Handing over the reins of captaincy has never been a peaceful affair in cricket. Rohit Sharma’s appointment as the captain of the Indian Cricket team also met a similar fate as it required a stern Virat Kohli to be thrown out from the post.
BCCI made a casual announcement of shacking Kohli
Although expected, the Indian cricket team’s selectors made a shocking announcement on 8th December 2021. While declaring the Indian team for their upcoming tour of South Africa, selectors officially announced the dethroning of Virat Kohli from the captaincy of the Indian limited-overs team. With the announcement, Kohli’s rule is now limited to only Test Cricket.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 8, 2021
Saurav Ganguly-led BCCI did not make any bones about replacing Kohli with Rohit. In a simple tweet, it wrote, “The All-India Senior Selection Committee also decided to name Mr. Rohit Sharma as the Captain of the ODI & T20I teams going forward.”
Kohli did not want to leave captaincy
The casual sacking of Virat Kohli indicates that the firebrand Delhi boy was not taken into confidence while making the decision. It must have been because Kohli had been reluctant to quit ODI captaincy. Recently, Virat had decided to shed his responsibility of being a captain of the Indian T20 team. However, he had expressed his wish to continue playing the longer forms of the game as a captain. Admittedly, he also desired to captain India till the end of the 2023 world cup.
Kohli was sacked in spite of having an above-average record
Kohli’s record as a captain of the Indian ODI squad has been splendid, especially in the bilateral series. He took over the leadership from MS Dhoni in 2017. Up until the 2019 world cup, the last international tournament of MS Dhoni, Kohli was widely believed to be having handed over on-field captainship to Dhoni. In fact, he had issued statements saying that Dhoni will always be his captain.
Overall, a blend of Dhoni and Kohli leadership accumulated a total of 51 wins for India out of 78 matches in which Kohli ‘officially’ played as a captain. Under Kohli, India lost the final of the 2017 champions’ trophy and semi-final of the 2019 world cup.
Controversies and left-wing styled activism cost Kohli his job
Though Kohli performed above average as a captain in bilateral series, his controversies and activism cost him much desired traction from the Indian public. He has been heavily criticized for keeping in-form Ashwin out of the team in limited-overs as well as test team. Similarly, except for Kohli, Rohit, and Bumrah, no player felt secured for his place in the team under Kohli’s captaincy. Loose charactered players like Hardik Pandya were dominant names in Kohli’s XI.
Off the field, Kohli has been one of the most media-savvy and controversial figures in the country. His over activism on Hindu festivals and other issues have let him down. His dwindling form, along with his politically correct and pseudo-moralistic stances on social issues put a huge black dent in his public persona.
Ganguly and Dravid have sent a clear message to future generations
After Saurav Ganguly took charge of Indian cricket, he roped in Rahul Dravid to change the team’s environment and culture. From then on, they have replaced the legacy of Kohli and Shastri and have brought in some massive changes which obviously don’t bode well for Kohli.
The unceremonious sacking of Kohli by BCCI is a clear indication of signs to come. Though Rohit is 2-years older than Kohli and a tad less fit from him, he was still preferred for the future. This is a strong message to future generations that they should never consider themselves over team interests.