Virat Kohli’s decision to relinquish the 20-overs captaincy resulted in him being removed as India’s one-day skipper as selectors did not want to have two different white-ball captains, Board of Cricket Control of India (BCCI) chief Sourav Ganguly said.
Opener Rohit Sharma took over as one-day captain on Wednesday, a month after succeeding Kohli as T20 skipper following their disappointing World Cup campaign.
The board, which rarely explains even routine decisions, did not even mention Kohli by name in conveying the leadership change in a single sentence at the bottom of a press release announcing the Test squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa.
“The board and selectors had asked Virat to rethink his decision to quit T20 captaincy. He had declined the suggestion at the time,” former captain Ganguly told Friday’s Times of India newspaper.
“The selectors were uncomfortable with the idea of having two captains for white-ball cricket.” India reached the semi-finals of the 50-overs World Cup in 2019 under Kohli but exited from the group stage at this year’s Twenty20 World Cup.
While happy to play under Rohit in the Twenty20 World Cup in Australia next year, Kohli, who remains the Test captain, was keen to lead India in the 50-overs showpiece on home soil in 2023.
“He has done well even as an ODI captain. But it was not going to be easy to have two captains in white-ball cricket with two World Cups in two years,” Ganguly said.
“The selectors felt the team needed one vision and varied styles of captaincy could disrupt the planning,” Ganguly said, adding that he and chief selector Chetan Sharma spoke to Kohli before making the change.
“We explained the vision to him. He understood the situation and it was only then that Rohit was named the captain of the ODI team.”