The legendary Sunil Gavaskar feels Sourav Ganguly is the best person to clear the air on Virat Kohli’s contradictory statement on the issue of captaincy, saying the BCCI president “surely should be asked” how the difference in perception arose.
Days after Kohli quit T20I captaincy, Ganguly said that the BCCI had asked the superstar batter to reconsider his decision. Kohli had, however, contradicted Ganguly’s statement during his explosive press conference on Wednesday ahead of departure for the South Africa Test series.
— BCCI (@BCCI) December 15, 2021
“I think it (Kohli’s comment) actually doesn’t bring the BCCI into the picture. I think it’s the individual who has to be asked where he got the impression he had conveyed such a message to Kohli. So, that’s the only thing,” Gavaskar told ‘India Today’.
“Yes, he (Ganguly) is the BCCI president and surely he should be asked why there is this discrepancy. He is probably the best person to ask about the discrepancy in what you seem to have to say and what the Indian captain has said,” he added.
Kohli’s comments had exposed the simmering tension between him and the BCCI officials after he was removed as ODI skipper as well earlier this month.
Kohli had said that his removal from ODI captaincy happened 90 minutes before the team’s selection for the South Africa tour but Gavaskar felt there was nothing wrong on the part of selection committee chairman Chetan Sharma on that count.
“What is the controversy here. As long as the chairman of selectors had told him clearly that we are not considering you for ODI captaincy now, that’s perfectly fine. It is the selectors who have complete authority is selection committee meetings. The captain is just a co-opted non-voting member,” Gavaskar said.
“As long as it’s not something that he (Kohli) has not found out from the media or as it happened in the past that the commander of a passenger flight announced it. I think he has been told by the chairman of the selection committee that he is not going to be the captain, I think that is absolutely okay.
“I don’t know what these people wanted to do. As long as there has been communication between the chairman of selection committee and him, it’s the decent thing to do,” he added.
All eyes on aftermath
Virat Kohli has for the first time made his displeasure known at the way in which the change in captaincy has been handled by the BCCI and selectors. His remarks come at a time when the team is embarking on a tough tour to South Africa. All eyes will now be on how the Test captain’s comments impact the mood and spirit inside the dressing room.
Gavaskar pointed out that it is time the BCCI starts clear channels of communication to avoid any such fiasco in future.
“Yes, it always helps to have a clear line of communication so that there is no speculation. So from now, from what has happened, there should be a clear line of communication and the chairman of the selection committee can come down and say why he has been picked and why he has not been picked.
“Sometimes, even if that is not needed, a press release is also good enough. A good press release giving all the reasons makes life a lot easier,” the former captain said.