Virat Kohli’s fate as ODI skipper to be decided as squad for South Africa tour set to be named this week

Virat Kohli’s fate as ODI skipper to be decided as squad for South Africa tour set to be named this week

India's tour of South Africa, as of now, is scheduled to get underway on December 17 with the three-match Test series.

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo by AAMIR QURESHI/AFP via Getty Images)

Virat Kohli’s fortunes as Team India’s ODI skipper hangs pretty much in the balance as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is set to name the squad for the upcoming tour of South Africa. The 33-year-old Kohli has performed well in bilateral tournaments, but have strained a bit in tournaments, organised by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

Recently, the veteran batter stepped down as the captain of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Team India’s T20I team. Kohli’s run as the skipper of the T20I side didn’t end on an auspicious note as the Men in Blue crashed out of the T20 World Cup 2021 before the semis. Kohli also didn’t lead in India’s opening Test against New Zealand, but is set to play the Mumbai Test.

For the upcoming series, the Chetan Sharma-led selection panel was set to meet after India’s Kanpur Test against the Black Caps. However, the emergence of the Omicron variant of COVID-19 led to its delay. Earlier, it was learned that the BCCI was waiting for a green signal from the government for the tour.

The players, who aren’t a part of the series against the Kiwis, were asked to go into quarantine in Mumbai. Now as per reports, the Indian board would name the squads irrespective of whether the tour gets underway or not.

BCCI to keep squad ‘selected and ready’

“The Indian squad will be announced in the next few days’ time. We will have everything ready from our end and then wait for the government’s nod. If the government tell us to abort the trip, then we would, but we need to keep the squad selected and ready,” a senior BCCI official was quoted as saying in The Times of India on Wednesday, December 1.

There’s also a possibility of the three-match Test series being curtailed to two games in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. As of now, Johannesburg, Centurion and Cape Town are the hosts for the red-ball matches.

“We will know in a few days’ time if the series would become a two-Test affair rather than three but there have been some back-and-forth discussions,” a local commentator told on air on YouTube during India A’s match against South Africa A in Bloemfontein.