India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli has said that he came to know about being replaced by Rohit Sharma as ODI captain just one-and-a-half hours before the Test squad for South Africa was selected. Addressing the media ahead of India’s tour to South Africa, Kohli said that there had been no communication with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) prior to a phone call he received just before the Test squad selection. Here are 10 points on the development:
1. “Whatever was said about the communication that happened about the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted one-and-a-half hour before selection for Tests. The chief selector discussed with me the Test squad. Before the call ended, I was told that the five selectors have decided that I won’t be ODI captain anymore. There was no prior communication about this,” Kohli said in Wednesday’s press conference.
2. Kohli said that when he had decided to quit as T20I captain, just before his last assignment in the role at the T20 World Cup, the BCCI had “accepted really well” his decision to step down. Kohli had taken the decision earlier this year citing “workload” management.
3. “When I told BCCI that I want to give up T20I captaincy, it was accepted really well. There was no hesitancy. I was told that it was a progressive step. I informed at that time that I would like to lead in ODIs and Tests. The communication from my side was clear but I had also informed that if the office bearers and selectors don’t think I should lead in other formats, then that is fine,” Kohli said.
4. Kohli also clarified that he will be available for the three-match ODI series and had never asked for a break, contrary to media reports earlier this week.
5. “I am available for selection for ODIs in South Africa,” Kohli said. “People are writing lies. I have never asked for rest,” he added.
6. Earlier, media reports quoting BCCI sources had claimed that Kohli would opt out of the ODI series in South Africa.
7. According to these reports, Kohli had asked the BCCI for a break to be with his family. Kohli had taken a break during the recent T20I series against New Zealand and the first of the two Test matches against the Kiwis.
8. The BCCI had announced Rohit Sharma as ODI captain while announcing the Test squad for the South Africa tour. Rohit had already replaced Kohli as T20I captain.
9. “My responsibility is to push the team in the right direction. Rohit is a very able captain and tactically very sound. Along with Rahul (Dravid) bhai, who is a great man manager. They will get my 100 percent support in ODIs and T20Is,” Kohli said on Rohit.
10. Kohli also clarified that there was no rift between him and Rohit. “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,” he said.
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