The decision to scrap Kohli’s captaincy did not go well with his fans. Twitter erupted to slam the decision-making policy of the BCCI, while President and former captain Sourav Ganguly got trolled in nearly every micro-blogging site. While everyone was keenly awaiting Kohli’s press conference before leaving for South Africa, the conference gave away a lot more than what was expected. Kohli disclosed that he was informed 90 minutes before the official announcement of him not being the captain in the ODIs anymore.
“Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted 1.5 hours before the selection committee meeting on the 8th [December] for the Test series and there was no prior communication with me at all since I announced the T20 captaincy decision, up till the 8th of December when I got a call for the selection meeting The chief selector discussed with me the Test team… to which we both agreed. Before we ended the call, I was told that the five selectors had decided that I won’t be ODI captain to which I replied, ‘Okay, fine’. In the selection call afterwards we discussed it briefly.”
Kohli put all the speculations to rest about him not being available for the ODIs in the rainbow nation. After Rohit was out of the Test series, there were rumors brewing that Virat will too not play the ODIs.
“I was and I am available for selection… all this time. You should not be asking me this question, honestly. These questions should be asked to those who are writing these stories and their sources. As far as I am concerned, I was always available. I had not had any communication with the BCCI that I want to rest. So there were a few things that came out in the past as well where it was said that I was attending some events or something, which was absolutely not true. All these people who are writing these things and their sources, to me, they are absolutely not credible.”
The major controversy that caused a fire in the bush was the fact Kohli rubbished claims of Ganguly requesting him to not quit T20I captaincy. Ganguly previously in an interview stated that he told Kohli to not step down as the T20I skipper so soon.
“About the T20I captaincy, I first approached the BCCI explaining my point of view, thought process and reasons. And at that point, it was received very well. There was no offence. There was no hesitancy. I was not told to not leave the T20I captaincy rather it was received as a progressive call. In the right direction.”
Virat did say that he wished to continue as the ODI skipper as well till at least the 2023 World Cup. Kohli made it clear that he very well understand why BCCI felt the need to remove him from captaincy. Despite complete dominance in the bilateral series, failures at ICC events raised concerns.
1″Reasons… obviously, we haven’t won an ICC tournament. I can understand the reasons. There is no debate on whether the decision was right or wrong. The decision taken by the BCCI has been taken with a logical point of view which is understandable. I get it. I have already spoken about how things transpired earlier.”
Kohli clarified that his relation with Rohit is quite healthy. He mentioned that the Test team will miss the opener’s services in the crucial Test series against South Africa. He added that his commitment towards the game will never deteriorate and will serve Dravid and Sharma for the betterment of the game.
“As far as my relationship with Rohit goes, I have said earlier as well that there are no problems between us and honestly, I am tired of answering the same question over and over again over the last 2-2.5 years. I can say with absolute guarantee that no action of mine will be to bring down the team as long as I play the game. That has always been my point of view for Indian cricket and this is my commitment to Indian cricketRohit is a very able captain and very, very tactically sound. We have seen that in the games where he has captained India and in the IPL as well. And with Rahul bhai, who is a very balanced coach and great man-manager… both of them will have my absolute support and my contribution in whatever vision they set for the team. I will support that 100% and continue to be the guy who can push the team in the right direction.Well, my responsibility is always to push the team in the right direction. It is something that I have always looked to do… even before I became captain. So that mindset has never changed and it will never change.”
Kohli will be leading the side in the Freedom Series against the Proteas beginning from December 26 in Centurion.
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