Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal on Monday rubbished reports suggesting that Team India captain Virat Kohli is likely to step down as skipper of the limited-overs format after the ICC T20 World Cup. There are reports doing the rounds that Kohli might lose his white-ball captaincy and Rohit Sharma could be asked to lead the limited-overs side if the team fails to win the ICC T20 World Cup to be held in the UAE and Oman in October-November this year.
Arun Dhumal, Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer, has rubbished the reports suggesting India adopting split captaincy, with Virat Kohli set to pass on the limited-overs captaincy to Rohit Sharma. Dhumal, on the same day of the emergence of such reports, further stated in no uncertain terms that Kohli will continue to captain India in all three formats of the game, and also confirmed that BCCI did not have any meeting regarding the team’s captaincy.
Certain recent reports were suggestive of India adopting split captaincy to not only lessen the burden from Kohli – who has been leading the nation in all three formats since 2018, and in Tests since 2014 – but also because the board is not satisfied with his team selection choices and the loss against New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in June 2021. However, Dhumal termed all the speculations to be false and “media-created”.
All this fuss has been created by the media only. No such discussion ever happened about change in captaincy. Virat Kohli is one of the finest captains, the Indian team has ever got, and even thinking of changing him at this point in time could be risky for the upcoming T20 world cup. However, Dhumal rubbished such claims. “This is all rubbish. Nothing (as) such is happening. This is all that you guys (media) are talking about. BCCI has not met or discussed anything on this issue (split captaincy),” Dhumal told IANS. “Virat will remain as the captain (of all formats).”
Sources had said the BCCI top brass has been discussing the issue since India’s loss to New Zealand in the World Test Championship final in England, where they were reportedly unhappy with the Indian skipper’s team selection. Kohli had played two spinners in seamer-friendly and overcast conditions during the WTC final.
But Dhumal said, “no such meeting took place.”
Under Kohli, Team India retained the top spot in ICC Test rankings for five straight years, while he is the format’s fourth most successful captain (behind Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh) having won 38 of the 65 Tests he has captained. In the limited-overs format, India has won 27 of their 45 T20Is and 65 of their 95 ODIs under Kohli.
Although, Kohli is yet to stake a claim on any major ICC tournament, with India’s last ICC tournament triumph dating back to the 2013 Champions Trophy under MS Dhoni. Following that, the team has lost the 2014 T20 World Cup final to Sri Lanka, the 2016 T20 World Cup semi-final to West Indies, 2017 Champions Trophy final to Pakistan, 2015 and 2019 ODI World Cup semi-finals to Australia and New Zealand, respectively, while the WTC final more recently in 2021.
Earlier, it was reported that Kohli has been very successful in Test cricket, but the onus of leading the side in limited-overs cricket could fall on Sharma because of the former’s failure to guide the side to victory in ICC events despite having some of the best bowlers and batters in the game.
India embarks on their next ICC tournament in the form of the upcoming T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman from October 24.