Virat Kohli on Wednesday rubbished reports of him opting out of the ODI games against South Africa by saying that he was available for selection. The Indian Test skipper’s statement came amid speculations about his availability and his equation with newly-appointed white-ball skipper Rohit Sharma.

“I was and I am available for selection all the time. I never communicated with BCCI asking for rest. I am available for the ODI series in South Africa, and was always available,” Kohli said during a press conference before the tour of South Africa.

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Reports this week suggested that there has been a rife between Kohli and Rohit. The latter will not play the Tests due to an hamstring injury.

“I was contacted one and a half hour before selection for Tests. The chief selector discussed with me the Test. Before the call ended I was told that the 5 selectors have decided that I won’t be ODI captain anymore. There was no prior communication about this.”

Kohli further explained that him leaving the T20I captaincy was a progressive step.

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Shortly before the T20 World Cup got underway in the UAE, Kohli had announced his decision to step down as India’s T20I captain after the tournament.

“I told the BCCI before giving up T20I captaincy. I told them my point of view. The BCCI received it very well. There was no offence. It was received well, saying it’s a progressive step. I told them I will continue as ODI captain and Test captain.”

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“I told them at that point clearly that if the office bearers or the selectors don’t want me to handle either of the responsibility, I am fine with it. I said this clearly when I approached the BCCI to discuss my T20I captaincy,” Kohli said. 

India will play three Tests against South Africa, starting December 26, followed by as many ODIs in January.