In the press conference that Virat Kohli and Ravi Shastri addressed before embarking on the tour of West Indies, the Indian captain lashed out at the media for wildly speculating about a supposed rift between him and Rohit Sharma.
"In my opinion, it's baffling and ridiculous to read such stuff. Public talks about how well we've played, and here we're feeding lies and talking about negative things. And I've seen this being brought up for far too long now. It's bizarre how people are creating these things," Kohli stated emphatically.
Now, it is a fact that the Indian media can be overzealous in speculating about the cricket team and famous personalities. But in this case, the media is in no way responsible for fuelling the speculation. Let's be clear, reports of rifts in cricket teams, especially Indian cricket teams are a common phenomenon. From the supposed estrangement between Kapil Dev and Sunil Gavaskar in the 1980s to the problems MS Dhoni had with Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir, such instances and their reporting are nothing new.
So, Kohli cannot claim that he is being subjected to unprecedented scrutiny. The same media which builds up stars like him has the right to also ask questions which may not be flattering. But what makes the Indian captain's anger all the more surprising is the fact that it is his and Rohit Sharma's actions, or the lack of it, that has led the rumours become so widespread.
Till that particular press conference, both men, and the BCCI refused to utter a single word regarding this issue. If Kohli finds these speculations in the media 'baffling' and 'ridiculous,' what stopped him from issuing a small statement or just posting a message on Twitter.
Besides, some of the biggest stories on this issue has come through comments by highly-placed sources within the BCCI as well as an unnamed member of CoA. With a storm brewing in the media, was it not incumbent on the two players to put out just one sentence negating these reports, if indeed they were incorrect.
While Kohli lashed out at the media in the pre-tour press meet, Rohit has remained silent. Despite being together in the squad in West Indies, the two men haven't even posted a photo together which can be the strongest proof of their being no resentment between them. This is a very strong clue of the reports of this dissension being very much true.
Lastly, media-persons would remember what happened in 2017. There were stories in the media in the middle of that year suggesting problems between Kohli and the then coach Anil Kumble. At that time also, Virat had categorically rejected these reports, only for them to be proved right. So, media is perfectly justified in speculating.
Till now, not a word has been heard from the side of Rohit and a picture that Virat tweeted of his team didn't include him. If this doesn't make people suspect, what will?