For nearly a week, Indian media has been abuzz with rumours suggesting that the Indian cricket team is split down the middle with its captain Virat Kohli and vice-captain Rohit Sharma locked in a tiff. Some days ago, the rumours got fuelled even more when Rohit unfollowed Virat and his wife Anushka Sharma on Instagram.
News agency IANS had even reported that the Committee of Administrators (CoA) is also worried about this series of events. The report stated thatd one of their members approached a senior player of the side with the request that he put out a message that everything is fine in the Indian team. Since no such message has been issued by anyone, it is clear that the request hasn't been acceded to.
But now, it can be said with a great deal of certainty that these stories of a rift in the Indian team are not mere rumours but largely true. Why, you may ask. Because the signs and clues are too strong to allow for any alternate conclusion.
Think about it! This story has spread like wildfire in the Indian media and both newspapers and electronic media are full of it. In this age of social media and instant flow of information, there is no way that both Virat and Rohit are unaware of this. If there was genuinely no rift, these two would have issued a clear statement by now refuting all claims.
It takes just a couple of minutes of typing on your smartphone to put out a message on Twitter or any other domain, letting everyone know that there is nothing wrong. But the two haven't done it! There is simply no other explanation for this screaming silence than that neither party is interested in putting down the rumour.
The silence of the BCCI is further evidence of the problems. Yes the board has been somewhat hampered in its functioning due to its present status as working under the CoA but still, it is functioning more than well enough to issue a clear statement.
In 2009, stories about a rift between MS Dhoni and Virender Sehwag came out in media. Dhoni's response was to organise a march of his entire team in the press conference hall. Reports of rift between Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble were denied by the former emphatically at a press conference before the Champions Trophy that year. In the end, they turned out to be true and Kumble had to go. Only time will tell whether Kohli and Rohit can make up after this apparent fall-out.