BCCI Selection Committee Chairman Chetan Sharma on Friday broke his silence on the captaincy saga and confirmed that the BCCI and the selectors did request, Virat Kohli, to continue as T20I captain when he announced his decision to step down before the T20 World Cup.
Earlier, Test skipper Kohli had revealed how he was informed about the change in ODI captaincy on the day of the Test team selection for the South Africa tour on December 8.
The chief selector finally addressed the media on Friday, reading out the 18-member ODI squad for South Africa.
“When the meeting started, it was a surprise for everybody. Everybody who was part of that meeting told Virat to reconsider his decision. We felt at the time that it would affect the (team at the) World Cup and it was told to Virat for the sake of Indian cricket, ‘please continue as captain’. It was told to him by everybody. The convener was there. The Board officials were there. But he took the decision and we respected it,” Sharma said in the Press Conference.
Sharma further revealed why the committee didn’t tell Virat about the change in ODI captaincy in the selection meeting for the T20 World Cup. “That was not the right time to tell Virat that we wanted to have one captain in white-ball formats.
We were going to a World Cup. It wasn’t the appropriate time to tell him that if he stepped down as T20I captain, he couldn’t be the ODI captain as well. Everybody requested him to think about this decision after the World Cup,” Sharma said.
Sharma confirmed that the ODI captaincy change was the selectors’ call, as the committee felt that there couldn’t be two white-ball captains. “As soon as the selection committee took the decision, immediately I called up Virat. It was a Test selection meeting.
Immediately after that, at 5 o’clock we informed him that there would be one white-ball captain. In terms of planning, the selectors decided that we must have one white-ball captain and one red-ball captain. There were a couple of questions and we had a good conversation. We didn’t want to inform him at the selection meeting.”
Meanwhile, KL Rahul is set to lead Team India in the upcoming ODI series against South Africa as new captain Rohit Sharma hasn’t recovered from a hamstring injury.