Sourav Ganguly: "I did not remove Virat Kohli from captaincy"
Former Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly has denied 'removing' Virat Kohli from the Indian captaincy. However, he admitted that when Kohli wanted to leave the T20I captaincy, he told the ace batter to also step down from ODIs.
Kohli left India's T20I captaincy in late 2021 after announcing his decision before that year's T20 World Cup. For the next ODI series, the BCCI picked Rohit Sharma as the captain without any explanation. Soon after, Kohli stepped down from the Test captaincy as well.
"I didn't remove Virat from captaincy. I have said this several times. He (Kohli) was not interested to lead in T20Is. So, after he made that decision, I told him, if you're not interested to lead in T20Is, it's better if you step down from entire white-ball cricket. Let there be a white-ball captain and a red-ball captain," Ganguly said in a YouTube video.
At the time, Ganguly had said he tried to convince Kohli to not leave T20I captaincy. However, the Delhi-born cricketer contradicted his claims, saying his decision was taken well by the BCCI officials.
Kohli also said the first communication he received from the BCCI about ODI captaincy was 90 minutes before they held a meeting to make the decision.
"I expect Rohit Sharma will continue to captain till the T20 World Cup" - Sourav Ganguly
Rohit Sharma replaced Virat Kohli as the captain in all three formats but couldn't help break India's ICC trophy draught.
A few days earlier, Ganguly had said he wanted the Mumbai Indians skipper to lead India in all three formats till the 2024 T20 World Cup.
"The problem is that many are not available. Surya is T20 captain, Surya is not a certainty in one-days. They have a different captain in one-days in KL Rahul and Test match obviously, Rohit wants to play."
"But as I said, once Rohit is back playing all formats, he should be the captain of India because he has done so well in the World Cup. And he is a leader, so I expect and presume that he will continue as captain till the T20 World Cup.”
There are concerns regarding both Kohli and Rohit's T20 credentials, especially since the emergence of a younger generation of batters.
It remains to be seen whether the duo's white-ball experience can help them make it to the West Indies and the USA for the World Cup.