India Test captain Virat Kohli has not put in any formal request for a break from the ODI leg of the upcoming South Africa tour, a top BCCI official has asserted.
Kohli will be leading India in a three-Test series starting December 26 in Centurion and the series ends on January 15 in Cape Town with the third and final Test. The three-match ODI series will kick off on January 19.
After vice-captain Rohit Sharma was ruled out due to the recurrence of a left hamstring injury, reports have emerged that Kohli will take a break to spend some time with his young family.
“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.
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. The ODI series starts on January 19.
Kohli has been a 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.