Kapil Dev, BCCI
Kapil Dev, BCCI

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Kapil Dev, the first World Cup-winning former India skipper feels Virat Kohli’s statements that exposed his differences with the BCCI on the issue of captaincy were ill-timed as they created an unsavoury controversy just ahead of a crucial tour to South Africa.

1983 World Cup-winning former India skipper Kapil Dev has weighed in on the controversy surrounding India’s white-ball captaincy, saying that Virat Kohli’s statements that exposed his differences with the BCCI on the issue of captaincy were ill-timed.

Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)
Former India skipper Kapil Dev (Photo | PTI)

Kapil Dev Urges To Pay Attention To The South Africa Tour As The Statement On Captaincy Issue Was Ill Timed

In the pre-departure press conference in Mumbai on Wednesday, Virat Kohli dismissed the “inaccurate” Sourav  Ganguly’s statement that BCCI had requested him not to step down as T20I captain. The comment exposed the underlying tension between Virat Kohli and the administrators after he was removed as ODI skipper as well earlier this month.

“It is not good to point fingers on anybody at this point in time. The South Africa tour is coming and please pay attention to the tour,” Kapil Dev said.

File image of former India captain Sourav Ganguly and current skipper Virat Kohli.(PTI)
File image of former India captain Sourav Ganguly and current skipper Virat Kohli. (PTI)

The Indian Test team, led by Virat Kohli, departed for South Africa on Thursday for a three-match series beginning at Centurion on December 26. India will also play three ODIs after the Test series. Former India all-rounder Kapil Dev criticized the timing of Virat Kohli’s revelations and urged the players to concentrate solely on the upcoming tour of South Africa.

Kapil Dev Wants Test Skipper Virat Kohli To Control The Situation And Focus On The Job Ahead

The 62-year-old, who led India to the 1983 World Cup title, urged Virat Kohli to take control of the situation and think about the country. He said that Virat Kohli speaking publicly on the captaincy issue and highlighting differences with board president Sourav Ganguly isn’t good.

“I would say board president is board president but yes, the Indian cricket team captain is also a big thing. But talking badly about each other in public, I don’t think it is a good thing, whether it is Sourav or Kohli,” added Kapil Dev, the former skipper who played 134 Tests between 1978 and 1994 and took 434 wickets along with making 5248 runs.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli (BCCI)

“You have to control the situation and it would be better to think about the country first. Whatever is wrong will be known soon but speaking publicly about the topic, I think, is wrong at this time. I would not want to see any controversy ahead of an important tour,” he elaborated.

The BCCI has not yet reacted to Virat Kohli’s comments. The superstar batter had also stated that he was informed about the end of his ODI captaincy tenure before the selection of the Test team for South Africa earlier this month. He said he could understand the reasons for that decision as the team had not won an ICC trophy under him. Virat Kohli also assured full support to new white-ball captain Rohit Sharma.

Virat Kohli quashed rumours of his alleged rift with Rohit Sharma and made it clear that he was very much available for the ODI series against South Africa in January. Team India left for South Africa from Mumbai on Thursday and will be playing 3 Tests and 3 ODIs from December 26 to January 23 in the rainbow nation. Virat Kohli will lead the Indian Test team while Rohit Sharma, if fit, will captain the ODI side from January 19.