Raju Venkat, one of India’s former selectors has dished out an explosive statement. As per Venkat and the other selectors in 2011/12, Virat Kohli was supposed to lead the ODI team from 2012 onwards. But this development was ceased by the then BCCI President N. Srinivasan.
Venkat just didn’t stop there. The former selector also alleged that there were several factions within the Indian dressing room during the team’s 2011/12 tour to Australia. The Indians in that tour were found wanting and were massacred by the Australians. The visitors were whitewashed 0-4 in the tests, and failed to even qualify for the tri series which also featured Sri Lanka.
Venkat was pleased as Kohli was finally made the full time test captain and said, “We had thought about this (of making Kohli captain) three years back, we tried also. But because of then BCCI president Narayanswamy Srinivasan our efforts failed.”
The former selector was also vocal about the various developments in Indian cricket in 2011/12. Venkat said that before the fourth test at Adelaide, selectors Mohinder Amarnath and Narendra Hirwani had travelled to Australia to assess the side which was already 0-3 down. “Before that two selectors Mohinder Amarnath and Narendra Hirwani had gone to Australia. After coming back they had reported about formations of several factions within the Indian team. There was no team spirit,” Venkat said.
“We thought before the One-Day series there was a need to choose a new captain, we were on the look out for somebody who was above factionalism. We felt Virat was the right person to restore team spirit in the side,” he said.
Venkat said that the selectors were quite impressed with Kohli’s captaincy for North Zone in the 2010/11 Deodhar Trophy. Under Kohli’s leadership, North Zone eventually won the title. “It was then that we understood that he has it in him to become a capable skipper. His captaincy in the Under-19 World Cup (in 2008) had also caught our attention,” he said
The former selector once again shed some light on the functioning of the BCCI and said, “You cannot announce an overseas team without the BCCI president’s approval. He (Srinivasan) did not give us the nod to change the captain.”
However, it must be remembered that the Indian team achieved quite a lot under Dhoni post the 2011/12 Tri Series in Australia. Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy and made it to the semi finals of the 2015 ICC World Cup.