No move to replace Kohli as India's captain

Virat Kohli will continue to captain India in all three formats, a top Indian cricket board (BCCI) official said on Tuesday, after speculation arose that the batting great could be replaced as skipper for limited-overs games.

Kohli's recent sketchy form with the bat has led to reports that changes could be made after the T20 World Cup, which begins next month in the United Arab Emirates.

But Kohli received a vote of confidence from BCCI secretary Jay Shah.

"There is no such proposal (to replace Kohli) and the team is led by Virat and we are backing him," Shah told Cricbuzz website. "We are sensitive to the fact that such a proposal is not in the interest of the Indian team when it will take part in a World Cup."

Indian media have reported that opening batsman Rohit Sharma could take over as Twenty20 and 50-over captain and that the change had been discussed by the BCCI.

"As long as a team is performing, the question of change in captaincy doesn't arise," Shah was reported as saying by the Indian Express newspaper.

BCCI vice-president Rajeev Shukla also clarified that nothing has been discussed on the idea of split captaincy.

Kohli led India to a landmark Test series win in Australia in January and they were leading 2-1 in England when the fifth and final Test was controversially cancelled last week because of a Covid-19 outbreak in the Indian camp.

India have not lost a Twenty20 series under Kohli, but they have failed to win either the 50-over Champions Trophy, World Cup or T20 World Cup since he became limited-overs captain in 2017.

Kohli is also yet to win the Indian Premier League (IPL) as captain.

Rohit, on the other hand, has proven his leadership skills more than once. He has led Mumbai Indians to five IPL titles - in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 - and his record while leading India is equally impressive.

In 10 one-day matches with Rohit as captain, India have won eight and secured the 2018 Asia Cup title, a tournament in which Kohli was rested. In T20Is, Rohit has led India in 19 matches, of which the team has won 15, including the Nidahas Trophy title victory in March 2018.

Shah also confirmed that India have offered to play two extra T20 matches in England next July in place of last week's cancelled Manchester Test. The England board suffered huge financial losses from the refusal of Indian players to take part because of Covid-19 fears.

"Instead of three T20Is, we will play five T20Is. Alternately, we will be willing to play a one-off Test as well. It is up to them to choose either of the offers," said Shah.

India pulled out of the final Test at Old Trafford last week after head coach Ravi Shastri and other support staff contracted Covid-19 and had to be isolated.

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Monday that India are willing to reschedule the final Test as part of next year's series.

AFP

 
 
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