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Virat Kohli: Only MS Dhoni contacted me when I quit Test captaincy
- Kohli and Dhoni have shared a fine bond on and off the field
- Kohli recently said playing under Dhoni is the most cherished phase of his career
- Dhoni announced international retirement in 2020
Virat Kohli gave a bombshell press conference after India's five-wicket loss to Pakistan on Sunday, where he claimed that no cricketer, who had his phone number, barring MS Dhoni, contacted him after he quit Test captaincy.
Kohli stepped down as India's Test captain following their 2-1 loss to South Africa in January. Rohit Sharma is India's new captain across formats.
"I lead my life with a lot of honesty," Kohli told reporters after India's loss to Pakistan in Dubai.
Kohli's comments about having respect for a "true well-wisher" like Dhoni came just days after he had said playing under his former skipper was the most cherished phase of his cricket career.
This is not the first time Kohli has made bombshell revelations in press conferences. Be it on or off the field, Kohli has never held himself back, speaking his mind, more often than not while interacting with the media.
Kohli, who had been struggling to score runs over the last couple of years, now has scored two back-to-back half-centuries for India, including his 44-ball 60 that went in vain in Team India's defeat on Sunday.
During the post-match conference, Kohli was asked if he received support from anyone in the cricket fraternity when he was going through a difficult phase in his career before his return to Asia Cup.
After the T20 World Cup last year in the UAE, Kohli gave up the T20I captaincy before he was sacked as the ODI skipper as well.
"When I left Test captaincy, I got a message from only one person, with whom I played in the past. It was MS Dhoni. A lot of people have my number, a lot of people give me suggestions, a lot of people talk about my game on TV. But out of those people who had my number, I didn't get a message from anyone else barring Dhoni," Kohli said.
"You have respect, you have a genuine connection with a few people and it looks like that (Dhoni messaging him). It's two-way security, I don't want anything from them nor do they want anything from me. I don't feel insecure with them, nor do they feel insecure with me," the former India captain added.
Last year, Kohli revealed that after he quit as India's T20I captain, there was a lack of communication between him, the selection committee, and the administrators over his stepping down as T20I captain and his removal as ODI captain.
In fact, Kohli had also contradicted BCCI president Sourav Ganguly's claims about the former captain asking the star batsman to not step down as T20I captain.
While announcing his decision to quit T20I captaincy, Kohli mentioned in his social media post that he wanted to continue as ODI and Test captain.
"When I communicated with the BCCI first about quitting T20I captaincy, I told them that this is my point of view, these are the reasons for my decision, it was received quite well. No one took offence, no one had any hesitation. No one told me that I should not leave the T20I captaincy," Kohli said in another startling press conference in December 2021.
Kohli made these comments a few days after Ganguly had told the media that he had personally asked the Delhi cricketer not to step down as captain in T20I cricket.