The fire started by Test skipper Virat Kohli — a day before Team India left for the South Africa tour — on quitting captaincy was stoked further by chief selector Chetan Sharma recently when he reiterated BCCI President Sourav Ganguly’s claim that Virat was indeed asked to reconsider his decision to leave the leadership role in the T20 format.
Notably, Kohli had addressed the media before leaving for the Africa tour and said nobody (neither the BCCI nor the selectors) had asked him to reconsider his decision to leave as captain of the Indian T20 squad after the team’s disastrous performance in the recent T20 World Cup in Dubai. Kohli also said that he was sacked as ODI captain, hours before the squad for the South Africa One-day series was announced.
Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra, in his Youtube channel, said Chetan Sharma’s endorsement of Ganguly’s stand only shows that the Kohli-Ganguly war of words hasn’t settled yet. Chopra said he won’t be surprised if Kohli does respond to the ongoing tirade against him.
It felt a little weird to see Kohli’s name in the team but not seeing (c) in front of his name…aadat ho gayi thee. You felt the same?
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 1, 2022
Sharma, who is the chief of team selection, recently said that before the ODI squad for the series in South Africa was announced, “everyone present at the selection meeting had requested Kohli to reconsider his decision on stepping down as the T20I skipper”. Chopra said, “A little more fuel has been added to the fire which was already there because the clarification has come from the BCCI via Chetan Sharma, who is the chairman of selectors.”
Sharma had said during the press conference on Friday that everyone had told Virat that its timing (quitting T20 captaincy) is not correct. “There will be an impact on the World Cup but the captain did not agree,” said Sharma, adding the meeting was attended by everyone including BCCI officials. Kohli, however, had said no one had asked him anything, and everyone said it is a very “progressive step.
Chopra thinks that with Chetan’s statement, shots have been fired and that Kohli might want to clarify that from his end, despite it not being good for Indian cricket.
“There should be no rumours and sources in 2022 although, after Chetan Sharma’s statement, the shots might have been fired and maybe there will be reciprocation from Virat Kohli’s side as well because till now that is what is happening – one person says something and the other refutes. It’s not really nice, but then if it happens, don’t be surprised.”
Rohit Sharma was named the captain of ODI team, but he is suffering from a hamstring injury, which made him sit back and not play the ongoing Test series against the Proteas. K L Rahul will lead Team India in the ODI series.