'It was as if they were waiting for Virat to quit': Rashid Latif stunned by Rohit, Rahul's reaction to Kohli resigning
- Despite tributes pouring in from Indian players for Virat Kohli, a former Pakistan captain has taken exception to it and feels the motive behind their message seems otherwise.
As reactions poured in after Virat Kohli decided to step down as captain of India's Test team, part of it was filled with several current players playing tributes to the former India captain. From KL Rahul to Jasprit Bumrah, all took to Twitter to laud Kohli and his contribution towards Indian cricket. As did Rohit Sharma, captain of India's limited-overs team and vice-captain of the Test set-up. However, a former Pakistan captain has taken exception to it and feels the motive behind their message seems otherwise.
Rohit had posted a picture of himself and Kohli, with the caption: "Shocked!! But congratulations on a successful stint as Indian captain. Best wishes for the time ahead," in an appreciation post, while Rahul tweeted: "A leader in every sense. Can't thank you enough for all that you've done, Skip. @imVkohli."
Having said that, Rashid Latif, the former Pakistan wicketkeeper feels Kohli stepping down as captain has surrounded the BCCI with a tricky question – who will be India's next Test captain. The top two contenders that have emerged are Rohit and Rahul as reports surfaced on Monday that the board is expected to have a word with the two about the post. Latif however feels that neither is capable enough to captain India and that their appreciation post is nothing more than an attempt to deceive people.
"Kohli is a global star. Who will you make the captain? Rohit is not fit. He missed the entire tour of South Africa which means he is very unfit. KL Rahul is not capable. And I can't understand the players. I have seen everyone's reaction. Rahul, Rohit… all have accepted it. How can you accept his resignation if you really consider him that good? It was as if they were waiting for Virat to quit," Latif said in a video on Caught Behind, a YouTube channel.
Calling the entire turn of events unfortunate, Latif feels the whole alleged Ganguly-Kohli conflict should not have happened, and now that Kohli is no longer the captain, it gives him the freedom to express himself with the bat. Latif pointed out that Kohli, with his decision to resign from Test captaincy, has given the board a befitting reply and that he will answer them back further through a string of strong performances.
"What happened is wrong for Kohli, Indian cricket and Ganguly. This shouldn't have happened. If you take the captaincy away after a string of defeats – series after series – then it's understandable. If Virat has decided to step down, it means he has given you a solid reply. Either its Ganguly or someone else, they won’t be able to take it," added Latif.
"You bring whoever you want, there is no bigger player in this world than Virat. The day he scores runs, it will come as the perfect reply to them. It is not about performance. The whole matter is about ego. This is a titanic, and there is only one Titanic and that is Kohli."