Virat Kohli, India’s swashbuckling middle-order batsman and a potential candidate to take over the captaincy from Mahendra Singh Dhoni, has attracted the displeasure of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a recent press interview during the ongoing ODI series against England.
Virat Kohli. Pic/AFP
The Delhi lad spoke to The Telegraph newspaper at length in an interview published on January 19 — the day India beat England by seven wickets in the third ODI at Ranchi to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match series. As per guidelines drafted by the Board, players cannot interact with media during a series except of course at a press conference.
An influential Indian cricket official is believed to have dashed off an email to a member of the team’s support staff questioning how Kohli spoke in between the series. The support staff member replied with a promise to reiterate media guidelines to the players.
In the interview, Kohli spoke on various issues and was asked questions related to leading the team in the future. The Delhi batsman, who has received many plaudits for his performances in 2012 including the ICC’s ODI Player of the Year, apologised, saying that he didn’t realise that he was not supposed to talk to the media in the midst of a series. He also stressed that this won’t be repeated.
When asked in the interview if he was delighted to hear Sunil Gavaskar declare him ready for India’s captaincy, Kohli told the newspaper: “Coming from Mr Gavaskar, it did feel good... That one comment (after the final Test against England) lifted my confidence... Made me more aware of my responsibilities as well.” Speaking of Dhoni’s captaincy, Kohli said: “I’d love to have MS’ calmness and composure... I’ve never seen him stressed... He’s been so composed even in the most difficult of situations. While remaining an aggressive cricketer, I’d still like to have his calmness. It’s reassuring.”