BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal has added a new twist to the Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma saga. He clarified that Kohli requested for a break during the ODIs in South Africa before Rohit Sharma’s appointment as one-day captain became official.
On Tuesday, numerous media reports claimed that Virat Kohli would be skipping the one-day series in South Africa. That gave rise to speculation that all was not well between him and Sharma.
However, by evening, conflicting reports started coming in, stating Kohli would play the one-day series. The 33-year-old will address a press conference on Wednesday, which could put a lot of rumours to rest.
Speaking to Times Now, Dhumal said that Virat Kohli’s initial decision to not play one-dayers in South Africa had nothing to do with the change in captaincy. He explained:
“To my understanding, before any decision was taken with regards to captaincy, it was decided that he (Kohli) will be going (to South Africa) for the Test matches only, not for the ODIs. He was wanting it that way because he needed a break.”
Intriguingly, Kohli was given a breather during the T20 series against New Zealand at home, and also missed the first Test in Kanpur.
Meanwhile, a report in Cricbuzz quoted a top BCCI member as saying in this regard:
"There is no truth in reports of Virat skipping the ODIs. He is a totally committed cricketer, and there is no doubt about his participation."
“There is no friction” - Arun Dhumal on alleged Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma rift
Dhumal rubbished all reports of an alleged right between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma. He said that Kohli is okay with not being the leader of the one-day side. Dhumal also denied rumours of Rohit Sharma ‘pulling out’ of the Test series in South Africa, clarifying that the physios took that call.
The BCCI treasurer said in this regard:
“Rohit Sharma is not playing because of a physio thing. It is a medical issue. This has nothing to do with friction; there is no friction (between Kohli and Rohit). Physios have ruled him out due to a hamstring injury. It’s not like he has taken a call.”
There is still no clarity over Rohit Sharma’s availability for the upcoming three-match one-day series in South Africa, which begins on Wednesday, January 19, in Paarl.