File pic of Virat Kohli and MS Dhoni.© AFP
Virat Kohli sent shockwaves across the world on Saturday, announcing abruptly that he was stepping down as Test captain of the Indian cricket team. Kohli’s decision to quit the Test captaincy came just a day after India’s Test series loss in South Africa. Although, his announcement didn’t come during a Test series, as MS Dhoni had done, but the the suddenness of it all still bore some resemblance to Dhoni’s bombshell in Australia in 2014. In his statement that he posted on his social media handles, Kohli thanked the BCCI and former India coach Ravi Shastri but also had a message for his predecessor MS Dhoni.
“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,” Kohli’s statement read.
In the final line of his statement, Kohli thanked Dhoni for believing in his leadership skills.
“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,” wrote the 33-year-old.
In September this year, Kohli had announced that he was stepping down as India T20 captain — his decision coming after India’s premature exit from the T20 World Cup in the UAE. This was then followed by the Indian board’s decision to replace him as ODI captain with Rohit Sharma.
Kohli ends his captaincy tenure as India’s most successful leader in the longest format of the game. He captained India in 68 Tests, leading the team to 40 victories with just 11 losses to his name.
In fact, Kohli is the one of the most successful captains in the history of Test cricket. Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
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