New Delhi. The defeat in the World Test Championship final (WTC Final) to New Zealand earlier this year proved to be a big game-changer for Team India and captain Virat Kohli. It is being told that at least two senior batsmen have reached out to BCCI Secretary Jay Shah and objected to the captaincy of Virat Kohli. Ajinkya Rahane and Cheteshwar Pujara were heavily criticized for their poor performance against New Zealand. Pujara was specifically targeted for batting. Pujara scored 8 off 54 balls in the first innings and 15 off 80 in the second, while Rahane scored 117 in the first innings and 15 off 40 in the second.
After losing the final of the World Test Championship, Virat Kohli said in the press conference, “The mindset should be to score runs and find ways to score runs. You can’t be too worried about getting out, because then you are bringing the bowler into the game completely.” He later pulled up both Pujara and Rahane when India were bundled out for 170 on the final day, with the last eight wickets falling for just 99 runs. New Zealand was given a target of 139 runs. New Zealand defeated India by eight wickets to win the first World Test Championship title.
According to the report of New Indian Express, Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane spoke to Jay Shah after Virat Kohli behaved in the dressing room. He talked to Jay Shah about Virat’s captaincy, after which the BCCI took the step. Following complaints from two senior players, the BCCI sought feedback from other players in the team and decided to act on it after the tour was over. Kohli’s decision to step down as T20 captain after the T20 World Cup later this year could be linked to this.
Even though Virat Kohli has cited workload management and focus on his batting as reasons for stepping down, the complaint in England and the issue of leaving the captaincy is believed to be linked. It is also being speculated that a decision on his ODI captaincy will also be taken after the World Cup. Virat Kohli also recently announced that he will step away from leading his IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore after the current season.
Earlier this week, a news agency had reported that Ravichandran Ashwin is also one of the senior players who are unhappy with Kohli’s attitude within the team. Ashwin, who was part of the England Test team, did not get to play a single match in the tour. The news agency had further reported that Kohli had ignored coach Ravi Shastri’s advice to pick Ashwin for the fourth Test. It is being said that even Kohli was not happy with the selectors on choosing the off-spinner for the T20 World Cup.