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Virat Kohli stepped down as the captain of the nation’s men’s test cricket team, ending the most-successful run at the helm by an Indian with famous wins at home and away.

“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,” said a statement Kohli released on Twitter. “Every thing has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now.”

Kohli announced the decision a day after the Indian team lost the three-match test series in South Africa 1-2. He took over as the leadership of test team after Mahendra Singh Dhoni announced his retirement from the format mid-series in Australia in December 2014.

In the seven years that followed, Kohli-led teams notched up test wins in Sri Lanka, West Indies, and most notably in Australia in 2018-19, besides maintaining a solid record at home. In 68 test matches captained by Kohli, India won 40, lost 17, and drew 11. That makes him India’s most successful test captain.

In September 2021, Kohli announced that he would step down as captain in the Twenty-20 cricket format after the T-20 World Cup.

In December, the selection committee of the men’s team announced that Kohli was being replaced as captain of the one-day international team by Rohit Sharma. On the eve of the team’s departure to South Africa, Kohli held a press conference contradicting the version of events presented by Sourav Ganguly, president of the Board of Control for Cricket in India, on the change made in ODI leadership. The Indian team subsequently won the first test in South Africa, but lost the next two.

“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. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do,” Kohli said in the tweeted statement. “I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.”

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