Kohli to play ODI series in SA


India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, 'I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA'
India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

India Tour of South Africa: Kohli to play ODIs in SA – Virat Kohli has finally cleared the air on playing under Rohit Sharma, saying that he never informed BCCI that he will unavailable for ODI series in South Africa. BCCI Treasurer Arun Dhumal on record said Virat had asked for a break in January due to personal reasons. Follow India vs South Africa Test series Live Updates on InsideSport.IN.  

“I am available for selection. I had no communication with BCCI regarding selection. Whatever has happened is absolutely untrue,” Virat Kohli said in a virtual press conference on Wednesday.  

India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

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Arun Dhumal told Times Now that Kohli wanted a break in January. 

“To my understanding, before any decision was taken with regards to captaincy, it was decided that he (Kohli) will be going (to South Africa) for the Test matches only, not for the ODIs. He was wanting it that way because he needed a break,” Dhumal added.

Virat Kohli’s words were bombshell on its own. Multiple reports and sources in the BCCI claimed that he opted out of the ODI series as he wanted to take a break to spend some time with his family. But on Wednesday, he dismissed all the rumours and reports. 

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India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

As the selectors will pick the team for three-match ODIs likely on December 26, Virat Kohli is certain to play barring any late injuries. Furthermore, if Rohit Sharma recovers from his injury, he will lead the side. Otherwise, the selection committee may have to pick a new captain as they are unlikely to go back to Virat Kohli. 

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India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

Virat Kohli Press Conference Excerpts:

No Warm-up matches in South Africa:

We have to depend on match simulations and net practice. Batting first will be challenging with the pace and bounce. With swing, it could be challenging. So, we will be doing that in match simulations. All of that will help. 

Playing ODIs in SA:

I am available for selection. I had no communication with BCCI regarding selection. Whatever has happened is absolutely untrue. 

ODI Captaincy:

There was no prior communication apart from on 8th December 1 and half hours before the selection meeting. Before ending the call, I was told that selectors have decided I would not be ODI captain. I said, Okay, fine.

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India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

Missing Rohit Sharma

It will be a big miss. He has done well in England and the opening partnership really helped. But it is a good opportunity for KL and Mayank to step up. 

Mental strength 

Nothing can derail me from being motivated to play for India. A lot of things have happened outside and they are not ideal. But we have to keep things in the right perspective. I am very excited to go and play in South Africa. 

Giving up captaincy

I don’t know whether it will have a positive impact on my batting. I have taken a lot of pride to play as a captain. What I can say is my intensity as a player will not drop. I have done it to the best of my possibilities. It will be about learning about the situation. 

India Tour of South Africa: Virat Kohli declares, ‘I am available for selection, no problem playing under Rohit Sharma in SA’

Captain of ODI till 2023

I informed BCCI about leaving T20I captaincy. It was well-received. I was never told that I should not leave the T20I captaincy. They took it as progressive thought. I gave them the option if they don’t want me to continue as ODI captain I will quit.   

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South Africa tour

South Africa was really the start for believing that we could do it overseas. We could have won in South Africa but we left it too late in certain situations. 

Role as player in white ball format

I will help in every way I can. Rohit is a very able captain and is tactically sound. Along with Rahul bhai, who is a great man-manager, I will be there to support them in every way I can. 

Rift with Rohit

As I have said several times, we two have no problems. I am tired of explaining this every time. No communication of mine will be towards taking Indian cricket down. 

Reasons for removing him from captaincy

Not winning ICC events was probably one. 



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