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Believe It Or Not! Dada Praises Kohli, Shastri

June 13, 2023 12:51 IST
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Virat Kohli

IMAGE: Sourav Ganguly, left, with Virat Kohli. Photograph: PTI

After a remarkable reign, Virat Kohli's captaincy journey took an unexpected turn a couple of years ago.

Kohli initially announced his decision to step down as T20 captain following India's poor campaign in the T20 World Cup in Dubai when the team failed to go past the league stage.

Subsequently, the BCCI, led by then president Sourav Ganguly, stripped him of the ODI captaincy, fuelling speculation of a feud between Dada and Kohli.

The BCCI entrusted Rohit Sharma with the captaincy of India's ODI and T20I teams.

Kohli then relinquished his Test captaincy after India's 1-2 defeat to South Africa in January 2022.

Following Team India's defeat to Australia in the WTC final, Dada -- who is no longer part of the BCCI set-up -- finally broke his silence on the Kohli captaincy controversy.

Ganguly revealed that he was equally taken aback when he learned of Kohli's decision to step down. He emphasised that the BCCI had not demanded Kohli's resignation as T20 captain, adding an intriguing layer to the narrative.

'No (on the board's preparedness on Kohli giving up Test captaincy). Not after the South Africa series. I don't know (why he did so), only he can tell. After Virat left, Rohit Sharma was the best option available at that time,' Ganguly told the Aaj Tak channel.

Dada hailed Kohli's transformative journey as Test captain, highlighting his remarkable achievements and the impact he had on the team's success. He lauded Kohli for his ability to instill a winning mindset, resilience, and determination within the Test team.

'Kohli was a very good captain, India did really well under Kohli and Ravi Shastri, India played with a fearless attitude and showed guts in England and Australia. If they had played the Manchester Test at that time, they would've won the series in England as well,' he added.

Back in 2016, Ganguly and Shastri -- Dada's first tour, by the way, as an Indian player was to Australia in 1992 which had Shastri as part of the playing eleven -- were engaged in an unpleasant verbal spat during the BCCI's coach selection process for the Indian men's cricket team.

Dada's unexpected endorsement for Kohli and Shastri comes as a pleasant surprise, considering the history they share.

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