Rohit Sharma has replaced Virat Kohli as the ODI captain of the Indian team. Photograph:( AFP )
A lot has been said and written about Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's equation post the ODI captaincy switch in Team India. Sports Minister Anurag Thakur has now reacted to their alleged rift.
Plenty of major developments have taken place in Team India following the T20 World Cup 2021 in the UAE. Firstly, Ravi Shastri's tenure as head coach ended and he got replaced by Rahul Dravid whereas Rohit Sharma succeeded Virat Kohli as the T20I captain post the latter's resignation after the World Cup.
Last week, the BCC announced Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain, removing Kohli. Hence, Hitman has now taken over as the limited-overs captain whereas Kohli remains the leader in-charge of the Test line-up. In addition, Rohit has been promoted as the Test vice-captain, replacing Ajinkya Rahane. Following the turn of events, news of Rohit's injury came out, ruling him out of the Test series versus South Africa in the African nation, from December 26.
On the other hand, many news portals have reported that Kohli is willing to skip the South Africa ODIs in order to celebrate the first birthday of his daughter Vamika. Thus, Rohit's injury and Kohli's reported absence from ODIs raised eyebrows as many suspected all isn't right between the two cricketers post the captaincy switch in the 50-over format.
Sharing his views on the Kohli-Rohit matter, Sports Minister Anurag Thakur recently told Times Now, "Nobody is bigger than the game. BCCI should look into it if there’s anything in this regard."
A BCCI official, on the other hand, told PTI that Virat has not made any such requests to the Indian board, so far, to miss the SA ODIs.
"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.
A report in Cricbuzz has also confirmed that the 33-year-old will play the ODIs in the African nation, early next year.
For the unversed, Kohli is set to address the media in a press conference on Wednesday (December 15) afternoon, prior to Team India's departure to South Africa on December 16 (Thursday). A lot of clarity is expected following Kohli's interaction with the press.
India will tour SA for three Tests and equal number of ODIs, with the tour opener commencing on December 26 in the form of the first Test at Centurion.