Reports of strife among Team India players continue to grow as now the latest news indicates that senior Test batters Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane are unhappy with skipper Virat Kohli’s captaincy following the loss in the World Test Championship final against New Zealand in June.
India lost the inaugural WTC final to the Kiwis by 8 wickets. While no Indian batsmen managed a fifty in the game, Rahane and Pujara were the two receiving heavy criticism.
According to a recent report in the New Indian Express, both the senior batsmen were “pulled up by Kohli in the dressing room”. Pujara scored 8 off 54 balls in the first innings and managed only 15 runs off 80 balls in the second while Rahane fared better scoring 49 in the first and added 15 off 40 balls in the second.
After the match, Virat Kohli expressed dissatisfaction at the intent with which the two had batted.
“If you don’t put their bowlers under pressure then they have the fitness and the consistency to bowl long spells and keep bowling all day in the same areas and trouble you, and the more momentum you give them, then invariably they get the breakthroughs they want. The mindset has to be to score runs and find ways to score runs. You can’t be too worried about getting out because you are [then] bringing the bowler into the game completely,” Virat Kohli had said at the end of WTC final.
Cheteshwar Pujara and Ajinkya Rahane called Jay Shah to discuss Virat Kohli’s captaincy after WTC Final loss
Now, it has been reported that Pujara and Rahane, after the WTC final, had approached the BCCI Secretary, Jay Shah, to discuss about Virat Kohli’s captaincy, particularly off the field.
“While the team took a two-week break after the WTC final, it is reliably learnt that the two batsmen dialled the secretary personally, following which the BCCI seems to have stepped in,” the reports in New Indian Express added.
After returning from England, Virat Kohli announced that he will be stepping down from the role of India’s T20I captain after the conclusion of the T20 World Cup. It is believed that his ODI captaincy is also not assured.
“It is understood that only after these phone calls did the BCCI seek feedback from a few other players and decided to act at the end of the tour. While Kohli attributed workload management as a reason to step aside as T20 captain, it is learnt that the BCCI will now decide on his 50-over captaincy after the end of the World Cup,” the report added.
Virat Kohli has also confirmed that this will be his last IPL season as captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore. For both the decisions, he has cited workload management as the reason.