In recent times, the 3 Cs in Indian sports have been: Cricket, Captaincy and Controversy. Virat Kohli’s press conference on Wednesday raised a lot of question marks on the communication gap between the players and board. From Kohli voluntarily stepping down as T20I skipper to him being stripped of captaincy duties in ODIs, a lot has happened recently which is certainly not ideal.
Here is a look at the detailed timeline of how events transpired during last few months of Kohli’s tenure as India’s white-ball skipper:
September 16, 2021 – Kohli resigns as India’s T20I captain
Just a few days before the start of the T20 World Cup 2021, Virat Kohli announced that he will step down as India’s captain in the shortest format of the game after the mega event. He had cited workload management as the main reason behind his decision but had assured that he will continue to lead the side in ODIs and Tests. “I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket,” Kohli had said in his statement.
September 19, 2021 – Kohli steps down as RCB captain
The 33-year-old dropped another bombshell as he released a video statement to announce that he will not be the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore from next season onwards. This will be my last IPL as captain of RCB. I’ll continue to be an RCB player till I play my last IPL game. I thank all the RCB fans for believing in me and supporting me,” Kohli said.
November 7, 2021 – India knocked out of T20 World Cup
After losing the crucial matches to Pakistan and New Zealand, India needed a miracle to go through to the semi-finals. However, no upsets took place and Afghanistan’s loss to the Kiwis in their final group game meant that India were eliminated from the mega event.
November 8, 2021 – Kohli plays his last match as India’s T20I captain
With India out of the World Cup, Virat Kohli led his side for one last time in the shortest format where the Men in Blue registered a convincing 9-wicket victory over Namibia. After the match, Kohli reflected on his decision to step down from captaincy and said, “As I said it’s been an honour, but things have to be kept in the right perspective. This was the right time for me to manage my workload. It’s been six-seven years of intense cricket every time we take the field and it takes a lot out of you.”
November 9, 2021 – Kohli rested for Rohit’s first assignment as India’s T20I skipper
Rohit Sharma, who had captained India in past, got set to begin his tenure as the nation’s full-time T20I captain during the home series against New Zealand. However, Virat Kohli was rested for the series as he had been playing some non-stop cricket for the last few months. As expected, the situation did give rise to some baseless rumours around rift between Rohit and Kohli.
December 8, 2021 – Rohit Sharma announced as India’s ODI captain
As BCCI announced India’s squad for Test series against South Africa, they also made a shocking revelation alongside it. “The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward,” the board stated, without any mention of Virat Kohli in the official statement. Rohit Sharma was India’s new white-ball captain but fans could speculate that not everything was fine behind the scenes.
December 9, 2021 – Various stories/rumours around Kohli go viral on social media
The way Kohli was removed from captaincy was undoubtedly surprising for all the fans and it led to various rumours, stories and speculations on social media. One of the reports even claimed that BCCI waited for 48 hours for Kohli to step down as ODI captain voluntarily but when they did not receive any response from him, he was replaced by Rohit Sharma on December 9 by the selection committee.
December 9, 2021 – Ganguly claims that he requested Kohli to not quit as T20I captain
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly then went on to claim that he had requested Virat Kohli to not quit as the captain of the national side in the shortest format. “We had requested Virat not to step down as T20I captain but he didn’t want to continue as captain,” Ganguly told PTI. He also went on to clarify why Rohit Sharma was appointed as ODI captain afterwards. “The selectors felt that they cannot have two white-ball captains in two white-ball formats. That’s too much of leadership,” he added.
December 13, 2021 – Rohit Sharma injured, Kohli reported to miss ODI series
With already so much happening, it was then revealed that Rohit Sharma sustained a hamstring injury and is set to miss the upcoming Test series against South Africa. Meanwhile, it was reported that Virat Kohli will miss the ODI series as he wished to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday in January.
The headlines were ready – No Rohit in Tests under Kohli’s captaincy and no Kohli in ODIs under Rohit’s captaincy. With no official announcement from anyone, social media continued to make stories on their own.
December 15, 2021 – Kohli finally breaks his silence on the whole saga
Virat Kohli addressed the media during a virtual press conference on Wednesday where he broke his silence on the whole saga. Contrary to the reports that he was given 48 hours to step down as ODI captain, Kohli revealed that there was no prior communication with him regarding the same and he was told just 1.5 hours before the selection meeting (for SA Tests) that he was being removed as India’s captain in the 50-over format.
The 33-year-old also added that no one from BCCI had requested him to not quit as T20I captain, a claim which was completely contrary to what Sourav Ganguly said. He also clarified that he is available for selection in the ODI series against South Africa.
Is the Kohli-BCCI saga finally over?
Well, it has been reported that the chairman of selectors – Chetan Sharma – might address the media where he is likely to give some clarity on the whole situation. Fans have also demanded a statement from BCCI president Sourav Ganguly over the whole saga, especially after Virat Kohli’s revelations. There has undoubtedly been a communication gap between the board and the player and the Indian supporters are just hoping for this controversial saga to end as soon as possible with the team getting set for such an important tour of South Africa.