The 2-0 lead over South Africa in the three-match Test series shows India’s dominance in Test cricket at home. They have been almost invincible at home. Since England defeated India (2-1) at home in 2012/13, India have not lost a single Test series in their own den. In fact, India created a world record recently. They won 11 consecutive Test series at home.
And a lot of credit should go to captain Virat Kohli who has lost just one Test as captain at home out of 23 matches. His overseas records as Test captain is the best among Indian cricketers as well.
So, is Virat Kohli the best Indian Test skipper ever?
Cricwizz makes a statistical analysis of Virat Kohli’s records as Test skipper to crack this question – Is Virat Kohli the best Indian Test skipper ever?
(P.S: The stats are till the second Test between India and South Africa)
Records of Indian captains in Tests
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Kohli enjoys the best success percentage in this category. He has also won the most number of Tests by an Indian Test captain. And he has done this in fewer matches compared the next best skipper, MS Dhoni.
However, a captain is judged on his team’s performances overseas. Does Kohli excel in this regard too?
Records of Indian Test skippers overseas
In this case, Kohli excels too, posting 13 Test wins away from home and counting. Ganguly is second with 11 Test wins. And Kohli can only add to this tally.
Indian skippers with most runs as captains
Kohli loves to lead from the front in Tests. He has 19 tons as skipper, the most by any Indian skipper. He averages a phenomenal 64.36 with the bat as captain in Tests. No other Indian skipper comes close. It’s due to Kohli’s batting as Test captain that has elevated India to No 1 rank in Tests for the last few seasons.
Overseas Test series wins
Kohli has won 5 Test series away from home. He won Test series in Sri Lanka and West Indies twice, and a historic Test series in Australia in 2018-19. No other Indian skipper has achieved this number of Test series wins away from home.
Improvements for Virat Kohli as Test skipper
1. Kohli still needs to add a few Test series win abroad such as in England, South Africa and New Zealand to be truly called the best Test skipper not only in India but in the world.
2. He needs to improve his team selection. India have lost a few Tests just because of wrong selection. They have either chosen players who were not suitable for the conditions or omitted strong players such as C Pujara or Ajinkya Rahane who could have made a difference in the match.
3. Being ruthless: India lost a few close Tests in England and South Africa just because they could not finish off the match despite being in the driver’s seat. If Kohli and his men improve on this, they can be a top Test side in all overseas pitches and conditions for a few more seasons.
The stats prove Kohli is undeniably the greatest Indian Test captain currently. However, the Indian captain also needs to post wins consistently in tough conditions of South Africa, New Zealand and England and win Test series there to be truly called the greatest Indian Test skipper ever. This is one area that is missing from Kohli’s Test success as skipper.