Virat Kohli would have become India’s Test captain in early 2012 had the BCCI president N. Srinivasan not intervened by taking MS Dhoni’s side, says former national selector Raja Venkat.
Raja Venkat, a member of the five-member selection panel in 2011-2012, wrote in his column for a Bengali tabloid that the team was divided into many faction under the leadership of MS Dhoni in 2012 and there no team spirit in the side. Venkat also said that there was a unanimous call that young Virat Kohli should be made the skipper of the Test side as many believed the youngster was the right person to restore team spirit.
“We had thought about this (of making Kohli captain) three years back, we tried also. But because of then BCCI president, N. Srinivasan our efforts failed,” Venkat wrote in his column.
Venkat also wrote that Mohinder Amarnath and Narendra Hirwani had reported from Australia about the formation of several factions with the team but no action was taken on their report.
“Before that two selectors Mohinder Amarnath and Narendra Hirwani had gone to Australia. After coming back they had reported about formations of several factions within the Indian team. There was no team spirit,” Venkat wrote in the column.
Talking about the reasons behind giving Virat Kohli’s name for the top post in the team, Venkat wrote that selectors were impressed with Virat’s aggressive brand of cricket. Venkat also added that Virat Kohli’s captaincy for winners North Zone in the 2010-11 Deodhar Trophy was very impressive and caught selectors’ attention.
“We thought before the One-Day series there was a need to choose a new captain, we were on the look out for somebody who was above factionalism. We felt Virat was the right person to restore team spirit in the side,” he said.
“It was then that we understood that he has it in him to become a capable skipper. His captaincy in the Under-19 World Cup (in 2008) had also caught our attention,” he said.