the look out for somebody who was above factionalism. We felt Virat was the right person to restore team spirit in the side.”

In the earlier season, Kohli as the captain of the North Zone, guided the team to a Deodhar Trophy win. The selectors were impressed with Kohli’s captaincy then and he had the under-19 World Cup win to back it up. However the selectors’ decision wasn’t approved by the then BCCI president Srinivasan.

In a report from IANS, Venkat said, “You cannot announce an overseas team without the BCCI president’s approval. He (Srinivasan) did not give us the nod to change the captain.”

Kohli is currently India’s Test captain and is the Dhoni’s deputy in the limited-overs formats.