THE selectors, led by former pacer Chetan Sharma, have named Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain, but what is surprising is that former skipper Virat Kohli was only informed about the decision a few hours before the selection meeting took place.
Virat had only quit the T20 captaincy and decided to continue as the Test and ODI captain. But the board was always in a doubt whether India could afford two white-ball captains even as Kohli was super confident of leading India till the 2023 World Cup, team sources revealed to India Ahead on Wednesday.
Sources said that the decision of the selectors to change the ODI captain came as a rude shock for Kohli. A section within the BCCI felt that the selectors and top board officials should have spoken to Kohli earlier, not a few hours before taking such a call on the ODI captaincy.
“Kohli was told about the change of guard in ODIs on the day of the team selection only. The board could have planned in a better way. If Virat is in sync with the decision of the selectors, he would have announced it, which he didn’t in this case,” a top source told India Ahead.
Also, constant bickering from Kohli on policy matters like the decision to tour South Africa or not didn’t go down well with the corridors of power within the BCCI. “It came to a stage when he was almost told that if he is not ready to tour South Africa, others are waiting to take his place,” the source said.
Rohit’s elevation as a full-time boss in white-ball cricket was inevitable after Kohli’s loss of batting form coupled with some inexplicable decision-making as a captain. “Time is running out, and BCCI can’t have two white ball captains,” the source added.
Former coach Ravi Shastri too had suggested to Kohli to quit white-ball captaincy and focus on his batting only. Not that Kohli is only a leader in red-ball cricket, he is expected to come back stronger. Perhaps as a powerful 2.0, Virat Kohli, in South Africa. “Hopefully, he doesn’t quit Test captaincy in a rush. The selectors are still backing him to do well as Test captain away from home,” the source said.