Off The Field

Never saw it: Ravi Shastri on alleged ‘rift’ between Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma

Written by Abhishek Patil

Team India head coach Ravi Shastri has firmly brushed aside long-standing reports of a possible ‘rift’ between Indian captain Virat Kohli and his white-ball deputy Rohit Sharma during the 2019 World Cup. Ravi Shastri said on Thursday that he didn’t encounter anything like that as the taalmel (co-ordination) between the two was always good.

The 59-year-old asserted that if he had found any friction, he would have addressed it on Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma’s faces.

In an exclusive conversation with Times Network’s Group Editor Navika Kumar, head coach Ravi Shastri addressed the rumours of the alleged rift between the two players. As per Shastri, there was never any problem between the two players and that he would have corrected it if there would have been any.

“I never saw it. So when people used to ask me like this, I say what you have seen I have not seen. Hamesha taalmel acha hai (the co-ordination has always been there). I have never seen it affecting the team. If I see an effect in the team, I will say on Virat or Rohit’s face that this is not on and you have to look at things differently. But not once have I seen it impacting the team from day 1. I am a person who says what I want,” Shastri told Times Now.

Following the 2019 World Cup, Kohli was also asked about the alleged rift and the Indian skipper had denied such reports.  “I too have heard a lot. Dressing room atmosphere is important to succeed. If this (rumour of the rift) was true, we would not have performed well. It’s ridiculous to read such news. We are overlooking faces. We are turning blind eyes towards good things. It’s disrespectful to bring such news. You’ll come to the changing room and see how we are. We cant show you videos. It baffles you as a team member and the captain,” he had said.

Virat continues to lead Team India and is assisted by Rohit in white-ball format. Rohit, a five-time IPL-winning captain, has also captained the Men in Blue to victories in  Asia Cup and Nidahas Trophy.

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Abhishek Patil