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Rift Between Kohli and Rohit Sharma Factions in Team Selection?

Rift Between Kohli and Rohit Sharma Factions in Team Selection?

Team India returns home on Sunday after losing the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 semifinal to New Zealand by 18 runs on Wednesday. 

The result was particularly disappointing given that the team lost just one match during the league stage.

Meanwhile, soon after India's exit from World Cup, reports have emerged claiming a rift in the team between factions following Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma.

Dainik Jagran, quoting a Team India player, has reported that the there are two factions within the squad - one close to captain Virat Kohli and another following vice-captain Rohit Sharma.

According to the report, many players are also not happy with the unilateral decisions made by captain Kohli and coach Ravi Shastri. One such decision was the selection of Vijay Shankar over Ambati Rayudu for the World Cup squad.

While hitman Rohit Sharma and pace spearhead Jasprit Bumrah are indispensable, others’ fortunes dangle at the hands of favouritism. Those in the 'Virat Company' get preference in the team selection, over the other one loyal to Rohit, the report stated.

Further, quoting a member of the Indian team, the report mentioned that there is a strong bias towards KL Rahul, who is backed by the team management despite his inconsistent performance.

Also, the player reportedly said that Yuzvendra Chahal, who is part of Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bengaluru, is preferred over Kuldeep Yadav, when the situation demands to drop either of the two wrist spinners.

However, the rift within the squad hasn't yet reached a point to trigger a major conflict, said the report.

The discontentment is such that coach Ravi Shastri and bowling coach Bharat Arun are no longer welcomed in the team.

Dainik Jagran quoted the player as saying, “Virat is performing great with the bat but when will this coach and bowling coach leave?”

According to the report, Shastri and Kohli enjoy the support of chief of Supreme Court-backed CoA Vinod Rai and thus the rather high-handed approach of Shastri and Kohli goes unopposed within the team management.

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Tags: Virat Kohli Rohit Sharma Ravi Sastri ICC World Cup 2019