Kohli’s use of words could have upset BCCI officials, thinks Gavaskar
The turn of events following Rohit Sharma’s elevation as Team India’s ODI captain and rumours of Virat Kohli not playing the three-match One-Day series at South Africa have opened a Pandora’s box.
Cricketing legend Sunil Gavaskar has dived into the controversy by giving his reason for why the BCCI could have removed Kohli as ODI captain. Gavaskar told India Today that Kohli could have better worded his statement in September this year when he said that he would be stepping down from T20I captaincy due to the T20 World Cup. “Possibly, the use of words ‘I will continue to lead India in Test and ODIs’ might upset the ones in power,” said Gavaskar. “I think that line could have been changed to I would be available to lead India in Test and ODIs,” he added.
The little master spoke of an “anti-feeling” against Kohli which could have led to the development. “The presumptions he would be the captain for Test and ODIs could have been one of the reasons why there was this little anti-feeling against him. Otherwise the records that he has of winning everywhere. He hasn’t won ICC events but bilateral events whether at home or away, he has led the Indian team to wins. So there was no reason for people to be unhappy with his leadership abilities. I guess that one line might have actually been the cause where it actually started,” said Gavaskar.
On Wednesday (December 15), Kohli told media that the BCCI never asked him to reconsider quitting T20 captainship as claimed by the Board. “Whatever was said about the communication that happened about the decision that was made was inaccurate,” Kohli said.
He was alluding to BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s statement that the board had requested Kohli not to quit as split captaincy might not work in the white-ball format. “I was contacted one and half hours before selection meeting on 8th for Test series and there was no prior communication to me at all since I announced my decision on T20 captaincy …the chief selector discussed the Test team to which we both agreed. Before ending the call, I was told that the five selectors have decided that I will not be the ODI captain to which I replied okay fine. In the selection call afterwards we chatted about it briefly and that’s what happened,” he said.
While announcing his decision to quit T20I captaincy, Kohli said he had expressed his wish to continue as ODI and Test captain “unless the BCCI office-bearers or selectors want me not to do so”.
The Test skipper’s statement contradicts the claims made by Ganguly, who a few days back had said that he and later Chetan Sharma personally spoke to Kohli about the board’s decision to replace him with Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain.