India Test captain Virat Kohli has said that he will be available for selection for the upcoming three-match ODI series versus South Africa. Earlier there were rumours that the 33-year-old won’t play the ODIs due to personal reasons. Kohli skipping the ODI series also sparked speculations of his possible rift with the Board.
However, Kohli quashed all those rumours and said that he is available for selection. “I am available. Do not ask me these questions. Ask those writing these things. I am always available. A few things came out in the past as well which were also not true. People writing these, their sources are not credible,” Kohli said in a press conference.
While naming the Test squad for the South Africa tour, BCCI named Rohit Sharma as ODI captain in a shocking decision. When asked about the same, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said they didn't want two skippers in white-ball formats, adding that he personally requested Virat Kohli to not step down as T20I captain. However, the 33-year-old refuted Ganguly's claims and said no such discussion took place. “I was contacted one and a half hour before selection for Tests. The chief selector discussed with me the Test. Before the call ended I was told that the 5 selectors have decided that I won’t be ODI captain anymore. There was no prior communication about this,” Kohli said in the press conference.
Kohli revealed that he had earlier informed BCCI that he want to continue as Test and ODI captain, adding that he was fine if the selectors want to assign the duties to someone else. "I told the BCCI before giving up the T20I captaincy. I told them my point of view. The BCCI received it very well. There was no offense. It was received well, saying it’s a progresive step. I told them I will continue as ODI captain and Test captain. I told them at that point clearly that if the office bearers or the selectors don’t want me to handle either of the responsibility, I am fine with it. I said this clearly when I approached the BCCI to discuss my T20I captaincy.
Kohli also denied the rumours of rift between him and Rohit Sharma and said, “Nothing between me and Rohit. I’ve been saying this for 2.5 years and I’m, tired. Whatever I’ll do will never be to take the team downwards. There is no issue between Rohit and me.”