“Tired” of quelling never-ending speculation about a rift with Rohit Sharma, India’s Test skipper Virat Kohli on Wednesday described his white-ball successor as an “able and tactically sound” captain, who will have his complete backing as a senior player.
Kohli, who was removed by the BCCI from ODI captaincy, made it clear that he was never spoken to about being replaced till chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma intimated him 90 minutes before the scheduled team selection meeting for the South Africa tour.
Asked how he sees his role under Rohit Sharma’s captaincy, Kohli said: “My responsibility is obviously to push the team in the right direction, something that I’ve always looked to do even before I became captain, so that mindset has never changed and it will never change.
“But Rohit is a very able captain and tactically very sound. We’ve seen that in the games that he has captained for India and in the IPL as well. So is (Rahul) Dravid bhai, who’s a very, very balanced coach, great man manager.
“Both of them will have my absolute support and my contribution in whatever vision they set for the team and I will be there to support that 100 per cent and continue to be a guy who can push the team in the right direction going forward from here,” Kohli added in a press conference ahead of the team’s departure to South Africa.
When asked about the conjectures that all is not well between him and Rohit, the Test skipper said that he is tired of clarifying.
“I’ve clarified previously also – I’m tired of clarifying because it’s asked repeatedly,” he said.
“I can say with guarantee that any action of mine, any communication, won’t be to put the team down till I play cricket. That’s my commitment to Indian cricket.”
He then added that he understood why BCCI took a decision to remove him.
“I can understand why – the reason, we haven’t won an ICC tournament,” he said.
“Whether the decision they took is right or wrong, there’s no debate. It’s a logical decision which I understand. The events that transpired and the way I was communicated, I’ve told you.”
For him, he had led the side with utmost honesty.
“About captaincy, one thing I can say is, I’ve been honest to the responsibility and done it to the best of my ability. That’s my assessment of my limited-overs captaincy.
“The batting, when you know you’ve been doing well at the international level, you know how to perform. Those things won’t go away from you. It’s about understanding your roles.