The manner in which he was removed as ODI captain, after he himself took the decision to step down as the T20I skipper. The contradictory statements from the BCCI president and Virat about how he was or was not asked to reconsider his decision to quit T20 captaincy etc made headlines and showed that all was not well in the corridors of power in Indian cricket.
And now Virat seems to have made up his mind that he doesn’t want to continue as leader anymore, in any format. The million dollar question is would he have stepped down if India had won the series vs South Africa and registered their maiden Test series win in the Rainbow Nation. But that is a hypothetical.
The sequence of events is interesting.
September 16, 2021 – Virat Kohli announced that he will be stepping down as T20I captain after the World Cup
December 8, 2021 – BCCI announces Rohit Sharma will replace Virat Kohli as the new Indian ODI captain. Virat later says he was told he will be replaced as ODI captain 90 minutes before the Test team selection for South Africa tour
January 15, 2022 – Virat Kohli steps down as Test captain
As Test captain, Virat has an enviable record. Overall his win percentage as Test skipper stands at a very healthy 58.82%. He went past MS Dhoni as the most successful Indian Test skipper. Dhoni had earlier gone past Sourav Ganguly on the same list.
Overall, Virat captained India in 68 Tests, winning as many as 40. Dhoni had captained India in 60 bTests and won 27, while Sourav Ganguly captained India in 49 Tests and won 21.
Overall, against the major Test playing nations, this is what Virat Kohli’s record has been like:
The 33-year-old who is responsible for creating a crop of fast-bowlers that can help the side take 20 wickets in any condition, will now be hoping to have a good run with the bat in all three formats of the game.
Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) 1642252472000
Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli took leadership by storm, and quickly, he cemented himself as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.
The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter registering seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain.
It was under Kohli’s leadership that India was crowned the number one Test team in the ICC Rankings for a continuous period of 42 months from October 2016 till early March 2020.
Virat Kohli’s biggest win in the longest format came during 2018-19 as India won its first Test series Down Under. Under his captaincy, India also reached the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).
It is also important to note that India was almost unbeatable under Kohli in home conditions. In the four Tests that India played against England in England last year, Kohli’s side went on to take a 2-1 lead and the last Test of the series will be played later this year.
Kohli has the most Test wins at home for India as captain. India’s victory against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium last year was Kohli’s 24th Test win at home.
(With inputs from ANI)