Delhi: India Test captain Virat Kohli minced no words as he addressed the media on Wednesday in his first press conference after his sacking as Team India’s white-ball (ODI and T20I) skipper. From confirming his availability for the ODI series against South Africa to his relationship with new captain Rohit Sharma – Kohli spoke in detail about the topics ahead of India’s departure for South Africa tour, starting December 26 in Centurion. Kohli also revealed that he came to know of Rohit replacing him as Indian cricket team’s ODI captain just one-and-a-half hours before the Test series squad for South Africa series was announced.
The 33-year-old also cleared his stance and working relationship with Rohit Sharma and new head coach Rahul Dravid. “I can understand the reasons. BCCI has taken the reasons from a logical point of view. There is no problem between me and Rohit Sharma. I have been clarifying for the past two years and I am tired. None of my actions or decisions will be to take the team down,” Kohli said during the pre-departure press conference before the tour to the Rainbow nation.
In the past few days, speculation has been rife that not all is well between Kohli and Rohit, who will not play the Tests due to a hamstring injury. The rumours gained fire after BCCI, in a one-line tweet, announced the appointment of Rohit as Team India’s new white-ball captain – ODI and T20I formats. Shortly before the T20 World Cup got underway in the UAE, Kohli had announced his decision to step down as India’s T20I captain after the tournament.
Speaking about the issue, Kohli on Wednesday heaped praise on Rohit and coach Dravid. “My responsibility is to push the team in the right direction. Rohit is a very able captain and tactically very sound. Along with Rahul bhai, who is a great man manager. They will get my 100 percent support in ODIs and T20Is,” Kohli added.
India will play three Tests against South Africa, starting December 26, followed by as many ODIs in January.