Virat Kohli quits as India's Test captain

Virat Kohli (Fie photo)

Virat Kohli quits as India's Test captain

New Delhi, January 15, 2022

Virat Kohli today sprang a surprise by stepping down as India's Test captain, a day after the team lost the series to South Africa 1-2 at Cape Town.

"It's been 7 years of hard work, 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. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it's now," Kohli, 33, said in a post on Twitter.

"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief," he said.

"I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can't do, 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," he said.

"I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of ttime and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I had for the 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 suppport group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, 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 a Captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward," he added.

Kohli, who first captained India at the Adelaide Test in 2014 against Australia, was appointed to the full-time role after Dhoni announced his retirement from the format ahead of the fourth Test at Sydney in January 2015.

He went on to become India's most successful Test captain, winning 40 of the 68 matches in which he led the side. Seventeen matches were lost and 11 ended in draws.

"BCCI congratulates #TeamIndia captain @imVkohli for his admirable leadership qualities that took the Test team to unprecedented heights. He led India in 68 matches and has been the most successful captain with 40 wins," the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) said on Twitter.

On September 16, Kohli had announced his decision to relinquish T20I captaincy after the World Cup in Oman and the UAE in October but had made it clear at that time that he would continue to be India's Test and ODI captain.

However, on December 8, the BCCI named Rohit Sharma as the captain of the ODI and T20I teams, going forward.

Kohli made his T20I captaincy debut in the series against England in 2017. In 45 T20Is, he led his side to 27 wins and 14 losses with two matches tied and two matches yielding no result.

He is India's second most successful skipper in the format after Dhoni. Under Kohli, India scored T20I bilateral series wins in South Africa (2-1) and England (2-1) in 2018 followed by New Zealand (5-0) and Australia (2-1) in 2020.

The most notable Test victories from the time under Kohli will be the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy win, where India won a Test series in Australia for the first time and leading 2-1 in England in the 2021 series apart from reaching the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton in the same year. He also took the Indian team to the number one ranking in Tests apart from overseeing the development of the pace attack reaching a world-class level and fitness being given prime importance.

NNN

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