For quite some time Virat Kohli’s captaincy has been the subject of much speculation among cricket fans across the country. He may have shut out the rumours after announcing, citing workload burdens, his resignation as India’s T20 captain. But now it seems there’s more to his resignation than Kohli would have us believe.
Since the tour of England, speculation had started that Virat would be removed from white ball captaincy. It was said that the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) was ‘unhappy’ with the skipper, but when the IANS spoke to BCCI treasurer Arun Dhumal, he flatly denied the news. The very next day, the 32-year-old stylish batsman came forward and announced his decision to leave India’s T20 captaincy. He said that he would step down after the ICC T20 World Cup next month.
The decision caused many eyebrows to be raised. Why just T20? Meanwhile, it also transpired that something was actually not right between Kohli and the BCCI.
According to sources, such talk had been going on for the last six months and gathered pace after the World Test Championship debacle. Even the BCCI secretary Jay Shah, after Kohli’s announcement, stated that he had been discussing this matter with him for the last few months.
Cricket experts, however, questioned the timing of his announcement. ‘Why did Kohli take such a decision just a month before the mega sporting spectacle?’
More queries, more mystery.
Did Kohli come to know that the BCCI was thinking of removing him from the top post? Was the workload really a factor? Why did the poster boy of the team suddenly lose his aura of invincibility? If sources are to be believed, the revolt against Kohli started within the team a few months ago. It has come to light that several senior players in the dressing room were miffed at the attitude of the ace cricketer.
His lack of form further didn’t help the cause, especially because Kohli had not scored a century in the past several innings across format — Test, ODI or T20s.
His failing form has affected his decision-making, which has taken a toll on his relationship with the players. A senior player had complained to the BCCI secretary against Kohli for making him feel ‘insecure’.
Kohli had reportedly accused the senior cricketer of showing ‘no intent’ during the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in Southampton, UK.
If sources are to be believed, the name of Ravichandran Ashwin is now doing the rounds as one of the mutineers, but it has not been confirmed yet.
But if one recalls how Ashwin was treated during the England series and Kohli’s insistence on not including him in the playing XI, despite the advice of experts, indicated something was brewing.
Even chief coach Ravi Shastri had talked about playing Ashwin before the fourth Test. Kohl apparently ignored this advice.
Interestingly, another issue to come up was that Kohli wasn’t even consulted before the appointment of MS Dhoni as a mentor of the T20 side for the World Cup. The inclusion of Ashwin in the T20 team also ignited fireworks between selectors and Kohli.
Sources said that Kohli wanted young spinner Yuzvendra Chahal in the team instead of the veteran.
Recently another news doing the rounds was that Shastri had asked Kohl to step down from the ODI and T20 captaincy as well, but he only relieved himself from leading the T20 side.
It is also being speculated that in the coming months, after the World T20, Kohli could also be removed from the ODI captaincy too and Rohit Sharma may take his place.
The performance of the team in the T20 World Cup will be critical. Recently, Kohli also announced that he would step down from the Royal Challengers Bangalore captaincy after IPL 2021.
Fortune, it seems, is not favoring Kohli.