Deposed captains Kohli, De Kock gear up for one-day series

By: AFP
Published: 09:50 AM, 18 Jan, 2022
Deposed captains Kohli, De Kock gear up for one-day series
Caption: File photo.
Stay tunned with 24 News HD Android App
Get it on Google Play

Two deposed captains, Virat Kohli and Quinton de Kock, could play significant roles in a three-match one-day international series between South Africa and India, starting at Boland Park in Paarl on Wednesday.

Both former skippers have the potential to be the leading batters for their respective sides.

For Kohli, it will be the first ODI series since Rohit Sharma was named captain by the Indian selectors in December.

Even though Sharma had to withdraw from the series in South Africa because of injury, the captaincy was not returned to Kohli but was passed to KL Rahul.

Kohli, who captained India in 95 ODIs with a 65-27 win-loss ratio, made it clear after India's Test series defeat last week that he could speak about the coming one-day games purely "from a player's point of view".

Kohli, who subsequently stepped down from the Test captaincy, said: "You are obviously very driven and motivated to perform in any match you play for India. As an individual I can definitely say that I am looking forward to the ODI series and I am driven to perform in those ODI games."

De Kock was made South Africa's long-term white-ball captain in February 2020 and was made Test captain for four matches last season. But he did not seem comfortable in the role and a decision was made last March to put Temba Bavuma in charge of the white-ball teams, with Dean Elgar taking over as Test captain.

De Kock, who was already due to miss the last two Tests against India on paternity leave, announced after the first Test last month that he was retiring from Test cricket, although he remained available for limited-overs games.

The series marks De Kock's return to action for the first time since becoming the father of a baby daughter. He fell to two indifferent shots in his final Test match and South Africa will be hoping for a return to the free-flowing, motivated batsman who hit three centuries in successive matches against India eight seasons ago.

The series is not part of the International Cricket Council's World Cup Super League but South Africa in particular will be keen to record their first one-day series win since beating Australia 3-0 in March 2020 before cricket was effectively shut down by the coronavirus pandemic.

Since then, series against India and England have been aborted because of the virus, they have lost against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and have had to share the honours against Ireland and the Netherlands.

One match was lost, one won and another rained off in Ireland and the first match of a series against the Netherlands was washed out and the remaining matches postponed because South Africa was placed on a coronavirus travel "red list".

India won the only two ODI series they played in 2021, at home against England and away against Sri Lanka.

Squads

South Africa: Temba Bavuma (captain), Keshav Maharaj (vice-captain), Quinton de Kock (wkt), Zubayr Hamza, Marco Jansen, Sisanda Magala, Janneman Malan, Aiden Markram, David Miller, Lungi Ngidi, Wayne Parnell, Andile Phehlukwayo, Dwaine Pretorius, Kagiso Rabada, Tabraiz Shamsi, Rassie van der Dussen, Kyle Verreynne (wkt)

India: KL Rahul (captain), Jasprit Bumrah (vice-captain), Ravichandran Ashwin, Yuzvendra Chahal, Deepak Chahar, Shikhar Dhawan, Ruturaj Gaikwad, Ishan Kishan (wkt), Venkatesh Iyer, Shreyas Iyer, Virat Kohli, Prasidh Kumar, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Rishabh Pant (wkt), Mohammed Siraj, Washington Sundar, Shardul Thakur, Jayant Yadav, Suryakumar Yadav

 Fixtures:

January 19, Paarl

January 21, Paarl

January 23, Cape Town

Kohli will have to give up his ego, says ex-captain Dev

Virat Kohli needs to shed his ego to play under a new leader after giving up the Test captaincy, cricket icon Kapil Dev said as uncertainty swirled about the future of the national team.

Kohli, 33, announced his surprise departure late on Saturday having already quit as T20 captain last year and been sacked as head of the one-day side soon afterwards.

Dev, who led India to glory in the 1983 World Cup, welcomed Kohli's decision, saying he was "going through a rough time" and "appeared to be under a lot of pressure".

But he said that Kohli will now have to knuckle down and bite his tongue if he is to remain in the team under a new captain.

"Even Sunil Gavaskar played under me. I played under K Srikkanth and (Mohammad) Azharuddin. I had no ego," Dev, 63, was quoted as saying to the Mid-Day newspaper, referring to other greats of the era.

"Virat will have to give up his ego and play under a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We cannot lose Virat, the batsman... no way."

The race to succeed Kohli is seen as a contest between Rohit Sharma and KL Rahul and -- in distant third place -- the younger Rishabh Pant, 24.

TV commentator Harsha Bhogle tweeted on Monday that Ravichandran Ashwin and Jasprit Bumrah should also be considered.

Rohit, 34, is already Twenty20 and ODI captain, and has led the Mumbai Indians to five victories in the Indian Premier League (IPL).

With Rohit injured, Rahul, 29, captained India in the recent second Test in South Africa and will lead the one-day side in the upcoming series beginning Wednesday.

- 'Crisis' -

The outspoken and sometimes combative Kohli's resignation stoked rumours about rifts with the sport's national governing body, the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI).

Kohli and BCCI chief Saurav Ganguly in December had publicly contradicted each other over his stepping down as white-ball captain.

The Hindustan Times reported that Kohli had spurned an offer by the BCCI to quit with fanfare after his 100th Test in Bangalore in February when India host Sri Lanka.

"I think clearly there was disenchantment between Kohli and the authorities," veteran cricket journalist Ayaz Memon told AFP.

"You don't need any statement, you can sense it from the manner he gave up the T20 captaincy and then the ODI captaincy was taken away from him," he said.

He said that it will also be a challenge for the new captain to revive the team's batting fortunes from the current "crisis".

"It has become a challenging situation for India because you have a team that has crumbled, the batting certainly," he said.

Arun Dhumal, BCCI treasurer, said he wasn't worried.

"I am sure with the kind of bench strength we will get over with this phase as well," Dhumal told AFP.

"It's just the change in leadership position that will happen, and when eventually somebody would take over they would take it from here and make sure the team gives its best on the field."

"Let us focus on Team India rather than thinking and bothering about what is being printed or spoken about," he added.

AFP

Agence France-Presse is an international news agency.