Virat Kohli reveals he was informed of ODI captaincy sacking 90 minutes before selection meeting

Former India ODI skipper Virat Kohli held a press conference today addressing questions related to his availability during the ODI leg of the South Africa tour, while also revealing the manner in which he was informed about his removal from ODI captaincy.

Over the last few days, speculations and rumours had been rife over the going-ons in the India team setup. This wasn’t helped by the manner in which Virat’s removal as the ODI skipper was announced, and reports that he would miss the ODI series that follow the Tests. On December 15, Virat sat down in a pre-departure press conference ahead of the South Africa tour and answered all the queries with respect to his availability, the rumours surrounding the supposed rift with his Test vice-captain, and the South Africa tour in general.

He also discussed the manner in which he was removed from the ODI captaincy.

When asked about a ‘clear picture’ of the communication that the board or the chairman of selectors had given him regarding this, Kohli said, “Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate. I was contacted one and a half hours before the selection meeting on the 8th [of December] for the Test series and there was no prior communication with me at all since I announced the T20I captaincy decision up until 8th Dec when, as I said, I got a call one and a half hours before the selection meeting.

“The chief selector discussed with me the Test team to which we both agreed ..and before ending the call I was told that the five selectors had decided that I would not be the ODI captain, to which I replied: ‘Ok, fine.’ In the selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly.”

He added, “There was no communication prior to that at all.”

The Delhi batter had captained India in 95 ODIs, having won 65 of them, with 27 losses to his name.

Responding to another question on the decision, and whether he was told about the reason behind his removal by the BCCI, Kohli said: “Obviously we didn’t win an ICC trophy…I can understand the reason, and for me, there’s no debate over whether the decision was the correct one or not. BCCI’s decision was taken from a logical point of view which is completely understandable. I have already told you about the events [leading up to it], and how it was communicated.”