Virat Kohli will address the media on eve of his 100th Test, no reason why he didn't so far: Rahul Dravid

Virat Kohli will address the media on eve of his 100th Test, no reason why he didn’t so far: Rahul Dravid

Kohli’s last press interaction was the pre-departure conference in Mumbai when he contradicted the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s statements.

Virat Kohli speaking
Virat Kohli speaking. (Photo Source: ICC)

Virat Kohli will address the media ahead of the Cape Town Test, set to be his 100th, head coach Rahul Dravid has confirmed. Dravid clarified there is “no specific reason” why the Indian Test skipper has not attended a press conference in the series hitherto, adding that these are decisions taken by the media manager of the team and not the coach or player(s).

“There is no specific reason for that [not addressing the media]. I don’t decide this but I am told he will be speaking on eve of his 100th Test. Then you can ask all the questions on his 100th Test,” Dravid said on the eve of the Johannesburg Test, starting January 3, in a virtual meeting.

Kohli’s last press interaction was the pre-departure conference in Mumbai when he contradicted the BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s statements regarding the board having asked him to reconsider the decision of relinquishing T20I captaincy, adding that instead his call was “received well” and termed as “progressive”.

“I was contacted one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting on December 8 for the Test series,” Kohli had said then. “There was no prior communication to me at all from when I announced the T20I captaincy decision until 8th December where, as I said, I got a call one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting.

“The chief selector [Chetan Sharma] discussed with me the Test team to which we both agreed, and before ending the call I was told that the five selectors have decided that I will not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, ‘okay, fine’. And in the selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly. And that’s what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all.”

BCCI, selectors, Kohli, and the war of words

Kohli’s comments were in stark contrast to those of Ganguly’s, who told that the board had requested him to continue as the T20I skipper but respected Kohli’s choice of not continuing further. On Rohit Sharma’s naming as the ODI skipper, which the BCCI had announced with a terse tweet while naming the South Africa Test squad, Ganguly termed the decision as one taken together by the selectors and the BCCI in a bid to avoid “too much leadership” in India’s white-ball setup.

“We had requested Virat not to step down as T20 captain but he didn’t want to continue as captain,” Ganguly told reporters in early December. “So, the selectors felt that they cannot have two white-ball captains in two white-ball formats. That’s too much of leadership.”

Echoing similar sentiments, lead selector Chetan Sharma, while announcing the 18-member squad for South Africa ODIs on December 31, stated that every member present in the meeting had indeed asked Kohli to reconsider, given the T20 World Cup was imminent.

“When the meeting started, it [Kohli’s decision] was a surprise for everybody,” Chetan said. “Because the World Cup is upon you and you hear this news, what will be the reaction of a normal person? Everyone who was present in the meeting asked him to reconsider, to rethink; ‘we can talk about this after the World Cup’. All the selectors felt this could affect the performance in the World Cup. It was told to Virat for the sake of Indian cricket to please continue as captain.

“But he has his plans. We have to respect his decision. If someone has taken a decision, and he said in the media also, that he was thinking from the time of WTC [final], but at that time everybody told him to think about it.”