Rumours of differences between the two leading cricketers have been doing the rounds ever since Kohli was removed as the ODI skipper and the job was handed to Rohit by the BCCI last week. This happened after Kohli decided to step down as skipper of the T20I side post the ICC T20 World Cup last month and Rohit took over.
Rohit then suffered a hamstring injury on Sunday and was ruled out of the South Africa Test series, in which Kohli will be leading the Indian team. Then came the rumours of Kohli possibly skipping the SA ODIs due to his daughter’s first birthday, but nothing has been confirmed by the Indian cricket board or the player himself.
Former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin however, added fuel to fire by questioning the timing of Kohli’s pullout, even though nothing has been communicated to the BCCI yet.
“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 takin a break but d timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation abt d rift. Neither wil be giving up d other form of cricket,” Azhar tweeted.
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 takin a break but d timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation abt d rift. Neither wil be giving up d other form of cricket.
— Mohammed Azharuddin (@azharflicks) December 14, 2021
Azhar’s tweet hinted that there is indeed a rift between the two India stalwarts but Gavaskar is not convinced.
IS THERE ANYTHING SIMMERING AT ALL? ASKS GAVASKAR
The ex-captain said “people should not jump to conclusions” in this matter and that Azharuddin should reveal the complete truth if he does have any inside information about the relationship between Kohli and Rohit.
“The question is, ‘is there anything simmering at all (between Kohli and Rohit)?’
“Unless both the players come out with something, we should not jump to conclusions. Yes, Azharuddin has said something but if he has got some inside information about what has happened then he should be coming out and telling us what happened.
“Till then, I will give the benefit of the doubt to both the players. Because both have served Indian cricket brilliantly and I don’t think it is fair at all for any one of us, without having exact information, to be pointing fingers at either of them,” Gavaskar told India Today.
‘Virat Kohli to address press conference tomorrow’ : Vikrant Gupta (@vikrantgupta73), India Today Editor
— IndiaToday (@IndiaToday) December 14, 2021
Notably, Rohit and Kohli have not played with each other since India’s exit from the ICC T20 World Cup in the UAE in early November.
Kohli was rested from the home T20Is against New Zealand, in which Rohit led India to a 3-0 whitewash. And then Rohit was rested from the Tests in which Rahane led India to a thrilling draw in the series-opener before Kohli returned from his break to lead the hosts to a 362-run win to clinch the series.
Team India will now tour South Africa for a series of 3 Tests from December 26 and 3 ODIs from January 19, while the 4 T20 internationals will be played at a later date.