Chetan Sharma has revealed that everyone in the meeting urged Virat Kohli to continue as T20I captain when he informed his decision to step down from the role. The statement has come after Kohli said that no one requested him not to resign from captaincy in a presser before South Africa series.
India had made an impressive start to South Africa with a win in the Centurion Test. They are performing well on the field but the Indian cricket is surrounded by another controversy off the field. The underlying tension between Test captain Virat Kohli and BCCI has erupted to a controversy. Virat Kohli stepped down from T20I captaincy after the World Cup while he was sacked from ODI captaincy for South Africa series. Rohit Sharma is the new white-ball captain while Kohli will continue leading the Test squad.
A few days ago, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said that the BCCI members requested Kohli to not step down from T20I captaincy when he informed them about his decision. However, Virat Kohli denied those claims saying that no one asked him to not step down from the leadership in a pre-departure press conference before the South Africa series. Chairman of the selection committee, Chetan Sharma has echoed the same sentiments saying that everyone in the meeting requested Kohli to continue as a T20I captain for the sake of Indian cricket.
“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,” Chetan Sharma told media.
“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.”
Sharma further added that the goal of everyone is to take Indian team at top and they don’t want controversies,
"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," he stated.
“The main aim for everybody, the team management, the board and selectors.. our goal is one. To take the Indian team to the top. We don't want controversies. We don't come out because our job is to select the team, make sure the best guys represent the country. As a cricketer, it is saddening when these things come out."
Ganguly had also stated earlier that Kohli was informed about the removal of his ODI captaincy well in advance and there was a proper prior communication. However, Kohli said that he was informed about the decision 90 minutes before during the meeting for the selection of Test squad. Sharma has insisted that it was announced at the time so that both Kohli and Rohit will have plenty of time to gel into the system before the announcement of the ODI squad.
“There is no confusion. The thing is, Virat had said that he was told 90 minutes before but the team selection took place today. We announced at that time because we want everyone to concentrate on cricket. In the middle of the series, you can't just call somebody and say, 'No, you're not the captain anymore'. We gave time to Virat and Rohit both so they can gel into the system,” said Sharma.
“Selectors have brilliant communication with board, team management, captain and even domestic players. It is our duty, there is no communication gap. We only announced so that there is ample time, because the one-day team is being named today. On that day, we had announced the Test team. We had informed Virat before the meeting. We can only inform the captain when selectors meet and decide.”
India are ahead in the Test series by 1-0 against South Africa and will play the three match ODI series from January 19.