Delhi: Team India’s captaincy saga took a U-turn on Wednesday as Test captain Virat Kohli revealed that he wasn’t asked to “not leave the Indian cricket team’s T20I captaincy” when he had decided to step down from the leadership role in October. Earlier, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly stated that Kohli’s decision to not reconsider giving up T20 captaincy prompted the selectors to go for Rohit as the sole white-ball skipper as two different captains in the two formats would have led to “too much leadership.”
“We had requested Virat not to step down as T20 captain but he didn’t want to continue as captain. So, the selectors felt that they cannot have two white ball captains in two white-ball formats. That’s too much of leadership,” the BCCI president and former India captain had been quoted by PTI. However, Kohli, who announced his decision to leave captaincy from the T20 format ahead of the 2021 T20 World Cup, claimed that that he get to know about his sacking as ODI captain only 90 minutes before Team India’s Test squad selection for the upcoming South Africa tour.
“I was contacted one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting on the 8th (December) for the Test series,” Kohli said at the presser on Wednesday. “There was no prior communication to me at all since I announced the T20I captaincy decision until the 8th of December, where I got a call before the selection meeting. I was never told not to give up T20I captaincy. The chief selector discussed with me the Test team, to which we both agreed.”
“And before ending the call, I was told the five selectors have decided I will not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, ‘okay, fine’. In the selection call afterward, we chatted about it briefly. That’s what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all,” said Kohli. Now, India’s Test captain’s explosive comments had fuelled the controversy even further as he spoke about the differences in public and revealed the actual communication between the board and Kohli before the change in Team India’s leadership. Soon after the press conference, Twitter world went in a frenzy and started accusing BCCI and it’s office-bearers – Sourav Ganguly and Jay Shah – of hatching up a conspiracy against the modern-day legend like Kohli.
Always Available For SA ODIs
Meanwhile, Kohli on Wednesday asserted that he will play in the upcoming ODI series in South Africa, putting to rest speculations about his availability and his equation with newly-appointed white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma. “I was and I am available for selection all the time. I never communicated with BCCI asking for rest. I am available for the ODI series in South Africa, and was always available,” Kohli said during the pre-departure press conference before the tour of South Africa.
“It should be asked to people who are writing lies. My communication with the BCCI on this issue has not happened that I want to rest,” he added.
Over the last two days, speculation has been rife that not all is well between Kohli and Test vice-captain Rohit, who will not play the Tests due to a hamstring injury.