Virat Kohli Set to Skip South Africa ODI Series: Report

Virat Kohli has reportedly opted out of India’s three-match ODI series against South Africa which is scheduled to be held in January next year, as he plans to take a short break for personal reasons. Kohli was recently replaced by Rohit Sharma as the captain of the India ODI team nearly a couple of months after he announced his decision to give up T20I leadership role.

According to a report in The Times of India, Kohli has already informed BCCI of his plans to spend time with his family as the ODI series in South Africa falls at the same time as the birthday of his daughter.

This news comes a day after BCCI revealed that Rohit has been ruled out of the South Africa Test series due to a hamstring issue. However, the newly appointed Test vice-captain is expected to be fit for the ODIs.

The development regarding Kohli skipping ODIs may give rise to speculations that all is not well in the Indian dressing room. In the past, there have been reports of Kohli and Rohit not being on friendly terms.

“Over the years, the Indian dressing room has been fraught with egos. Be it Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar, Mohammed Azharuddin and Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag or Gautam Gambhir. But that doesn’t mean that it has boiled over to what they go and do out there on the field. They’re professionals and are required to behave in a certain fashion at all times,” TOI quoted a source tracking the development as saying.

BCCI, in a media release announcing the Test squad for the South Africa tour, had informed of its decision to hand over the white-ball captaincy to Rohit.

Earlier this year, Kohli had announced he will quite T20I captaincy post T20 World Cup in UAE where India exited from the group stage.

Speaking to News18, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly had said he personally spoke to Kohli about not giving up T20I captaincy.  However, the board wasn’t in the favour of split captaincy in white-ball cricket and therefore decided to hand over the captaincy duties in limited-overs to Rohit.

“It’s like I said… I personally requested him (Kohli) not to give up the T20I captaincy. Obviously, he felt the workload. Which is fine, he has been a great cricketer, he has been very intense with his cricket. He has captained for a long period of time and these things happen. Because I have captained for a long period of time; therefore, I know. Also, they wanted only one white-ball captain. And that’s why this decision. I don’t know what’s going to happen in future. But as I said, it’s a good team and it has some fantastic players and I hope they will turn it around,” Ganguly said.

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