Indian cricket will remember Virat Kohli not just as one of the greatest batters to emerge from the country, but also as one of the finest captains in the nation's history. As a skipper, Kohli's numbers are compelling but often lacked a final touch in adding that elusive trophy to his cabinet.
In 2015, Kohli became the official captain of the Indian Test team after MS Dhoni retired from international cricket. After that, he has led the Indian team to unprecedented heights of success in the longest format of the game. He led the team to regain the top spot in the ICC test rankings and to qualify for the final of the first-ever ICC World Test Championship.
Most successful Test Captain for India
As India's most successful captain, He won 40 matches, lost 17, and drew 11 matches. Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh are the only international captains with more Test victories than Kohli. The Indian batsman led India in 25 series, winning 18, losing six, and drawing one (a washout against Bangladesh).
Kohli's team was unbeatable in India. With no series losses or even ending in a draw at home, no other Indian captain has such an impressive record.
Winning four overseas tests in one calendar year
Kohli is the only Indian captain to accomplish this feat twice. India recorded historic test wins in Brisbane, Lord's, Oval, and Centurion in 2021, equaling the feat when they won away tests in Johannesburg, Nottingham, Adelaide, and Melbourne in 2018. With no other Indian skipper managing the feat, speaks volumes of the fearless brand of cricket the 33-year-old introduced.
Asian Skipper with the Most Test Wins in SENA Countries:
The Centurion victory was Kohli's ninth in 23 Tests (he has lost 13 and drawn three), which is the most by an Asian captain in SENA countries. Kohli has won 16 of the 36 international away Tests he has played. Kohli is only the third captain and first Asian to win a Test match in Centurion, following Nasser Hussain of England in 2000 and Michael Clarke of Australia in 2014.
Only Asian captain to win two Boxing Day games
Virat Kohli became the first Asian cricketer to lead his team to two wins in Boxing Day Test matches with the victory against South Africa. India has previously defeated Australia in a series that the visitors won 2-1 in 2018.
In South Africa, he is the first Indian captain to win two Test matches: The 33-year-old is the only Indian skipper to win two Test matches against South Africa, and he is the only Indian captain to do it. Under Kohli's captaincy, India had previously won a Test match in the rainbow nation in 2018. India only needs one more victory to win their first Test series in South Africa.
It was never going to be easy to fill MS Dhoni's shoes, but Kohli stepped up to the plate and soon established himself as one of the best minds the country has ever seen in Test cricket. Holding the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain with 68 matches, the batting maestro can wholeheartedly say mission accomplished.
Kohli's batsmanship was also enhanced with his leadership. Hitting seven double-centuries in the game's longest format, the former skipper holds the record for most Test hundreds (20) while captaining India. It was these kinds of performances that saw India become the number one Test team in the ICC Rankings for 42 months, from October 2016 to early March 2020, under Kohli's leadership.
Leaving an absolute legacy behind, Kohli can stand with his head held high. With a new role and responsibilities in the team, fans are eager to witness what upturns in the form will Kohli experience. Do you think Virat Kohli made the right call, Share your thoughts in the comments below.
Cover Credits: TheWire