Following the ICC World Cup 2019, reports of a rift between Indian captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma became a hot topic of discussion among cricket experts and fans. It was reported that all wasn’t well in the Indian dressing room and also that Rohit had unfollowed Kohli on Instagram. Reacting to those reports, Indian head coach Ravi Shastri, who was recently given a 3-year extension till 2021 T20 World Cup, once again broke his silence on the matter.
Shastri, who is known to share a good bond with several Indian players, opined that the reports were nothing but absolute nonsense as if they were true, how would the two players do well for the Men in Blue in the showpiece event?
“Listen, I have been around the dressing room for the last five years. I have seen how the boys have played and how they have complemented the team and know their work ethics. I feel it is absolute nonsense. I have been there with them and I know the way they play. If that was the case why would Rohit get five hundreds in the World Cup? Why would Virat do what he is doing? How would they have partnerships together,” Shastri said in an interview.
Shastri further added that with 15 members in a squad, there would always be a difference in opinions. “In a side when you have 15 players there will always be times when there will be opinions that will be different. That is what is needed. I don’t want everyone toeing the same line. You have got to have discussions and someone might then think of a fresh strategy which has to be encouraged. So you have to give the guys the opportunity to express themselves and then decide what is best,” he further added.
Rohit had a brilliant run in the World Cup 2019 – where he became the first batsman in the world to score five tons in a single edition of cricket’s biggest extravaganza. Kohli and Rohit were also involved in numerous valuable partnerships and the two champions batsmen didn’t let any sort of off-field discussion affect their on-field performances.
Before leaving for the Windies tour, even Kohli was asked about the same at a press conference to which the captain replied, “In my opinion, its baffling. It’s absolutely ridiculous to read these kind of stuff, that comes out there. I have been to public events where we have been praised and here we are feeding off lies, overlooking facts, turning a blind eye to all good things that happened and creating fantasies and scenarios in our head. We want to accept that this is the truth.”
Kohli and his men registered a clean sweep against the West Indies away from home in a month-long tour. India’s next assignment is a full-fledged series against South Africa – which will kick off with a T20I series beginning from September 15.