Rohit Sharma was named India’s ODI captain
as former skipper Virat Kohli’s decision to step down from the T20I role created
a problem of “too much leadership” in white-ball formats, Board of Control for
Cricket in India (BCCI) president Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday.

Rohit was on Wednesday named India’s ODI
“going forward” after taking over as the T20I skipper in the home
against New Zealand. The Mumbai Indians skipper’s first assignment will
be the upcoming three-match ODI series against South Africa, with the 2023 ODI
World Cup also on the horizon.

Ganguly said the BCCI had “requested” Kohli
to continue as the T20 captain and given he refused to do so, the governing
body decided to implement a change in leadership in both formats.

“We had requested Virat not to step
down as T20 captain but he didn’t want to continue as captain. So, the
selectors felt that they cannot have two white ball captains in two white-ball
formats. That’s too much of leadership,” BCCI president and former India
captain told PTI.

Kohli stepped down as T20 captain after
India’s disastrous World Cup campaign in October-November.

Ganguly said the selectors felt that
multiple leaders in the white-ball format would lead to confusion and that’s
why the Chetan Sharma-led committee suggested that it’s better to have one

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“I don’t know (about confusion) but
that’s what they (selectors) felt. That’s how this conclusion was arrived at —
that let Rohit captain in white ball and let Virat be the red-ball
skipper,” Ganguly added.

So how does he see Rohit performing as ODI
skipper? Ganguly said that he wouldn’t like to make any predictions but is
confident of the new skipper’s abilities.

“It’s very difficult to predict. I
wish him all the best and hope he does a good job,” he said.

But was it taken into consideration that
Kohli has been a good ODI skipper with over 70 per cent win record in 95 games
that he was in charge.

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“Yes, we did consider that but if you
look at Rohit’s record in whatever ODIs he has captained for India, it’s very
good. Bottom line, there can’t be two white ball captains.” The sensitive
question of not winning any ICC Trophy during Kohli’s tenure at the helm was
also asked but the Board president refused to divulge the details of the

“I can’t explain more about what all
was discussed and what selectors have said, but this is primary reason for
having Rohit as white ball captain and Virat accepted it,” he revealed.

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On behalf of BCCI, it was the president
himself and the chairman of selectors, who spoke to Kohli and intimated the
BCCI’s decision.

“Yes, I have spoken to Virat
personally and chairman of selectors Chetan Sharma has also spoke to him on the
issue,” he signed off.

Meanwhile, Rohit also replaced Ajinkya
Rahane as Kohli’s deputy in the Test format. The decision was on expected lines
given to Rahane’s lack of form with the bat.