Urged Virat Kohli to proceed as T20I skipper for ‘sake of Indian insect’: BCCI foreman selector Chetan Sharma
BCCI chief selector Chetan Sharma addressed a press conference on Friday to announce the Indian squad for the upcoming ODI series versus South Africa. Sharma made quite a few revelations in his presser, opening up on the situation after Virat Kohli informed the board of his decision to step down as the T20I skipper earlier this year.
Ahead of the T20I World Cup in UAE, Kohli had announced that he will not continue as skipper of the T20I team following the World Cup. In the following months, Virat was sacked as the ODI skipper as well, with Rohit Sharma was given responsibilities in both white-ball formats.
Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly, president of the BCCI had earlier revealed that he had personally asked Virat not to relinquish the T20I captaincy, although the latter refuted those claims in a fiery press conference earlier this month.
The whole furore led to mixed reactions as India’s red-ball skipper Virat, and BCCI president Ganguly gave contradicting statements in public.
Meanwhile, Chetan Sharma, who was at the forefront of the whole fiasco revealed that everyone in the meeting where Kohli informed his decision to the board, was ‘shocked’. Sharma also added that they tried to convince Kohli to ‘think about the decision’ once more.
“When the meeting started, it was a surprise for everybody. If there was a World Cup right ahead and you get to hear this news, how would you normally react? Everyone who was present at the meeting urged Virat to think about the decision. This could’ve been talked about after the World Cup. All selectors felt that this could affect the World Cup and it was told to Virat, for the sake of Indian cricket, to please continue as captain,” stated Sharma.
He further added, “All convenors were there, the board officials were there. When news like this comes up, you’re in a shock. It was the instant reaction. It was a matter of the World Cup and we thought we could talk about this after the tournament.”
The BCCI’s chief selector also revealed that everyone in the meeting subsequently respected Virat’s call. “He had his plans and we respect him. Virat Kohli is India’s heritage. He said in the media that he had been thinking about this since WTC, but yes, everyone told him to think about the decision,” revealed Chetan Sharma.
In the aftermath of all these events, Virat continued to lead India in Tests, and under his captaincy, they defeated South Africa in the first Test at Centurion. On the other hand, KL Rahul will lead India in the ODI series next month, as Rohit Sharma is still nursing a hamstring injury that ruled him out of contention of the Test series.