India Test captain Virat Kohli on Wednesday asserted that he will play in the upcoming ODI series in South Africa, putting to rest speculations about his availability and his equation with newly-appointed white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma.
“I was and I am available for selection all the time. I never communicated with BCCI asking for rest. I am available for the ODI series in South Africa, and was always available,” Kohli said during the pre-departure press conference before the tour of South Africa.
“It should be asked to people who are writing lies. My communication with the BCCI on this issue has not happened that I want to rest,” he added.
Over the last two days, speculation has been rife that not all is well between Kohli and Test vice-captain Rohit, who will not play the Tests due to a hamstring injury.
After Rohit was ruled out, reports emerged that Kohli will take a break from the ODI series in the Rainbow Nation to spend some time with his young family.
This was after Rohit was handed the reins of ODI and T20I teams last week in a terse BCCI press release while announcing the Test squad for the series.
Shortly before the T20 World Cup got underway in the UAE, Kohli had announced his decision to step down as India’s T20I captain after the tournament.
Responding to the endless chatter, Kohli said, “A lot of things that happen on the outside are not ideal and not always how one expects them to be.
“But you have to understand there’s only so much that you can do as an individual and we have to do the things that you can as an individual, in my control show. I’m very focused and very mentally prepared.”
India will play three Tests against South Africa, starting December 26, followed by as many ODIs in January.