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Virat Kohli finally opens up about his sudden removal as ODI skipper

By Saima Siddiqui 
Updated Date

New Delhi: India’s Test captain, Virat Kohli, contradicted BCCI president Sourav Ganguly, alleging that no communication was made to him as regards to not fulfilling the T20I captaincy. The cricketer also defied reports that he would be opting out of the ODI leg of the South Africa tour. 

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“I was contacted one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting on the 8th (December) for the Test series,” Kohli said at the press-departure. “There was no prior communication to me at all since I announced the T20I captaincy decision until the 8th of December, where I got a call before the selection meeting. The chief selector discussed with me the Test team, to which we both agreed. And before ending the call, I was told the five selectors have decided I will not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, ‘okay, fine’. In the selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly. That’s what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all,” said Virat Kohli.

On the other hand, Ganguly told media that the BCCI had requested Kohli not to step down as T20I captain. “We (BCCI) had requested Virat not to step down as T20I captain. There was no plan to change captaincy. But he stepped down as T20I captain and the selectors decided not to split limited-overs captaincy, opting for a complete separation,” the BCCI president had said, adding: “Bottom line is that there can’t be two white-ball captains.”

However, based on earlier reports, a top BCCI official was quoted saying, that Kohli wasn’t communicated with, as the selectors changed ODI captaincy and appointed Rohit. Three months ago, while relinquishing T20I, citing workload management, Kohli had expressed his desire to continue as Test and ODI captain.

Meanwhile, the 33-year-old Indian cricket team captain also confirmed his availability for the three ODIs in South Africa that would follow the three-Test series, starting from December 26. “I was and am available for selection all the time. All these people, writing lies, absolutely not credible,” Kohli said. There were also rumours of him opting out of the ODI series, as Rohit would miss the Test series due to an injury, trending on social media. To note, the first ODI is on January 19.

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Furthermore, Kohli completely shut out the dressing-room rift rumours, saying, “No problem between me and Rohit. I have grown tired explaining that over the last two-and-a-half years. Rohit is a very able captain. Tactically very sound. And Rahul bhai (Dravid) is a great man-manager.”

However, he accepted the BCCI’s decision to remove him from ODI captaincy, “BCCI took the decision from a logical point of view. I can understand that. We didn’t win an ICC trophy,” said the Test skipper, offering his full support to the team and adding: “None of my actions would be to degrade Indian cricket, as long as I’m playing the game.”

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