The story about a rift in the Indian team with two camps – one loyal to Rohit Sharma and other to incumbent captain Virat Kohli – has been doing the rounds for quite some time. But now, it seems the plot is getting thicker.
A report from news agency IANS has suggested that even an attempt by the authorities to silence the rumours has failed. As per the story, a senior player of the team was approached by one of the members of Committee of Administrators (CoA) with the proposal that the player should post a public message proclaiming that everything is fine in the team. But that player hasn't performed that role so far.
"Everyone is aware that there is tension brewing and while the CoA has tried its best to deny any rumours of rift in the ODI team in the media, one of the members spoke to a senior player asking him to send out a positive message/statement in the matter. But not much progress has been made in this regard," a senior official of BCCI told IANS on condition of anonymity.
The speculation about Virat-Rohit rift gained further ground when the Indian ODI opener and vice-captain of the side recently 'unfollowed' Anushka Sharma, Virat's wife, on Instagram. Till now, no clarification has come from the side of either Kohli or Rohit. The fact that this issue is being discussed threadbare and yet, the two cricketers have remained silent suggests there is more to it than mere rumours.
Apparently, the problems started emerging in the team after their first loss of the 2019 World Cup – to England – in the league stage. According to the sources of IANS, the bowlers were blamed for the loss in a team meeting and criticised severely. This caused them to feel that they were being targeted unfairly.
"The bowlers were given a showdown after the loss and they felt that it wasn't just a case of bad bowling and there were more areas that needed to be looked into before pointing fingers at the bowling unit," another credible source told the agency.
One thing is certain, the longer the two men in forefront of the matter maintain this deafening silence, the more the rumour mill is going to churn out stories. All this seems a bit too much like the events of 2017 involving Virat Kohli and the then coach Anil Kumble. That led to the removal of Kumble from his position. Only time will tell what the denouement of this story will be like.