Virat Kohli today dropped a bombshell by quitting test captaincy following the unexpected series defeat against South Africa. Kohli was appointed test captain in 2014 when MS Dhoni stepped down in the middle of the series against Australia.
“Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as test captain of India, it’s now. There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey but there has never been (a) lack of effort or lack of belief,” Kohli wrote in a statement which he posted on Twitter, taking everyone by surprise.
“It’s been 7 years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there… I have always believed in giving my 120% in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.
“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation. You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful. To Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a Captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward,” Kohli wrote.
Kohli first led India in a Test match by the end of 2014 in Adelaide in MS Dhoni’s absence. He took over as the full-time captain in the same series immediately after Dhoni’s Test retirement. Over the years, Kohli’s success as captain in Tests also led to him taking over the reins in the other formats once Dhoni stepped down. Eventually, he surpassed Dhoni and became the most successful Indian Test captain.
Under Kohli, India reached the summit in the Test rankings and managed to win a Test series in Australia for the first time in their history, in 2018-19. While Australia were weakened in the batting department in that series, India under Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane returned to those shores two years later to beat them again. India are also currently leading the series in England 2-1 and will return this year to play the fifth and final Test. In the inaugural World Test Championship, India reached the final but ended up losing to New Zealand. Overall, India have won 40 Tests under Kohli with only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh ahead of him in the all-time list.
Kohli led India to the top of world rankings and during his tenure, the team recorded a memorable series win in Australia.
Kohli’s decision comes a day after India fell short in their quest to clinch their first-ever series in South Africa. Despite winning the opening Test, India conceded the series 2-1.
The 33-year-old, who conveyed his decision via social media, had recently stepped down as India’s T20I skipper and was subsequently removed as the ODI captain ahead of the South Africa tour.
Virat Kohli as captain in tests
The 33-year old had recently quit as T20 captain and was later sacked at ODI captain by the BCCI.