VIrat Kohli. Photograph:( AFP )
Virat Kohli is likely to skip the South Africa ODIs, slated to be held early next year in the African nation. However, the BCCI official has revealed that the Test captain is very much available for the series, contrary to reports.
Team India is in a tricky position. Following the T20 World Cup in the UAE, the senior men's cricket team has undergone several changes within the leadership group. While Ravi Shastri's tenure as the head coach ended and was replaced by Rahul Dravid, Rohit Sharma took over as India's T20I captain after Virat Kohli's resignation.
Last week, Rohit was appointed as India's limited-overs captain, replacing Kohli in the ODI format as well. In addition, Hitman has replaced Ajinkya Rahane to become India's Test vice-captain. After so many changes, it is being reported that Kohli is set to miss the India-South Africa ODIs, to be held early next year, following the three Tests in the African nation.
With Kohli skipping the ODIs, many speculations have risen that all is not well between Kohli and Rohit post the ODI captaincy switch decision by the BCCI. However, a BCCI official has shunned all such reports of Kohli's unavailability and claimed that he hasn't sent any formal request to skip the ODIs versus the Proteas.
"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. 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.
As per reports, Kohli was set to miss the SA ODIs post the captaincy switch and to be with his family to celebrate daughter Vamika's first birthday. Nonetheless, it seems everything were just mere rumours.
At present, India are set to depart for South Africa in a few days from now. The tour opener will begin on December 26, at Centurion, with the three-match Test series followed by the ODIs. For the unversed, India's tour of South Africa will be followed by Sri Lanka's visit to India for Tests and T20Is.