Virat Kohli was notified of his dismissal as India’s ODI captain just one-and-a-half hour before the Test squad selection meeting in South Africa, he claimed at a news conference on Wednesday. Kohli also claimed that the BCCI had not communicated about the ODI captaincy between September 16, when he declared that he would step down as T20I captain at the end of the T20 World Cup, and December 8, when the South Africa-bound Test squad was named.

Kohli further emphasized that his choice to resign as T20I captain soon before the World Cup was “fully received” by the BCCI’s top brass, who described it as “progressive.” His statements contrasted sharply with BCCI president Sourav Ganguly’s, who said Kohli had been asked to reconsider his decision.

“I was contacted one-and-a-half hours before the Test series selection meeting on December 8,” Kohli remarked of the BCCI’s communication (or lack thereof) on the ODI captaincy. “From the time I declared my T20I captaincy decision until the eighth (of December) when I got a call before the selection meeting, there was no previous communication to me at all.”

“The chief selector [Chetan Sharma] and I talked about the Test team, which we both agreed on, and before we hung up, I was told that the five selectors had decided that I would not be the ODI captain, to which I answered, ‘okay, fine.’ We briefly discussed it in the selection call that followed. That is exactly what occurred. Prior to it, there had been no communication at all.”

In an interview with PTI on December 9, Ganguly said that he had asked Kohli to reconsider his decision to step down as T20I captain, but Kohli denied this.

“It was positively received when I decided to relinquish the T20I captaincy and addressed the BCCI about my decision,” Kohli remarked. “There was no reluctance or offense, and I wasn’t told to think about it. It was positively accepted; I was told it was forward-thinking and (a step) in the right direction. I then told them that unless the office bearers and selectors feel differently, I’d prefer to continue in Tests and ODIs. What I wanted to do was crystal obvious in my message. I told them that if they don’t think I should (stay captain in Tests and/or ODIs), they may make that decision.”

All discussion of his pulling out of the ODI series in South Africa was “false,” according to India’s Test captain, and there was no suggestion that he would skip the games.

“All this time, I was and am available for selection,” Kohli remarked. “You shouldn’t be asking me this question; honestly, you should be asking this question to individuals who are writing about these things and their sources, because I was always available.”

“I haven’t received any communication from the BCCI indicating that I wish to take a break. There have been a few things that have come out in the past, such as it being reported that I was attending certain gatherings or something that was completely false. All of these folks who are writing these things, as well as their sources, are completely untrustworthy in my opinion. As I already stated, I am available for selection for the ODI series in South Africa, and I am eager to play. This is a question that should be asked of people who write lies; my discussion with the BCCI on this topic has not occurred, and I do not wish to relax.”

Kohli didn’t hold back in voicing his dissatisfaction with “things that happen on the outside,” but insisted that “nothing can derail my motivation to play for India.”

“Nothing has, and nothing can derail me from being prepared for a tour like this and performing to the best of my skills,” he stated. “A lot of things on the outside aren’t ideal or how one expects them to be, but you have to recognize that you can only do so much as an individual, and we have to put things in perspective and do what we can. I’m focused, mentally prepared, and eager to do everything I can to help the team win.”