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Virat Kohli-led team India arrives in Johannesburg for maiden Test series

Virat Kohli and Rahul Dravid-led Indian cricket team landed in Johannesburg on Thursday evening for the team's upcoming 3-match series in Centurion, starting December 26 in a bid to win their first Test series in South Africa.

The team and their support staff departed on a private plane from Mumbai for the southernmost nation of Africa on Thursday morning. The 18 players and the staff members are currently in quarantine in a hotel before they are allowed to start their preparations at the SuperSport Park.

The visitors will face South Africa during the three Tests which will be held in Centurion, Johannesburg, and Cape Town. Team India is missing miss their newly-appointed vice-captain Rohit Sharma who have to stay home due to a hamstring injury. India is also without two premier left-arm spinners Ravindra Jadeja and Axar Patel who also have to stay home due to injuries.

"Touchdown South Africa," the Board of Control for Cricket in India posted on social media.

What precedes the arrival

Team India arrived in the rainbow country only a day after Kohli made an appearance in a press conference, talking about his removal as ODI captain while also highlighting the lack of communication between him and the BCCI prior to being stripped off of his captaincy.

Speaking on Wednesday, Kohli said the BCCI's decision to remove him as Team India's ODI captain was "logical" as he had failed to win a single ICC title. The 33-year-old was replaced by Rohit Sharma as the white-ball skipper last week.

"I can understand why," said Kohli during a virtual press conference. Kohli was demoted back to a regular batter and will play with an Indian team not as a captain for the first time in five years.

"The reason: We haven't won an ICC tournament. Whether the decision they took is right or wrong, there's no debate. It's a logical decision which I understand."

Kohli, however, also claimed that he did not receive any notifications prior to being removed as the captain of the OD"Whatever was said about the communication that happened during the decision that was made was inaccurate," the Royal Challengers Bangalore player continued while answering a question from ANI. "I was contacted one and half hours before the selection meeting on 8th for the Test series.

"And there was no prior communication with me since I announced the T20I captaincy decision up till December 8. The chief selector discussed the Test team to which we both agreed. Before ending the call, I was told the five selectors decided that I would not be ODI captain. To which I replied 'okay fine'."

BCCI's response

BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has said that the cricket board would take care of Kohli's claim of receiving no communication. "No statements, no press conference. We will deal with it, leave it to BCCI," said Ganguly barely 24 hours after Kohli's press conference.

Earlier, however, prior to Ganguly's comment being made, batting great Sunil Gavaskar said that the president was the right person to clear up the controversy.

"Yes, he is the BCCI president and surely he should be asked why there is this discrepancy," Gavaskar told India Today. "He is probably the best person to ask about the discrepancy in what you seem to have to say and what the Indian captain has said."

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli ; born 5 November 1988) is an Indian cricketer and the captain of India national cricket team in Tests.

Board of Control for Cricket in India

The Board of Control for Cricket in India is the governing body for cricket in India and is under the jurisdiction of Ministry of Youth Affairs and Sports, Government of India.

Gian Chacko

Sports enthusiast with love for cricket, football and sports in general. Holds 10+ years of following and writing about sports and lately also betting.