Indian cricket captain Virat Kohli and his deputy in limited overs cricket, Rohit Sharma, and their rumoured rift has been the biggest story from the sport that the country obsesses about since the team’s shocking loss in the semi-final of the ICC World Cup.
The reports of a rift in the dressing room was soon followed by the discourse on how Rohit could be a better fit for captaincy in white ball cricket and there were theories abound on the two men not seeing eye to eye anymore.
The rumour mill worked hard as some administrators also fueled the fire.
But all this came to a grinding halt when Kohli faced the media before the start of the West Indies tour and called these stories a figment of someone’s sinister imagination.
“In my opinion, its baffling. It’s absolutely ridiculous to read these kind of stuff, that comes out there. I have been to public events where we have been praised and here we are feeding off lies, overlooking facts, turning a blind eye to all good things that happened and creating fantasies and scenarios in our head. We want to accept that this is the truth,” Kohli insisted that his relationship with Rohit is fine.
But will this bring an end to the theories and rumours?
Former India captain Sunil Gavaskar believes such stories can last for decades.
Gavaskar in a column for Sportstar revealed why he thinks these stories will continue to live even longer than the careers of both Kohli and Rohit.
“Virat and Rohit can shout from the rooftops as much as they can but this story won’t end. Every time Rohit fails there will be those who will nod their heads knowingly and wink, hinting he deliberately got out,” Gavaskar wrote.
Gavaskar also hinted at the likely source of such stories and why the media will continue to publish stuff related to this for years.
“Whoever starts such stories is definitely not a well-wisher of Indian cricket. More often than not it’s a frustrated player in the squad who gives wings to stories like this. His envy and jealousy harm the team. Then of course it suits some administrators to play their own game of politics."
“For the media it’s manna from heaven and so while it can be suppressed when the cricket is on, the rest days between games is where the story gets fanned further. Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma are professionals and they will put their heads down and go out to win matches for India but the story won’t stop even 20 years later,” India’s most prolific Test opener wrote.