In the past year, one topic that has shifted the Indian side’s focus from the cricket field to the outside noise has been the leadership debate.
Virat Kohli stepped down as the T20I skipper following a humiliating exit from the 2021 World Cup. Meanwhile, BCCI sacked him as the ODI captain, which caused a stir on the net, and an upset Kohli stepped down as the Test captain.
Rohit Sharma soon replaced Kohli as the all-format captain, but his recent breaks and failure to fetch trophies have forced the board to look at other contenders to lead the team.
It is not the first time that it has happened to the team. Former fielding coach R Sridhar, in his new book, Coaching Beyond- My days with the Indian cricket team, wrote an anecdote where an impatient Virat Kohli was eager to have the white-ball captaincy and was disrespectful towards MS Dhoni.
MSD, India’s most successful captain in terms of trophies, retired from red-ball cricket in 2014, following which Kohli took the command. However, the captain cool continued to lead the team in ODIs till 2017, which made Kohli impatient, as he was eager to captain India in the limited format also.
“In 2016, Kohli was very eager to lead India in white-ball cricket. He said a few things which reflected his eagerness.”
Sridhar then added that Ravi Shastri, then head coach, had to step in and advise Virat.
“He called Kohli and said that he needs to respect MS Dhoni. Dhoni gave him the captaincy in Tests and will do the same in white-ball formats when the time is right. If you do not respect him, tomorrow, when you become the captain, you will not get respect from your team. Do not run behind the captaincy.”