Updated: Jan 16
Virat Kohli steps down from Test captaincy, announces via his Twitter handle
In a shocking development, Virat Kohli stepped down from India’s Test captaincy on Saturday. The flamboyant skipper who helped Team India to the summit of Test rankings called time on his Test captaincy after seven years of donning the role.
The news came just a day after India’s loss to South Africa by 1-2 in the three-match Freedom Trophy 2021-22. Earlier, he had also announced his decision to step down from T20I captaincy after the 2021 T20 World Cup and was subsequently sacked by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) as One Day Internationals (ODI) skipper.
The 33-year-old batter issued a statement via his social media profile, to officially step down from the role. The statement read: “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. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it’s now.”
Last year, Kohli had also stepped down as the skipper of Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB), compelling fans to think about what happened with their old aggressive skipper.
Fourth-most successful after Graeme Smith (53), Ponting (48) and Waugh (41)
In his statement, Kohli thanked BCCI, former head coach Ravi Shastri and his predecessor MS Dhoni for backing him. Kohli had taken over captaincy from Dhoni in 2014 during India’s tour of Australia when Dhoni had dropped a bombshell by announcing his shocking retirement from Tests after the Melbourne Test.
Since then, Kohli has taken the Indian Test team to unprecedented heights and even helped the side become the number 1 side for two consecutive years. He also led the Indian team to the finals of the inaugural World Test Championship at Lord’s which, unfortunately, they lost to New Zealand.
Under his captaincy, India managed to defeat all the SENA countries, including a memorable series win in Australia in 2018-19, India’s first in 71 years since their first tour down under. During his tenure, he also surpassed the likes of MS Dhoni (27 wins), Clive Llyod (36 wins), and Allan Border (32 wins) with 40 wins in 68 matches he led since taking over as Test skipper in 2014.
Virat Kohli's record as Test Skipper:
Matches - 68 Won - 40 Lost - 17 Draw - 11
Away Wins - 16
Home Wins - 24
Virat Kohli as captain in international cricket:
Matches - 213
Won - 135
Runs - 12,883
Average - 59.92
Hundreds - 41
BCCI lauds Kohli on his departure as skipper
BCCI congratulated the outgoing skipper and acknowledged his outstanding leadership of the Test team as it tweeted:
“BCCI congratulates #TeamIndia captain @imVkohli for his admirable leadership qualities that took the Test team to unprecedented heights. He led India in 68 matches and has been the most successful captain with 40 wins”
It is not clear as to who will replace Kohli as the new Test skipper, but it is highly likely that KL Rahul could be the next strong contender for the role, given that Rohit Sharma will lead the team in the T20I and ODI formats.
Here are some of the top twitter reactions as Virat Kohli steps down from Test Captaincy: