Delhi: Virat Kohli’s unceremonious exit as Indian cricket team’s ODI captain remains the hot topic of discussion in the cricket fraternity around the world. Kohli, who recently stepped down from the leadership role in T20I cricket, was replaced by Rohit Sharma as Team India’s new white-ball captain, BCCI announced the decision on Thursday. The ‘change of guard’ in limited-overs cricket has garnered mixed reviews as some feel the decision was long impending, while some slammed BCCI’s move. Breaking the duck on the same, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly gave his first reaction on the change and stated that the board and selectors took the call together to appoint Rohit as the full-time white-ball captain of the Men in Blue.
The former Indian captain also added that he, along with the chairman of selectors, talked to Virat Kohli over the decision. “It’s a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together,” Ganguly was quoted by ANI.
“Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats.
“So it was decided that Virat will continue as Test captain and Rohit will take over as the white-ball captain. I as President personally spoke to Virat Kohli and the chairman of selectors has also spoken to him.”
Ganguly thanked Kohli for his contributions as captain in T20Is and ODIs, while backing Rohit’s abilities as skipper. “We have full faith in Rohit Sharma’s leadership abilities, and Virat will continue as the Test captain. We as BCCI are confident that Indian cricket is in good hands. We thank Virat Kohli for his contributions as captain in the white-ball format,” the BCCI president said.
Under Kohli’s reign as Team India’s ODI captain, the Men in Blue won 65 of their 95 games but didn’t fare well in ICC tournaments. Team India lost in the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy, while India’s prolific run in the 2019 World Cup ended with a semifinal defeat against New Zealand.
Recently, India failed to progress to the knockout stages of the T20 World Cup 2021. They lost their Super 12 matches against Pakistan and New Zealand to crash out from the tournament.
In addition to being named the full-time captain in ODI and T20I cricket, Rohit was also appointed as the vice-captain in the Test format. He takes over the role from Ajinkya Rahane, who recently led India in the first of two-Test series against New Zealand.
Rohit will begin in the role in the upcoming three-Test series in South Africa.
India tour of South Africa begins on December 26 with the first Test being played at the Centurion. The three-match series will be a part of the ICC’s World Test Championship 2021-23.