Aakash Chopra feels that the Indian cricket is the loser amidst the ongoing controversy caused due to the contradictory statements from BCCI and Virat Kohli around his limited overs captaincy. Kohli was stripped off his ODI captaincy earlier this month ahead of the team's tour of South Africa.
Indian cricket is wrapped in a controversy currently, with Virat Kohli being sacked as ODI captain in a rather bizarre manner, after he had stepped down from the T20I captaincy after the 2021 World Cup. Last week, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had revealed that the board had requested Kohli to not give up T20I captaincy, but he didn’t agree to it. Ganguly further added that the selectors didn't wish to have two different white-ball captains and so the ODI captaincy was handed to Rohit Sharma, while adding that discussions had been done with Kohli.
However, Kohli made a contradictory statement in his press conference on Wednesday, saying that his decision to quit from T20I captaincy was "received well" by the board and that no one had requested him to not give up T20I captaincy. He also mentioned that he was informed about the decision of his removal from ODI captaincy just one and half hours prior, during a call for selection of the Test squad for the South Africa series.
Former India cricketer Aakash Chopra feels that Indian cricket is the loser given how things have panned out over the last few days.
"The question is not who is telling the truth and who is lying, who is right and who is wrong. The question is why this is happening because it is not about you and me, it's not about him or the other guy, the fact is that the loser is actually Indian cricket,” Chopra said on his YouTube channel.
Further, there were several reports doing rounds about Kohli deciding to skip the ODI series to spend some time with his family on the occasion of his daughter’s birthday. The timing of it all resulted in speculations of a rift between two star players, Kohli and Rohit, given the recent changes in leadership roles. Kohli denied all those claims in the press conference, and revealed that he is available for selection for the ODI series.
Chopra opined that truth can be stranger than fiction.
"I was slightly surprised. I was reading a line that truth can be stranger than fiction, that's exactly how it has happened," he said. "Virat Kohli said he never asked for leave, the news had come that he had asked for leave even before Rohit Sharma was named the captain. I mean this is a communication breakdown. Who is doing this and why is somebody doing this?
In the statement on resignation from T20I captaincy, Kohli had mentioned that he will lead the team in ODIs and Tests. Chopra opined that the way in which the statement was put might have left a sour taste.
"The second thing is the ODI captaincy, that actually left a sour taste in the mouth. When Kohli had released his statement, he had said that he is quitting the T20I captaincy but would want to continue being Test and ODI skipper. Captaincy is not a right but a privilege. You cannot take a privilege for granted, that it is your right,” he explained.
Chopra further slammed the board and the selectors for the lack of clear communication and suggested that the whole issue could have been handled in a better way.
"But when you are talking about one of the most successful captains of your country and you want to replace him as captain, which is absolutely fine, but it is necessary to talk and not just inform,” he concluded.