The inside story on why Rohit replaced Kohli as India’s white-ball captain.


It was just a line at the end of the press release announcing the Test squad for the South Africa tour. The BCCI, on Wednesday, underplayed Virat Kohli’s sacking as India’s ODI captain and the handing over the overall white-ball charge to Rohit Sharma. The Test opener will now lead both T20I and ODI sides.

A senior BCCI official informed that the decision was in the works for a while but it was the selectors who took the final call. “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.

Unlike the T20I captaincy change, where the announcement came from Kohli, citing his workload, the ODI leadership switch is seen as a BCCI decision. Three months ago, while relinquishing T20I captaincy, Kohli had expressed his desire to lead India in Tests and ODIs, going ahead. “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.

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