India captain Virat Kohli has opened up on what appears to be a huge rift between him and the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).
In a press conference on the eve of India’s departure for a Test series against South Africa, Kohli contradicted claims which were made by president Sourav Ganguly. The latter indicated that Kohli was asked to reconsider his decision to resign as the captain of the T20 team but refused to do so.
In what was a very revealing press conference, Kohli went as far as saying that his decision to offer his resignation was welcomed by the BCCI and they put up no fight to ask him to change his mind.
Kohli says when he made the decision to resign as the T20 Captain, he asked to stay on as the ODI and Test captain of the national team, however, he accepted that it was for the BCCI to decide who they felt was best for the country moving forward.
Sharma Rift Denied By Kohli
Rohit Sharma has been appointed the one-day captain for India’s upcoming 50-overs series against South Africa. There have been some reports of a rift between Kohli and Sharma, however, the former has strongly denied those claims.
There have been suggestions that the two senior players, who play all three formats of the game for India, have had a number of fallouts since the 2019 World Cup. Kohli has given the new India skipper his full support and wished him well for the series in South Africa.
Kohli is expected to lead India again on December 26 in the First Test of their overseas series. Sharma is also likely to be in the starting XI for that game.
Cryptic Jadeja Tweet
— Ravindrasinh jadeja (@imjadeja) December 15, 2021
Ravindra Jadeja added his name into the ongoing dispute between the BCCI and Kohli when he sent a cryptic tweet not long after Kohli’s press conference. The tweet read: “Fake friends believe in rumors. Real friends believe in you.”
It is not clear if the tweet was related to Kohli’s comments, and if so if it was done to support the Test captain or the opposite.
Jadeja is unlikely to play any part of the series in South Africa as he injured his arm in the drawn First Test against New Zealand in Kanpur.
India Must Put Off-Field Problems Aside
Those selected to represent India in South Africa must now focus on the task at hand on the pitch and ignore all the rifts which are dominating the headlines at the moment. South Africa is set to be a strong opponent with the red and white ball.
If it becomes clear that the gossip off the field has impacted the team in their opening Test series, the odds of an India victory will drift. The bookmakers are likely to be keeping a close eye on that game in Gauteng, as will those looking to set on the outcome of the series.
India is priced at 2.10 with Betway, one of the most reputable IPL betting sites, to win the First Test against South Africa. The last time the two nations met in a Test match in South Africa, India prevailed at the Wanderers Stadium, so they will be hoping for a repeat of that result.
There is a lot to play for India as they have the chance to close the gap on New Zealand at the top of the ICC World Test Rankings. Victory will help them do that. They also want to prove they are capable of picking up successes overseas in the Test arena.
Kohli will now be hoping to do his talking with the bat and in the field when he makes his long-awaited return to the national team.