On Saturday, Virat Kohli announced that he is stepping down as the Test captain for the Indian team as well. The timeline of his stint as a test captain shows some immense highs in SENA countries and some excruciating lows in home and away. Kohli was handed over the captaincy of the Indian Test team 7 years ago. At that time, the team was ranked seventh in the ICC Test Ranking. With each passing year, and with each overseas tour, Kohli’s captaincy got better. And so did India’s ranking. Since the better part of the last year India has been sitting at the top of the table, and have pushed giants like Australia and England further down.
To say Indian team batsman Virat Kohli is in one of the most turbulent phases of his cricketing career so far will be an understatement.
It all started in September 2021, when Kohli cited workload issues and announced stepping down as the captain of the T20I team. In December, fans were shocked to see Rohit Sharma being named the captain of the T20 and ODI team for the South African Tour.
Come January 2022, Kohli has himself stepped down as the Test team’s captain as well. All of this could’ve been a welcome decision, had the Indian cricket board BCCI and Kohli made such announcements together. But, there’s a clear friction between the board and Kohli, which has led him to take an unceremonious exit as the Indian Test team captain.
The Facts of the Matter
Fans of Virat Kohli were in the shock of their lives on Saturday after they got the news of their favourite batsman and captain stepping down as Test team’s captain. On Saturday, Kohli took to Twitter, and made the announcement where he wrote, ” Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test captain of India, it’s now.”
He went on to thank BCCI for the opportunity, and his team-mates who were along him to the journey of taking Test cricket to the top. He also went on to thank former Indian team coach Ravi Shastri and former Indian team skipper M.S. Dhoni.
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 15, 2022
Cricketing Giants React to Kohli’s Announcement
Virat, you can go with your head held high. Few have achieved what you have as captain. Definitely India's most aggressive and successful. Sad day for me personally as this is the team 🇮🇳 we built together – @imVkohli pic.twitter.com/lQC3LvekOf
— Ravi Shastri (@RaviShastriOfc) January 15, 2022
Integrity, insight and inclusivity.
Your contribution to the team as captain is invaluable, you’ve been a great leader to this side. It’s been a pleasure playing under you.🙌 pic.twitter.com/K5iwPIuplZ
— Jasprit Bumrah (@Jaspritbumrah93) January 15, 2022
Congrats @imVkohli on what you and your team has achieved under your leadership and thankyou for supporting test cricket so passionately and insuring that it stays the number 1 form of the game ❤️ https://t.co/zlePdPQZG0
— Shane Warne (@ShaneWarne) January 16, 2022
Whatever he did for #TeamIndia in Test cricket is commendable. I completely respect his decision and I think we all should. If someone wants to focus more on one aspect of the game, it's good for the team only afterall!#ViratKohli pic.twitter.com/NZgKCiEzdR
— Vinod Kambli (@vinodkambli349) January 15, 2022
Virat Kohli can be very proud of what he achieved as a test match captain. The numbers will tell a story but they won't tell you of his fierce desire to play and win at test cricket.
— Harsha Bhogle (@bhogleharsha) January 15, 2022
Many Congratulations #ViratKohli on an outstanding career as India's Test Captain. Stats don't lie & he was not only the most successful Indian Test Captain but one of the most successful in the world. Can be very proud @imVkohli & looking forward to watch u dominate with the bat
— Virender Sehwag (@virendersehwag) January 15, 2022
Under Virats leadership Indian cricket has made rapid strides in all formats of the game ..his decision is a personal one and bcci respects it immensely ..he will be an important member to take this team to newer heights in the future.A great player.well done ..@BCCI @imVkohli
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) January 15, 2022
Virat Kohli the Test Captain – A Time Line
December 2014 – Tour Down Under
Virat Kohli had learnt the ropes under M.S. Dhoni’s leadership. For the Australian tour, Dhoni wasn’t present and it was Kohli who was given the reins of the team. In his first spin, he dropped Ravichandran Ashwin to welcome debutant Karn Sharma. Kohli also went on to make two double-centuries. Although India didn’t win, Kohli had established himself a fearless batter, and a believing captain.
August 2015 – Winning Lankan Fortress
Tasting the defeat made Kohli hungry for victory. The team started off with a loss of match which pushed Kohli to depend on the Indian pacers. Soon, the tides turned and India won the series. For the first time in 22 years, India won a series against Sri Lanka at Sri Lanka.
January 2018 – The South African Fervour
Having brought in consistent results so far, Kohli was in for a surprise. The Test against South Africa at Wanderers was played on a pitch so moody; it could have given a bipolar man run for its money. The match at multiple times was sought to be called off. However, on a pitch that was tough, Kohli showed who was tougher. And in process he became the highest scoring Test batsman for India.
January 2019 – Making History
Before it played Australia in 2019, the team already lost to England 3-1 and was forced to evaluate and revaluate. However, the patience and persistence paid off when India toured Australia. In the Border-Gavaskar series, India triumphed, taking home a 2-1 victory. Meanwhile, Virat became the first ever Indian test team captain to win a Test series Down Under.
Dec 2020 – January 2021 – Staying on Top
If you had to as an Indian cricket fan one of their greatest moments as the fan of the sport, they would surely say the Border Gavaskar trophy that was heled in Australia. In the first test, India suffered a shameful 36-run collapse. Kohli had to rush back to India as he was to become a father. As if the entire team conspired to give their captain a gift, India bounced back. A team filled with the back-ups of the back-ups went on to conquer Gabba and seal the series.