Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli with Rohit Sharma IMAGE: AFP

Chetan Sharma, India’s chief selector, has dismissed reports of rifts between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, saying that the duo has always been on healthy terms. Over the last couple of months, the national team has undergone quite a few changes in personnel, one of which is Rohit Sharma replacing the 33-year-old Virat Kohli as the captain in ODIs and T20Is.

After Virat Kohli relinquished captaincy post the T20 World Cup 2021, the selectors dropped him as the skipper in the 50-overs format. Thereafter, speculations regarding ruptures in their relationship did the rounds, but Chetan Sharma quashed the reports.

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma
Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma–Twitter

Chetan Sharma: There Is Nothing Between Rohit Sharma And Virat Kohli

Indian chief selector Chetan Sharma quashed all rumours of the alleged rift between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma before claiming that the batting duo shares good understanding and planning.

“But about what? Things are absolutely fine. That’s why I was saying don’t go by speculations. We’re all cricketers first and selectors later. There is nothing between them,” Chetan Sharma was quoted as saying.

Although he was unhappy with the rumours surrounding two of India’s prolific run-scorers, he looked forward to India making themselves a stronger force in world cricket in 2022.

Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)
Chetan Sharma, Chairman Of Selectors (Pic Source: Twitter)

“Sometimes I read reports about them and laugh. I’m telling you there is such good planning between them about the future. Things are fantastic. If you were in my place, you would have enjoyed watching how these guys are working together as a team and family and a unit. It’s really saddening when people make up things like that. So please, leave controversies behind in 2021. Let’s talk about how to make them the best team,” he stated.

On Friday, December 31, India named their 18-member squad for the three-match ODI series against South Africa. Meanwhile, having taken a 1-0 lead on the back of a historic win at the Centurion, Virat Kohli-led India will now brace to win the 2nd Test against South Africa at Johannesburg which is scheduled to begin from 3rd January.

Chetan Sharma Announced ODI Captaincy Change Prior To The Tests As The Selectors Felt They Shouldn’t Disturb Them In Middle Of The Test Series

However, the decision to hand over the ODI captaincy from Rohit Sharma to Virat Kohli was taken prior and not amidst the ongoing three-match Test series against South Africa. Chetan Sharma stated that the selectors wanted to give Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli enough time to process the decision. The chief selector also cleared the air on Virat Kohli’s claims that he had no prior intimation of being stripped of the ODI captaincy.

KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)
KL Rahul (Image Credit: Twitter)

“We wanted to announce it then because we don’t want to disturb them in the middle of the [Test] series [in South Africa],” Chetan Sharma added.

Rohit Sharma isn’t a part of the Test series and wasn’t picked for the ODIs as well after he failed to recover from a hamstring injury that he sustained back in December. KL Rahul who has been fulfilling the vice-captaincy duties in the ongoing three-match Test series against South Africa on Friday was handed the role of skipper for the ODI series. Rohit Sharma would have been the captain, but he was deemed unfit by the selectors.

The three-match ODI series, slated to begin from 19th January, will see dashing opener KL Rahul leading the Indian brigade with Jasprit Bumrah as his deputy against South Africa. Rohit Sharma, who was earlier ruled out of the Test series due to injury, will also miss the ODIs against the Proteas.

Indian Team For ODIs Against South Africa: KL Rahul (C), Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaekwad, Virat Kohli, Surya Kumar Yadav, Shreyas Iyer, Venkatesh Iyer, Rishabh Pant (wk), Ishan Kishan (wk), Y Chahal, R Ashwin, W Sundar, J Bumrah (VC), Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Deepak Chahar, Prasidh Krishna, Shardul Thakur, Mohd. Siraj