In Numbers: Why Virat Kohli is the greatest Test skipper India has ever had | Cricket

Virat Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain on Saturday, bringing an end to the Kohli-captaincy era. After stepping down as T20I skipper before the start of the 2021 T20 World Cup and after being ousted as the ODI captain, the 33-year-old decided to completely give up the leadership role. 

The decision comes after his team suffered a morale-crushing 2-1 defeat at the hands of South Africa. Despite winning a historic first Test in Centurion, the Asian giants could not contain the Proteas fire. 

ALSO READ| Virat Kohli steps down as India’s Test captain

But Kohli walks away as the nation’s greatest leader in the whites. With 40 wins, and 17 defeats, in 68 matches, Kohli is so far the most successful Test skipper India has ever seen. After all, it was under him that the country won its first-ever Test series in Australia. 

Moreover, they inched ahead to take an unassailable 2-1 lead against England with one match to go. That feat in the 2021 series including wins at Lord’s and the Oval. He took the side to the inaugural World Test Championship final and guided the nation to its maiden Test triumph at Centurion in South Africa. 

Under him, the side only drew 11 Tests. 

As a batter too while donning the captaincy, Kohli didn’t disappoint. he averaged 54.80 in 68 matches, amassing 5864 runs. His stats include 20 centuries and 18 fifties.

While the players, the fans, and the cricketing fraternity will miss the never-say-never spirit of Kohli as skipper and would have wanted him to continue, the right-hander, in a statement on Twitter, explained why he’s called it quits.

He wrote:

“It’s been 7 years of hardwork, toil and relentless perseverance everyday to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Every thing has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now.”

“There have been many ups and also some downs  along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.”

“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all my teammates who bought into the vision I had for my team from day one and never gave up in any situation. You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful.

“To Ravi bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test cricket constantly, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as Captain and found me to an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward.”

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