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Ravi Shastri helped Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma "talk out" differences during England series - Reports

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's renewed bond was tangible during the England series.
Modified 30 Mar 2021

Theories of an alleged 'rift' between Indian skipper Virat Kohli and white-ball vice-captain Rohit Sharma have been doing the rounds on social media for the last couple of years. There have been suggestions that the two senior-most players don't get along very well, especially since the semifinal loss in the 2019 World Cup.

However, the recently concluded India-England series, played across 3 months in isolated bio-secure bubbles, has apparently brought about a turnaround in their relationship.

According to a report in the Times of India, aided by the Ravi Shastri-led team management, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma have "talked out" their differences over the past few months. The duo are now more in 'sync' and understand the importance of their camaraderie for the team's benefit.

A TOI source is quoted as saying in the report:

"Apart from winning two big series, that's been the biggest gain inside the Team India dressing room. A great deal of personal bonding has happened in recent weeks and they're more in sync now than ever with regards to their cricket, the team, their responsibilities and the upcoming challenges. They understand now, more than ever, that the team will only benefit if they find themselves on the same page. This has been the biggest takeaway in the last four months."

The source further explained that the outside noise was aggravating the disagreements between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. However, there is now a visible 'clarity' between the two.

"All the chatter from the outside was causing too much bitterness and all the hearsay was making things worse. It's been the story of Indian cricket for far too long - of vested interests time and again taking advantage of rivalries between players. Like all professionals, Virat and Rohit too would have their disagreements from time to time. But until recently, they never thought of sitting down and talking it out with the kind of clarity that is now visible," the source added.

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma making their friendship more visible to send a message to gossipers

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened together for the first time during the T20I series against England
Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma opened together for the first time during the T20I series against England

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's renewed friendship was more conspicuous in the white-ball leg of the England tour than in the past. The duo opened together for the team, bonded on the field and off it, and were also more vocal about each other's role in the side during media interactions.

The report added that by making their affinity more visible, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are trying to make it a point to the newsmongers that all 'chatter needs to stop'.

"They've spent a lot of time talking to each other in public, like during the post-match presentation at the end of the T20 series. They've been appearing in photographs together a lot more than in the past. During the One-day series, Virat made it a point to keep his discussions on with Rohit constantly during the game. These things would happen earlier too, but this one time they've decided to make it more visible for outsiders to know that all this chatter now needs to stop," added the source.

However, those in the know also clarified that this isn't a PR exercise but a genuine understanding of their differences and the need to sort them out amongst each other.

"Neither of them has the patience for such exercises. Both understand that neither of the two is any less important in the team and if disagreements have to crop-up, then it's best they resolve it between them than letting outsiders speak for them. It's the healthiest thing that could've happened to the team while staying in the bio-bubble."

Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma's renewed bond rubbed off on their performances for Team India. While Rohit Sharma was India's top scorer in the 4-match Test series, Virat Kohli led the charts in the T20Is.

However, now, Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma will have to transit from being teammates for the country to fierce opponents in the Indian Premier League (IPL) when the tournament kicks off with a clash between their teams on April 9.

Published 30 Mar 2021, 11:42 IST
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