Virat Kohli to play South Africa ODI series


With several media reports claiming that India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli will be skipping the three-match ODI series against host South Africa, an another report has now claimed that the BCCI has cleared the air on the matter and the former ODI skipper will feature in the 50-over series.

Notably, India is scheduled to tour South Africa from December 26 for a three Test series which will be followed by the ODIs.

However, with Rohit Sharma appointed the skipper of the ODIs, several reports were claiming that Kohli was unhappy with the captaincy change in the ODI format and would skip the ODI series as he didn’t wanted to play under his former deputy.

Meanwhile, few other reports also said that Kohli had decided to skip the ODI series as wanted to celebrate his daughter’s first birthday with family at home.

However, a top BCCI official has now put a full stop to all such speculations. “There is no truth in reports of Virat skipping the ODIs,” said a top BCCI official as quoted by Cricbuzz.

“He is a totally committed cricketer and there is no doubt about his participation,” he added.

Earlier, several former cricketers spoke on the matter with former India skipper Mohammed Azharuddin saying that such reports will only give rise to speculations of a rift between two senior players while Kirti Azad felt that the feud would not be healthy for India in long run.

“Virat Kohli has informed that he’s not available for the ODI series & Rohit Sharma is unavailable fr d upcoming test. There is no harm in taking a break but d timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation abt d rift. Neither will be giving up d other form of cricket,” Azharuddin had expressed on reports of Kohli skipping the ODIs.

While reacting to Azharuddin’s statement, Kirti Azad said: “If Rohit and Virat are not playing together then the team will suffer later, they will themselves suffer first. One player will replace another. No one is indispensable. Many greats have come and gone. Sunil Gavaskar, Kapil Dev, Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly.”

“So, they will suffer first if they do not play in each other’s captaincy,” he added.

Last week, Rohit was appointed as the captain of Team India for the upcoming ODI series and was also promoted to the role of the vice captain for India’s Test team.

However, Rohit was later ruled out of the Test series due to a hamstring injury and was replaced by opening batter Priyank Panchal, who was part of India A tour to the Proteas side earlier this month.

“Priyank Panchal replaces injured Rohit Sharma in India’s Test squad. Rohit sustained a left hamstring injury during his training session in Mumbai yesterday. He has been ruled out of the upcoming 3-match Test series against South Africa,” the BCCI said in a tweet.

India will play three-Test series in Centurion, Johannesburg and Cape Town on their tour while the ODIs will be held at Paarl and Cape Town. Paarl is scheduled to host the first two ODIs.

News Desk

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