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These incidents lead to speculation of rift: Azhar on Kohli, Rohit absence from SA ODI, Test series

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New Delhi: Former India skipper Mohammad Azharuddin feels that things might not be all well between newly-appointed ODI captain Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli as the former is missing the Tests and the latter will not be a part of the ODI series against South Africa.

He even questioned the timing of Kohli’s break from the ODI series, saying his timing of leave could have been better.

The cricketer-turned-politician pointed out that the absence of Rohit from the Test series and now Kohli’s break from the ODI series will lead to unnecessary speculation about rift in the squad.

“Virat Kohli has informed that he’s not available for the ODI series and Rohit Sharma is unavailable for the upcoming Test. There is no harm in taking a break but the timing has to be better. This just substantiates speculation about the rift. Neither will be giving up the other form of cricket,” Azharuddin tweeted.

The former Lok Sabha member’s remarks come after Kohli asked the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) for a break in January to spend some time with his family.

As per a TOI report, “Kohli is going to miss the ODIs as he is taking time off to celebrate his daughter Vamika’s first birthday. Vamika was born on January 11 last year and Kohli is planning a holiday with his family after the conclusion of the Test series.”

Last year, when Vamika was born, Kohli had gone on paternity leave after the first Test in Australia in Adelaide. India had lost that game before the stand-in captain Ajinkya Rahane led the side to a historic series win against Australia.

The final Test of the tour will be beginning on January 11 with the ODIs set to commence from 19. The ODI squad is yet to be announced for the series.

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