'It is absolute nonsense' - Shastri on Kohli-Rohit rift

After Virat Kohli, it's the turn of coach Ravi Shastri to dismiss reports of rift between the Indian captain and his deputy.

Virat Kohli in conversation with Rohit Sharma during the World Cup in England, with coach Ravi Shastri and chairman of selectors (MSK Prasad) also involved.   -  PTI

Ravi Shastri, the India cricket team coach, has again dismissed suggestion of a rift between captain Virat Kohli and his ODI and T20I deputy, Rohit Sharma.

After the 2019 World Cup, reports of a rift between Kohli and Rohit surfaced. And, at his press conference before the departure for India's tour of the USA and the West Indies, Kohli, too, dismissed the reports and said he was "baffled" by what he read.

In an interview with Gulf News, coach Shastri said: "In a side when you have 15 players, there will always be times when there will be opinions that will be different. That is what is needed. I don’t want everyone toeing the same line. You have got to have discussions and someone might then think of a fresh strategy which has to be encouraged.

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"Sometimes it might be the junior-most player in the team who may come up with a strategy which we hadn’t even thought of and we need to bring that to the table. So these should not be seen as a conflict."

Emphasising his point further, Shastri added, "I have been there with them and I have seen how the boys have played and how they have complemented the team and know their work ethics. I feel it is absolute nonsense. If that was the case why would Rohit get five hundreds in the World Cup? Why would Virat do what he is doing? How would they have partnerships together?"

India had a successful tour of the USA and the Caribbean, where it beat West Indies across formats and began the World Test Championship on a resounding note. India's next assignment is a home series against South Africa, starting September 15.