Virat Kohli on Wednesday dismissed all rumours around him and Rohit Sharma, and stated that there is no rift between him and the new white-ball captain. He further added that the absence of an experienced batsman like Rohit will be a huge miss for India during the Test series against South Africa.
The BCCI on December 8 announced an 18-member Test squad for the South Africa tour, and as a matter of surprise, the selection committee appointed Rohit Sharma as the full-time ODI captain, replacing Virat Kohli. Earlier, after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021, Virat Kohli had stepped down from the leadership role in T20Is, and Rohit was named as his successor. The Indian opener has also been appointed as Kohli's deputy in Test cricket, replacing Ajinkya Rahane.
After the conclusion of the T20 World Cup 2021 in UAE, Kohli had expressed his desire to continue leading Team India in ODIs and Test cricket. However, the decision of the BCCI surprised fans and cricket experts all over the world, and it opened doors for fuming debates.
Meanwhile, several reports suggested that Virat Kohli will skip the ODI series against South Africa. Fans and several experts reckoned that Kohli’s timing to take a break was wrong, and the reports had come soon after Rohit was ruled out from the three-match Test series with a harmstring injury.
The issue was taken to social media, where fans engaged in debates regarding the ego clashes between the two stalwarts, stemming from captaincy change.
However, Kohli broke his silence on this matter, and stated that there is no rift between him and Rohit. The Indian Test captain further added that he is tired of clarifying the issue for the last two and a half years.
“I have addressed this so many times that there is absolutely no problem between us. And honestly, I've been clarifying this since the last 2-2.5 years regularly and I am tired of it,” the 33-year-old said while addressing a press-conference on Wednesday afternoon.
"Time and again, this keeps coming. I can assure you one thing that none of my actions or communication will be to bring the team down until I am playing. And this has always been my point of view and this is my commitment towards Indian cricket.”
Speaking on the India tour of South Africa, Kohli stated that he is very excited to play against the Proteas and help the team win. He further added that India will miss the services of an experienced batsman like Rohit during the series.
“With his experience and skill we will miss his opportunity presence. But this also gives opportunities to new players to impress," Kohli said.
“Nothing can derail me from being prepared for Team India. Things happening outside are not ideal and there things that we can do as an individual. I am very excited to go to SA and help the team win.”
The first of three Tests will be played in Centurion, beginning December 26.