'Was told I wouldn't be captain 1.5 hours before Test squad was announced': Kohli narrates details of ODI captaincy snub

  • Virat Kohli has finally broken his silence on his removal as ODI captain of the Indian cricket team, narrating the exact details of how his conversation with the selectors unfolded.
Virat Kohli addressed the burning questions surrounding his removal as India's ODI captain. (Getty)
Virat Kohli addressed the burning questions surrounding his removal as India's ODI captain. (Getty)
Updated on Dec 15, 2021 05:25 PM IST
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By, New Delhi

Virat Kohli has finally broken the silence on his removal as ODI captain of the Indian cricket team, narrating the exact details of how his conversation with the selectors unfolded. The BCCI, last Wednesday, while naming India's Test squad for the tour of South Africa, also dropped a bombshell of an announcement that Rohit Sharma has been appointed as the team's ODI and T20I captain, which led to speculations that spread like wildfire.

Finally, ahead of India's departure for South Africa, the Test captain has addressed the matter, Kohli revealed that he was informed of the decision 1.5 hours before the Test team was announced, dismissing reports in the media that he was in the loop all through. Kohli also spoke about his reaction to the decision and added that whatever about this matter has been spoken about in the media is untrue.

Also Read | 'I'm available for ODI selection': Virat Kohli quashes rumours about missing South Africa series

"Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted one and a half hours before the selection meeting on the 8th for the Test series. And there was no prior communication with me at all since I announced the T20 captaincy decision up till the 8th," Kohli said on Wednesday.

"The chief selector discussed with me the Test team to which we both agreed, and before ending the call, I was told that the five selectors have decided that I will not be the ODI captain. To which I replied, 'ok fine'. Later in selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly and that's what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all."

Kohli stressed there were no hard feelings between him and the BCCI, and that his decision to step down as India's T20I captain was received well, a stark contrast to president Sourav Ganguly's take on the matter. The former India captain had revealed in an interview that 'the board had requested Kohli to not step down as the T20I captain, but he didn't agree'.

"When I decided to leave the T20I captaincy and approached the BCCI about my decision, it was received well. There was no offence or hesitation, I wasn't told to reconsider it. It was received well; I was told it's progressive and it's (a step) in the right direction," Kohli pointed out.

Also Read | 'I have been clarifying since last 2 years and I'm tired of it': Virat Kohli addresses rumours of rift with Rohit Sharma

"Then I told them I'd like to continue in Tests and ODIs, unless the office bearers and selectors feel otherwise. My communication was clear in what I wanted to do. I gave them the option, that if they feel I shouldn't (remain captain in Tests and/or ODIs), the decision is in their hands."

As to why the ODI captain was taken off him, Kohli acknowledged the fact that under him India have not won an ICC title and that it could have played a role in his axing. Ending the title drought is the team's top priority going forward, especially with several ICC events lined up across the coming years, and Kohli explained that he is totally on board with the decision.

"Obviously, we have not won ICC tournaments. I can understand the reasons. There was no debate as to whether the decision was right or wrong. Whatever decision the BCCI made was taken from a logical point of view, which is totally understandable," added Kohli.

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Wednesday, May 25, 2022