The BCCI named Rohit Sharma as the new ODI captain as it announced the Indian squad for the Test series against South Africa. His first assignment as a full-time ODI skipper will be the upcoming series against South Africa. Making a few other changes, Rohit was elevated as the Test vice-captain along with being named as the ODI captain. Kohli will continue to lead the side in Test cricket.
While Virat Kohli had voluntarily quit T20I captaincy a few weeks ago, there are speculations of him being ‘sacked’ as ODI skipper. An Indian Express report further valodates the move by BCCI after Virat Kohli’s poor run as skipper in the recently concluded T20 World Cup in the UAE.
“The BCCI wanted absolute clarity between red-ball and white-ball cricket. The BCCI wanted a complete (leadership) separation between the longest format and shorter formats to avoid any confusion. In the end, it was left to the selectors to take a call. They decided to appoint Rohit as new ODI captain,” a BCCI insider told The Indian Express.
The decision to remove Virat Kohli from ODI captaincy seems to be one taken by the BCCI unlike the decision in his T20I captaincy. While giving up on T20I captaincy, he spoke about his workload management and his wish to focus on his batting which is why he considered giving up on T20I captaincy.
“Understanding workload is a very important thing and considering my immense workload over the last 8-9 years playing all 3 formats and captaining regularly for last 5-6 years, I feel I need to give myself space to be fully ready to lead the Indian team in Test and ODI cricket,” he wrote on Instagram on September 16.
I feel I need to give myself space: Virat Kohli
However, India’s early exit from the T20 World Cup and Kohli’s failure to win an ICC title might have triggered the BCCI to relieve him from ODI captaincy as well. Apparently, the BCCI decided to announce Rohit as the ODI skipper while announcing the squad for the South Africa Test series.
“The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward.”
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 8, 2021
Further reports also say that Kohli was not informed about the same beforehand. Kohli while giving up on his T20I captaincy spoke about talking to coach Ravi Shastri, BCCI President Sourav Ganguly and Rohit Sharma about it in the statement that he gave.
With the 50-over T20 World Cup in 20223, Kohli was not keen on giving up his ODI captaincy as yet. Many thought that he challenged the BCCI to remove him as the ODI captain and remove they did.
Relieved from the pressure of captaincy, one believes that he can now focus entirely on his batting and play his part in helping India win the upcoming ICC events in the white-ball formats of the game.