It’ll be foolish to remove Kohli as India captain: Akhtar
New Delhi: Former Pakistan speedster Shoaib Akhtar feels Virat Kohli should remain India skipper across formats as a lot of investment has been made upon him and thus, it will be foolish to remove him.
Following India’s World Cup exit in the semi-finals, voices have been raised about the concept of split captaincy where Kohli is made captain in Test cricket while Rohit Sharma is handed over the leadership in the limited-overs format.
“I think Kohli should not be removed from captaincy because a lot has been invested into him. He has been leading the sides for the past three-four years now,” said Akhtar in a video posted on his Youtube channel.
“All he needs is a better coach and a better selection committee and he will improve. He will be a sensible choice once he gets the required support staff from the BCCI.
“Rohit Sharma, no doubt, has led Mumbai Indians well in the IPL. But I think a lot has been invested into Kohli’s captaincy. It will be completely foolish to remove Kohli,” he added.
He also advised the BCCI to have a word with Kohli, tell him where he made mistakes — especially regarding batting in the World Cup — and give him time to improve and take the team forward.
Speaking about the alleged rift between the India skipper and his deputy, the Rawalpindi Express said: “There have been rumours that there are two groups within the Indian team — one of Rohit and other of Kohli.
“However, these reports are not true. Even if there was a rift between the two, it must have ended before the World Cup,” he added.
Before embarking on the West Indies tour, Kohli had had rubbished rumours of any rift in the dressing room.
Speaking about the alleged rift between him and Rohit at the pre-departure presser, the India skipper had said: “In my opinion, it’s baffling to be honest. It’s absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff that comes out. I have been to a few public events and the public sentiment is ‘aap log kya khele (you guys played so well)’. We have so much respect.”
“We are feeding off lies. We are overlooking facts. We are turning a blind eye to all the good things that has happened. We are creating fantasies and scenarios in our head and want to accept that this is the truth.
“I have seen this for too long now. Bringing personal lives into the picture. It’s disrespectful after a moment. We’ve had no issues. If I don’t like somebody, it shows on my face. I have also heard a lot in past few days but if team atmosphere isn’t good, we couldn’t have played well,” Kohli insisted.
Head coach Ravi Shastri had said: “The way the team plays, no individual is bigger than the team. The way they play is in the interest of the game. You cannot have that consistency if there is a rift or whatever.”
But deputy Rohit posted a photo on Instagram on Wednesday and said that he plays not just for the team, but also for the country.