MUMBAI: India captain Virat Kohli quashed reports of a rift with senior batsman Rohit Sharma, calling the rumours “baffling” and “ridiculous” before the team’s departure for a tour of the West Indies.
Since India’s exit in the semi-finals of the 50-over World Cup this month, reports of a crack in relations between Kohli and his limited-overs deputy Rohit have dominated local media.
“Even I have heard a lot of things in the last few days. You obviously get to hear these things from outside,” Kohli told reporters at a city hotel.
“If the team environment was not good, then the way we have been playing in the last two-three years, that would not have been possible.
“I know how much the dressing room atmosphere, the trust is essential in succeeding in international cricket so if that was not there, then whatever success we have achieved, would not have been possible, we would not have been at the position we are in world cricket.”
Kohli’s men sit atop the world test rankings while they are second behind World Champions England in the 50-over format.
Rohit scored five centuries in the World Cup in England to top the batting charts with 648 runs and Kohli, who is the top-ranked batsman in both tests and ODIs, said he only had respect for the 32-year-old.
“In my opinion it is baffling to be honest. It is absolutely ridiculous to read such stuff that comes out there,” he added.
“We are feeding off lies, we are overlooking facts. We are turning a blind eye to all the good things that have happened and creating fantasies and scenarios in our head and we want to accept that it is the truth.
“And I have seen this for too long now. Bringing personal lives into the picture, it is disrespectful after a moment.”