Whenever teams fail to deliver as per expectations, theories of an inner rift in the unit take centre stage. The same is the case after the just concluded ICC World Cup in England and Wales when sides like Pakistan and Afghanistan struggled – throughout or in phases. The same has happened with India as well after they crashed out of the tournament in the semi-final by losing to New Zealand by 18 runs. Ever since that close defeat, several theories are doing the rounds trying to figure the reasons for Indian team’s debacle and one of them has been an inner rift in the team.
It has been speculated that Team India is divided between two camps with each having loyalty for captain Virat Kohli and his deputy Rohit Sharma. It has been reported that some members in the side alleged that captain Kohli and head coach Ravi Shastri take decisions unilaterally. There has been a controversy over the decision of sending Mahendra Singh Dhoni at No.7 in the batting order in the semi-final when India were losing wickets regularly.
Talks about rift were leading to split captaincy
Former cricketer-turned-politician Gautam Gambhir, however, feels that these speculations are baseless and sought the BCCI to step in fast to douse the fire. The reported rift between the two ace batsmen has got the BCCI thinking about split captaincy in the longer and limited-overs formats with Rohit taking up the reins in the latter. However, contradicting information has appeared which quashes the rumours of a possible division between the two players with sources even citing it as “absolute nonsense”.
“Absolute nonsense is being pedalled, like ‘there’s a rift in the team, there’s trouble brewing’, what not. It’s really uncalled for. Which cricketer wishes away another cricketer? Only one who’s never played the game. The World Cup ended and someone wanted a new headline. It’s disappointing how some people twist and turn things to suit their interests,” Timesnownes.com cited the report quoting the source.
With India set to tour the West Indies in August and early September, there were initial talks that Kohli might be rested for the limited-overs series. However, the captain has confirmed his participation for the full tour and wants to script a turnaround after the World Cup debacle.
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