Virat Kohli Steps Down From Test Captaincy
In an unexpected turn of events, Virat Kohli has stepped down from Test Captaincy. The announcement comes days after India lost the Test series on their tour to South Africa. He had already resigned from T20I captaincy before the World Cup. In early December, he was stripped of the ODI captaincy as well, causing a stir among fans and Virat himself. The reason that was cited by BCCI president Sourav Ganguly was that they ‘Didn’t want two separate white ball captains’.
Taking to Twitter, he posted the following message.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 15, 2022
Kohli’s Test Legacy
Kohli first took over the Test Captaincy in 2014, after MS Dhoni announced his retirement in the midst of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Since then, Virat has gone on to build one of the finest teams in the format. When he came to the job, India were ranked seventh in the ICC Test rankings. Under him, the team rose rapidly, eventually reaching number one in 2017. They held the spot for five years, only briefly losing it to New Zealand. While India were always a force at home, they got considerably better on overseas tours in this period, highlighted by two stunning series wins in Australia in 2018-19, which he described as the biggest achievement of his career, and in 2020-21. India also lead the 5 match Test series against England 2-1 and are on the cusp of making history. Keep updated the latest BBL score live here.
Despite his successes in England and Australia, series wins in New Zealand and South Africa continued to evade him. His last assignment came in a 2-1 loss to the Proteas. In 68 Tests at the helm, India won 40 and lost just 17 (only 2 at home). His extraordinary record puts him behind just Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh on the list of most matches won under their captaincy. He has the most wins for any Indian Test Captain by far, with MS Dhoni coming in second with 27 wins. His record of 16 overseas wins is also the most for any Indian. He also led the side to the first ever World test Championship Finals, where they lost to New Zealand.
But what Kohli will be most remembered for is his passion on the field. He revolutionised the team, raising fitness levels and building a strong pace attack. He realised early that India needed pacers to compete overseas, and directed resources into creating a pool of 5-6 players. Ishant Sharma, Umesh Yadav and Mohammad Siraj are just a few of the names that have thrived under his leadership.
As a Batsman
When he came to the helm in 2014, he was already fast becoming one of the best batsmen in the world. The extra leadership, however, seemed to take his game to the next level, often leading from the front. His famous twin tons in his first Test as captain served to prove the point. Overall, he scored 5864 runs at an average of 54.80 with 18 fifties and 20 hundreds. Only Smith, Ponting and Border have more runs and only Smith has most hundreds. No one has more than Kohli’s seven double tons as captain. Get some betting tips today for free.
He batted at four for almost the entirety of his test career, a position from which he could control the flow of the teams innings. His second innings 141 against the Australians at Adelaide on a Day 5 pitch was one of the best innings by an overseas batsman, and one which stamped his authority on the world stage. Four years later, a masterful 153 on a spicy Centurion pitch out of a total of 307 was not enough to get India over the line. For fans, perhaps his most memorable moment came in 2018 against England, where he had struggled in 2014. In his first innings of the tour, he scored 149, powered by immense drive and concentration. Though his double centuries were treats to the eyes, the aforementioned knocks will always hold a special place in the hearts of fans.
What will worry fans will be the time frame between these decisions. Whispers of a rift between the BCCI and Kohli have been doing rounds for a while and this is sure to add tinder to the flame. According to chief selector Chetan Sharma, Kohli was told to reconsider his decision to step down as T20 captain, which he refused. The 33 year old also went on to say that there had been no prior communication before his ODI sacking.
This officially means that Kohli will not captain India in any format. While Rohit Sharma has been named skipper of the white ball sides, it remains to be seen who takes over the Test team. The Squad for the Sri Lanka series will likely have a few radical changes. Pujara and Rahane seem to have finally run out of rope while Gill, Vihari and Iyer are set to get a go. Get some free IPL cricket betting tips and tricks here.
Kohli has not confirmed whether he will continue in the side as a batsman. Most likely, he will play on as a specialist bat as he intends to do in ODIs and T20Is. Whatever the case may be, India should be thankful for him. To take a team to the top is not easy, let alone maintain the position for five years. Under him, India went from perennially bad travellers, to a team that won back down under any circumstance. His attitude spread like moss in the dressing room, which will remain. It was clear that whoever played under Kohli played his way. Whoever comes next will struggle to match his fire and passion, something that has become synonymous with the new India. The wild celebrations, loud appeals and the confident strut to the toss are etched forever in Indian cricketing lore. And that is what he leaves behind.