India's ICC Cricket World Cup semi-final defeat to New Zealand is yet to sink in, and reports of an internal rift in the team have already emerged, claiming that there are two groups -- Virat Kohli camp and Rohit Sharma camp. (ENG v NZ LIVE UPDATES | SCORECARD)
Though the rift is yet to reach a point to trigger a major conflict, but tell tale signs of division in the team are reported in a widely quoted Dainik Jagran exclusive, like favouritism, taking unilateral decisions, unhappy players, etc.
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It claimed that only those part of ‘Virat Company’ or those indispensable to the team -- like Rohit himself and Jasprit Bumrah -- get a chance of playing.
Quoting an unnamed member of the team, the report further claimed that there is a strong bias towards KL Rahul, who is backed by the team management.
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It's also reported that Ambati Rayudu, who was originally primed to play the role of number four, was not picked for the World Cup because he was not in the good books of the captain.
The player also reportedly said that Yuzvendra Chahal, who is part of Kohli-led Royal Challengers Bengaluru, is preferred over Kuldeep Yadav.
The exclusive started with a direct statement, claiming that when the Team India landed in England with Vijay Shankar as the designated number four, murmurs started doing the rounds with many in the team asking what's Rayudu's fault. But nobody had the courage to openly talk about it as everyone knew that whoever dares to do so will be shown the door, one way or another.
It claimed that some players in the team are uncomfortable with the Ravi Shastri and his coaching staff. "Virat is performing great with the bat but when will this coach and bowling coach leave?" the player reportedly said.
For the uninitiated, Shastri was appointed head coach of the team after Anil Kumble was forced to step down after Champions Trophy final in 2017. Kumble publicly revealed that he's not in the working terms with skipper Kohli, who preferred Shastri.
Then it continues with a report of favoritism, claiming no matter how badly KL Rahul performs, he will be in the 15, with the blessings of team management.
Meanwhile, the Supreme Court-appointed Committee of Administrators (CoA) will review India's performance in the World Cup, The body is set to meet captain Kohli and head coach Shastri. The Indian team will depart England on July 14.
India lost New Zealand by 18 runs in a rain-affected match which needed two days to complete.