When Virat Kohli decided to step down as T20I captain, selectors did not feel it would be right to have two-white ball international captains and hence Rohit Sharma was appointed for ODIs as well, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly said on Thursday.

The Indian cricket board’s removal of Kohli as ODI captain raised questions over how it was dealt.

Kohli had already announced that he was stepping down from the shortest format ahead of the T20 World Cup. The star batter had relinquished his leadership of the T20I side which was then eliminated in the group stage of the World Cup.

But Kohli had intended to hold on to the ODI captaincy – a plan that came to an unceremonious end when the Board of Control for Cricket in India said late on Wednesday that Sharma would captain the one-day team on its South Africa tour.

“It’s a call that the BCCI and the selectors took together,” Ganguly was quoted as saying by ANI on Thursday. “Actually, the BCCI had requested Virat to not step down as the T20I skipper but obviously, he did not agree. And the selectors then did not feel it right to have two different captains for two white-ball formats.”

In an interaction with PTI, Ganguly reiterated the same point adding, “That’s too much of leadership.”

So how does he see Rohit performing as ODI skipper?

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

Ganguly said Kohli’s ODI record was indeed considered.

“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.

“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 told PTI.

Ganguly added that he, in his role as the president of BCCI, spoke to Kohli about it as did the chairman of selectors. The former India captain said that they have full faith in Sharma’s leadership abilities.

“We thank Virat Kohli for his contributions as captain in the white-ball format,” Ganguly added.

Also on Thursday evening, a day after replacing him with Rohit Sharma as India’s ODI skipper, the BCCI posted a message on their social media handle.

On Wednesday, Rohit was also named Kohli’s deputy in the Test format. The Mumbaikar is already India’s T20I captain (and that was officially confirmed in the release that announced India’s Test squad for South Africa).

“A leader who led the side with grit, passion & determination. Thank you Captain @imVkohli,” the Board tweeted on the day after leaving out any reference to him in the press note that announced Rohit’s elevation to ODI captaincy.

Kohli led India to 65 ODI wins out of 95 matches with an admirable winning percentage of 70.43.

Rohit’s assignment as India’s full-time limited overs captain officially began with the T20I series against New Zealand at home last month, which the team won 3-0. He has been captain in both white-ball formats in the past, standing in for Kohli. His next big test would be the South Africa ODI series, the squad for which is yet to be announced.

Also read:

Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and ODI captaincy: If no one else, Indian cricket fans deserve to know why

Indian cricket: Rohit Sharma replaces Virat Kohli as ODI captain, to lead in both white-ball formats

India’s squad for SA Test series: Rohit Sharma named vice captain, Ravindra Jadeja among absentees

Critical that Dravid, Kohli & Rohit have a common vision: Reactions to India naming new ODI captain

(With PTI and AFP inputs)