Following Virat Kohli's explosive press conference, the under-fire BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that the board will deal with it and there was no need to address the issue in a separate presser.
It was speculated that the Chetan Sharma-led selection committee would hold a press conference following Kohli's comments, but it looks as though that will not be the case. "No statements, no press conference. We will deal with it, leave it to (the) BCCI," Ganguly told the media on Thursday (December 16).
Kohli's comments on Wednesday (December 15) clearly brought out the fact that he and the board were not on the same page. "Whatever was said about the communication that happened about the decision that was made was inaccurate," Kohli had said with obvious reference to Ganguly's statement.
"When I left the T20 captaincy, I had first approached BCCI and intimated them of my decision and laid down my point of view in front of them (office bearers).
"I gave the reasons why I wanted to quit T20 captaincy and my viewpoint was received very nicely. There was no offence, no hesitation and not for once was I told that 'you should not leave T20 captaincy'," he had asserted.
Ganguly-Shah hold meeting
It is reliably learnt that the senior BCCI office-bearers, including Ganguly, secretary Jay Shah were engaged in a zoom call on Wednesday (December 15) where a collective decision was taken that none would do a press conference or issue a press release.
"Expert opinion was taken on how to deal with the sensitive matter as it also involves the respect of a president's office. The BCCI knows that a Test series is round the corner and any hasty decision or statement from them could affect the morale of the team," a senior BCCI source told PTI on conditions of anonymity.
The best way is for both the captain and the president to sit across the table and amicably sort out the difference of opinion or miscommunication where statements perhaps have been lost in translation.
However, as of now, neither Ganguly nor Shah might speak to the captain. Normally, a centrally-contracted player is not supposed to make any critical comments about the establishment or office-bearers.
But whether Kohli's clarification on what transpired, in response to a question, rather than making a statement would amount to breaking the protocol is also a question. So there are no easy solutions to this problem. The Indian captain, a veteran at handling media for more than 13 years now, knew exactly what was coming his way and he was prepared.
Like a master batter, who can dictate terms to the bowlers, Kohli was in charge at a press meet that the board had organised and in a very articulate manner put forth his views on three issues.
Firstly, rubbishing the rumours about his non-participation in the three ODIs, secondly, inform the world how he was told about his removal as ODI captain 90 minutes before a team selection meeting and lastly, contradicting Ganguly on whether he was sked to stay on as T20 skipper.
If one hears all his statements, he never expressed any official displeasure at his removal which he said was understandable because of lack of ICC silverware. Kohli, who loves a good scrap, often thrives in these situations and if he gets a couple of hundreds in South Africa, he would be in a very strong position. If the team wins the series, which will be his last frontier as India Test captain, that will be icing on the cake.
So, will the BCCI just let it pass? Perhaps not but as of now, chances of a satisfactory reconciliation look dim. What it seems like is a long-drawn battle of chess -- which the BCCI mandarins would ideally want to end in a "respectable draw" so that Indian cricket is the winner.
Earlier, Ganguly, in an interview with PTI, said that he had spoken to Kohli and told him that two captains in the white-ball format was not something that the selectors wanted as there would be "too much of leadership."
Rohit Sharma is now the sole white-ball captain and has also been made Kohli's deputy in the Test format. However, Rohit will not be available for the Test series against South Africa but is expected to recover from his hamstring injury in time to lead the side in the ODIs.
India have arrived in South Africa ahead of the three-match Test series, scheduled to start from December 26 at Centurion.
(With inputs from PTI)