Kirti Azad has said that Sourav Ganguly should have learnt from his own example and spoke to Virat Kohli much earlier while commenting on the difference of opinion between BCCI and Kohli regarding latter’s ODI captaincy. Kohli was sacked from the ODI captaincy ahead of India's tour of South Africa.
Virat Kohli stepped down from the T20I captaincy after the T20 World Cup 2021, and was also sacked from the ODI captaincy ahead of the South Africa tour. Rohit Sharma will now lead India in limited overs cricket, while Kohli will continue leading the Test team.
India are scheduled to tour South Africa from December 26 for three Tests and three ODIs. Indian cricket is wrapped in a controversy around Kohli’s white-ball captaincy and reports surfaced of an alleged rift between him and Rohit. In a pre-departure press conference before the South Africa series, Kohli said that he was informed about his sacking from ODI captaincy just 90 minutes before during a meeting for Test squad selection and that there was no advance communication. He also stated that his decision to quit T20I captaincy was "recieved well" by the BCCI.
However, that contradicted what the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said a few days earlier, of him having requested Kohli not to step down from the role. The series of events prompted quite a few discussions and debates among experts and fans alike.
India's 1983 World Cup winner Kirti Azad pointed out the names of the captains who were removed from their post without them having any information, and said that Ganguly should have spoken about the decision to Kohli much earlier. He also mentioned of the Ganguly- Greg Chappell conflict back in 2005-06, saying he had backed Ganguly at that time.
"I remember how Bishan Bedi was dethroned, how Sunil Gavaskar was dethroned. Venkataraghavan was in his flight and when he landed, he was replaced as captain. At least, Sourav should have realised through his own experience," Azad told News18.
"I remember I had defended him when Greg Chappell was coach and he was dropped as captain. He should have learnt from his own example and spoken to Virat much earlier. I am not saying Virat is a special case. Yes, he is a special batter and a special cricketer. He leads by example and leads by example."
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin had earlier tweeted about the possibility of rift between Rohit and Kohli. Azad said that the matter should have been handled in a professional way, especially after a tweet from the former India captain regarding rift between two players in the team.
"I feel that it should have been done in a more proper manner. BCCI should have been a little more professional on a cricketing front and with Sourav at the helm, especially when a former captain had tweeted about a rift, a speculation that had been going on. These things should not come out in the public and a captain who has given so much, Virat Kohli, should have been informed well in advance," he concluded.