Virat Kohli rubbishes reports of rift with Rohit Sharma as 'ridiculous' and 'disrespectful'

Sudhir Gupta 19:34 29/07/2019
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India captain Virat Kohli rubbished reports of a rift with star batsman Rohit Sharma as “ridiculous”, insisting all is well within the team ahead of the West Indies tour.

Reports emerged in Indian media about a fallout between Kohli and Rohit during the later stages of the 2019 World Cup. Also, Rohit – who is seen by many as a better white-ball captain than Kohli – recently unfollowed Kohli and the captain’s actor wife Anushka Sharma on Instagram, adding fuel to the rift reports.

However, ahead of the team’s departure to the Caribbean on Monday, Kohli insisted there are no issues between him and Rohit.

“In my opinion it’s baffling to be honest. Ridiculous to read some of the stuff that comes out,” the 30-year-old said in Mumbai.

“Here we are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts, turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened. And creating fantasies and scenarios in our head and we want to accept this is the truth.”

“I have seen this for too long now. It’s bringing personal lives into the picture. It is disrespectful after a moment.”

Rohit scored a record five centuries at the World Cup while Kohli hit as many fifties as India bowed out of the tournament after a narrow loss to the New Zealand in the semi-final.

There was speculation that even the Indian board was considering splitting the captaincy between Rohit and Kohli. However, Kohli decided to play the entire tour of the West Indies and will thus lead all three sides. The skipper said the atmosphere inside the dressing room is as good as it can be.

“I have played the game for 11 years, Rohit’s played for 10 years, it’s bizarre that you know… this from the outside when the change room environment is so good,” said Kohli.

“Please come and see for yourself, how to talk to a young Kuldeep Yadav or talk with respect to a senior like MS Dhoni. We can’t show you a video.

“It baffles you as a leader, as a coach, and as a team when lies are being floated around. And they are made to look believable. We have had no issues.”

India’s tour of the West Indies starts on August 3 with the first of three T20s followed by three ODI matches and two Tests.

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India rising star Shubman Gill continues fine form in unofficial West Indies Test

Ajit Vijaykumar 15:40 26/07/2019
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Shubman Gill.

Up-and-coming batsman Shubman Gill was surprisingly overlooked for India’s tour of the West Indies, failing to find a place in any of the three teams.

It was a surprise call as 19-year-old Gill is not only the most promising batsman in the country, but also in good form. His omission surprised even former India captain Sourav Ganguly, who blasted the selectors for indecisive picks.

Gill himself said he expected to be selected for at least one format. “I was waiting for the Indian senior team to be announced on Sunday and I expected to be selected for at least one of the squads,” Gill was quoted as saying by CricketNext.

“It was disappointing not to get picked but I am not going to spend time thinking over it. I’ll keep scoring runs and performing to the best of my ability to impress the selectors.”

Putting the disappointment behind him, Gill put his focus back on batting and made another sizeable contribution. In the ongoing unofficial Test in the West Indies, Gill hit 40 in India A’s first innings at Antigua. That knock helped India take a decent first innings lead.

It was the fourth consecutive knock of substance from Gill, after he hit three fifties in the preceding one-day series against West Indies A which the Indians won 4-1.

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Yuvraj Singh makes forgettable start in Global T20 Canada for Toronto Nationals

Ajit Vijaykumar 13:05 26/07/2019
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Yuvraj Singh.

Retired India all-rounder Yuvraj Singh had an utterly forgettable start to his Global T20 Canada campaign as he struggled to 14 off 27 balls for Toronto Nationals against Vancouver Knights.

Toronto captain Yuvraj failed to hit a single boundary against a Vancouver attack that didn’t have any top international names as Totonto posted 159-5 in Brampton.

In reply, Vancouver had little trouble reaching the target as they chased down the runs with nearly three overs to spare.

Even Yuvraj’s dismissal was scarcely believable as he nicked one behind to the keeper who dropped the ball and deflected it on to the stumps. Yuvraj walked off even as replays suggested he was not out.

Yuvraj has been struggling with the bat for some time, getting benched by the Mumbai Indians in the IPL after four outings. The 2011 World Cup winner has given up a BCCI contract in order to purse franchise assignments – like GT20 – across the world.

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