Delhi: Putting all the rumours to bed around Virat Kohli’s inclusion in the Indian cricket team squad for the next month’s ODI series against South Africa, a top BCCI official confirmed that the India Test captain has not put any formal request for a break. Since Tuesday morning, rumours started doing the rounds that Kohli has officially requested the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) to skip the ODI leg of the upcoming South Africa tour. However, the decision for the same is in the board’s hands to deny or accept Kohli’s request.
The 33-year-old Kohli, who will be leading India in a three-Test series starting December 26 in Centurion, was recently sacked as Team India’s white-ball (ODI and T20I) captain. Rohit Sharma has replaced him as his successor in the limited-overs format. There were some reports that Kohli might take a break because of his daughter Vamika’s first birthday – January 11. Kohli will be playing his 100th Test match on that day.
“As of now, Kohli hasn’t sent any formal request to skip the ODIs to either BCCI president Sourav Ganguly or secretary Jay Shah. If something is decided at a later date or God forbid, he sustains an injury, then it’s a different matter,” a senior BCCI official privy to developments told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
“As things stand today, he is playing the three ODIs on January 19, 21, 23,” he added.
The official also said that all the players’ families are also travelling to South Africa aboard the same charter flight due to the bio-bubble restrictions.
“The skipper is travelling with his family. But yes, if he feels bubble fatigue after the Test series and wants to take a break, he would definitely inform the chairman of selectors and secretary (Shah), who is the convenor of the selection committee,” the source added.
One reason for the current speculation could be that once India are back home, they will again be inside an extended bubble for three weeks with Sri Lanka coming in for Tests and T20 Internationals. The three-match ODI series between South Africa and India starts on January 19.
Kohli has been an advocate of workload management in bubble life, which he thinks isn’t sustainable for long periods of time as it can take a toll on one’s mental health.
In the past year, he has been on a paternity break during the 2020-21 Australia series, and during the three T20 Internationals against New Zealand at home.
And now, it remains to be seen if Kohli takes a break in South Africa or more likely skips the T20 series against Sri Lanka at home.
(With PTI Inputs)