It was just a line at the end of the press release announcing the Test Team for the Tour of South Africa. On Wednesday, the Chamber of Commerce and Industry dismissed Virat Kohli from the leadership of the Indian ODI team and handed the full load of the white ball to Rohit Sharma. The test unlocks tool will now drive both sides of the T20I and ODI.
A senior official in the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry said that this decision had been in the works for some time, but the final decision was made by the selectors. BCCI wanted complete clarity between the red ball and the white cricket ball. The BCCI wanted a complete separation (of command) between the longer and shorter format to avoid confusion. In the end, the decision was left to the selector. They have decided to appoint Rohit as the new captain of ODI,” a BCCI source told the Indian Express.
In contrast to the change of leadership of the T20I, where Kohli made the announcement citing his workload, the change of leadership of ODI is seen as a BCCI decision. Three months ago, after resigning as T20I captain, Kohli expressed his desire to lead India in Tests and ODIs in the future. “Understanding the workload is very important, considering the huge workload I have been in playing all three formats over the past 8-9 years and captaining regularly for the last 5-6 years, I feel I have to be a part of the Indian team. You need to be in a position to fully prepare to drive. ODI Cricket and Test Team,” he wrote on Instagram on September 16.
However, after India's expected exit from the T20 World Cup, it became clear that BCCI was not on the same page as Kohli. They will make it official at the first opportunity they are given. Announcement of the Test Team in which Kohli was the Captain and Sharma the Vice Captain: “The All India Supreme Selection Committee has also decided to appoint Mr. Rohit Sharma as the captain of the ODI and T20I teams.”
Indian Express has also learned that Kohli was not informed of the decision in advance. Again, this was a departure from the past. While stepping down as T20I captain, Kohli recalled his talks with former India coach Ravi Shastri, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly, and Board Secretary Jay Shah before making the decision. It was also his choice to leave leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore team in the Indian Premier League.
The first indications of Kohli's volatile stance on the bench came when BCCI hired MS Dhoni as the team's mentor at the October-November T20 World Cup. Kohli's inability to win the ICC events was a concern of the Indian Board of Directors. Insiders say it was India's performance in the T20 World Cup that decided Kohli's future. However, in a move that surprised even BCCI officials, Kohli announced his decision to quit driving T20I even before the tournament started. His desire to continue as a test and ODI captain worried the stewards. With India hosting the 2023 World Cup for 50 years, Kohli did not want to let go of the ODI captain. In a way, it was Kohli who was abusing the Bahrain Chamber of Commerce and Industry. Remove me from the ODI Team Leader position, if you wish. BCCI did the same on Wednesday.
Going back in time
The captain's decisions in Indian cricket are never left to the players. Kapil Dev was fired a year after his 1983 World Cup win. Sunil Gavaskar resigned after winning the 1985 World Cricket Championship. Sourav Ganguly was revoked under bitter circumstances. Even Dhoni, who had three world titles in his bag, was hit in the shoulder by the selection committee at the time when it felt the need to change the white ball captain. Kohli probably couldn't read the room.
In another interesting development, the selectors have promoted Sharma to auditioning for Vice Captain instead of Ajinkya Rahane, despite the latter being selected for the three-game series in South Africa. Sharma's growing standing on the team could give way to reading between the lines, which has begun to phase out Kohli's style.
Kohli has been one of the most successful white ball captains in India. In the 95 ODI, he won 65, giving him a win percentage of over 70. In the 45 T20I, he led India to win 27 times. Sharma has always been Kohli's assistant in limited cricket, captaining the team in 10 ODI and 19 T20I before being given the full-time job during the last three-match streak against New Zealand. I started with a clean sweep. Five IPL titles led by the Mumbai Indians made him the successor to Kohli.
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