Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin’s claim of alleged rift between Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli has caused a massive uproar in the country’s cricketing circle ahead of the crucial South Africa tour.
If reports are to be believed, all is not well between the two senior pros, right from the day the Indian cricket board decided to separate the leadership roles in white-ball and red-ball cricket.
Now, the latest development of Rohit missing the three Tests in South Africa due to a hamstring injury and Kohli’s reported plan to skip the three ODIs due to personal reasons, has put Indian cricket in a turmoil kind of situation.
And now Azharuddin’s tweets, in which he said the timing of breaks of the two stalwarts of Indian cricket could have been better, adding fuel to fire.
“Virat Kohli has informed that he’s not available for the ODI series and Rohit Sharma is unavailable for the upcoming Tests. There is no harm in taking a break, but the timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation about the rift. Neither will be giving up other forms of cricket,” Azhar tweeted on Tuesday.
The reports of rift between Kohli and Sharma, two giants of the game in the country, isn’t new but there hasn’t been a massive public uproar, especially on social media.
Things started becoming ugly between the fans of the two star cricketers on social media after the BCCI separated the leadership roles in white-ball and red-ball cricket.
With Kohli stepping down as T20I captain, the board was unwilling to have two different captains in the limited-over formats. And when BCCI tweeted to say Rohit Sharma has been named captain of India’s ODI and T20I sides going forward, it came as a shocker for Kohli fans.
Notably, just a few weeks back, Kohli had asserted his wish to stay on as skipper in the longer formats and here, it was being taken away from him in a terse, one-line tweet.
Later, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly said the board had requested Kohli to stay on as T20I captain, and that the selectors were not in favour of splitting the captaincy in the shortest format. It was understood thereafter that losing the ODI captaincy then was a foregone conclusion for Kohli.
Meanwhile, former India cricketer Kirti Azad feels that as a responsible administrator of a cricket association, Azhar shouldn’t have made such comments publicly.
“Being a state cricket board president, he should not have spoken about it. If he has no substantial evidence, why is he making such statements? Either he knows everything, or he has no idea about what is going on,” Kirti Azad told IANS.