Just a day after Team India lost the three-match Test series 1-2 to hosts South Africa, Virat Kohli on shocked the cricketing world as he announced to step down as the captain of Indian team in the longest format.
Kohli, 33, was first appointed as India captian at the Adelaide Test in 2014 against hosts Australia. He was appointed as the full-time captian after MS Dhoni had announced his retirement from the format ahead of the fourth Test at Sydney in January 2015.
Taking to his social media accounts, Kohli said: “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. 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 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. 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,” added he.
Notably, after stepping down, Kohli is the most successful India Test skipper. Under his time as the captain, India played 68 Tests, winning 40, losing 17 and drawing 11 and with a win percentage of 58.82.
“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,” concluded Kohli.
Earlier in September 2021, Kohli had announced to leave the T20I captaincy after the Men’s T20 World Cup in the UAE. Meanwhile, Kohli had also stepped down as the captain of the Indian Premier League (IPL) side Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB).
In December 2021, Kohli was replaced by opener Rohit Sharma as the ODI captain by the BCCI.
Significantly, India won a series in every country they travelled under Kohli barring South Africa and New Zealand.
After this development, Rohit is now most likley to be the next Team India captain. His first assignment as the full-time Test captain would be against Sri Lanka in the end of Februray when the islanders will tour India for a two-match Test series.
The two-Test series will be followed by a three-match T20I rubber.