Rohit Sharma Virat Kohli fight was settled by Ravi Shastri after 2019 ODI World Cup: R Sridhar: Team India’s former fielding coach R Sridhar has talked about the most debatable topic of the Rohit Sharma-Virat Kohli fight following the 2019 ODI World Cup in England. In his book, ‘Coaching Beyond: My Days with the Indian Cricket Team’, R Sridhar penned down how the team was divided into two different groups supporting Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli post the ODI World Cup loss in 2019 and what the then-head coach Ravi Shastri did to calm down the matter between the two stalwarts.
Back then, multiple reports surfaced on the internet stating that everything was not well in the Indian camp. There were clear signs of a rift between the then-Indian captain, Virat Kohli, and his then-deputy Rohit Sharma.
The two senior cricketers seemed to have disconnected from each other following several issues, one of which was reported to be the team selection. As per the reports, Rohit Sharma wasn’t pleased with the selection of players in the playing11, which cost them the marquee tournament. The reports further added that sometimes Virat Kohli took unilateral decisions without taking his other teammates into confidence. However, none of the above reports could get verified and it remained just speculation.
R Sridhar, in his book, said, “After the 2019 World Cup, there was a lot of bad press about what allegedly happened in the dressing room during our campaign and following our loss to New Zealand in the semifinal. We were informed that there was a Rohit camp and a Virat camp, that someone had unfollowed another on social media – stuff that could be unsettling if you allowed it to fester.”
The former fielding coach also explained how Ravi Shastri helped two of the most senior cricketers in the dressing room to come on the same page and take the team forward.
“We landed in the United States some 10 days after the World Cup for a T20 series against the West Indies in Lauderhill. One of the first things Ravi [Shastri] did on arrival was to call Virat and Rohit to his room and impress upon them that for Indian cricket to be healthy, they needed to be on the same page. ‘Whatever happened on social media, that’s all fine, but you two are the most senior cricketers so this must stop,’ Ravi said in his typical no-nonsense manner. ‘I want you to put all this behind us and get together for us to move forward'”, Sridhar added.
Following Ravi Shastri’s intervention, the Virat-Rohit relations began shaping up in a healthy manner and eventually all the noise around settled down.
“You could see that things started to get better after that. Ravi’s action was swift, simple and decisive. It was just getting both the guys together, sitting them down and making them talk. Ravi didn’t waste any time in doing so. That he felt encouraged to call the white-ball captain and his deputy to clearly state his mind is indicative of the kind of atmosphere we had facilitated. That Virat and Rohit saw reason in Ravi’s stance and immediately got down to business was the ultimate tribute to our culture ‘one for all, all for one, but team above all'”, Sridhar said.