Virat Kohli, along with his team has left for South Africa for a month-long tour which comprises three Tests and as many ODIs, leaving behind unsolved mysteries and too much controversy around the board and Indian cricket. However, before leaving the nation, he made some interesting revelations and notably, left the BCCI President embarrassed by contradicting his claims of “personally requesting Kohli for not quitting from T20 captaincy.”
However, many from the cricketing fraternity have raised their eyebrows over ongoing chaos and suggested the incidents to be unfortunate. Former Indian batsman and wicketkeeper, Saba Karim exclusively talked to SportsTiger and shared his views regarding the ongoing controversy and many more. The excerpts of the interview are as follows-:
Q-: The transition in ODI captaincy has given birth to several controversies, what according to you went wrong?
Saba: I am sure the same and ideal process was followed and every stakeholder must have been taken into consideration. But the manner in which it was conveyed to Virat Kohli is the core issue and should be settled on priority. As it should not affect the morale of players who are in South Africa for the Test series.
Q-: Kindly share the real process which is adopted during the appointment of a new captain by the BCCI.
Saba: It is a decision taken by the mutual coordination between all the selectors including the serving skipper and it has been done in the same, prior too. However, this time the manner in which it was conveyed created a lot of issues otherwise, I believe even Virat Kohli was well aware that this is coming for him after some time. It will come for Rohit Sharma, as well.
Q-: Kohli openly contradicting BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s claims regarding him personally requesting Kohli, ‘not to quit T20 captaincy’. Do you think such developments should be shared in media, as Kohli did in the press conference or instead must be resolved internally?
Saba: Although it’s a personal call from Kohli to share it in media or not, as the BCCI President said that, the board will look into the matter. And board must intervene as early as possible to resolve the issues so that the environment in the dressing room can stay better and players can collectively focus on the game.
Q-: How do you rate Rohit Sharma as a skipper?
Saba: He has a great track record while leading Mumbai Indians, and while leading the national side as well. Under his leadership, I am hopeful that the team will perform well in bilateral series as well as ICC tournaments.
Q-: Team India is in grips of injuries and several vital players have been ruled out. Do you think the bench strength is strong enough to give South Africa, a run for the money?
Saba: I believe the bench is immensely strong and the team has some exciting youngsters who are capable to perform well in any given conditions. For instance, we did well in Australia in the absence of senior players during the last Border-Gavaskar Trophy which shows that we have been doing pretty well in domestic cricket to nurture some quality cricket.
Q-: What’s your prediction for South Africa series?
Saba: I expect the team to win the Test series by 2-0 or 2-1 and as the Indian team is a far superior side in ODIs, I would bet for a clean sweep.