Virat Kohli is one of the biggest names in the cricketing fraternity and one of the greatest batsmen to have ever played the game. Kohli with his aggressive and consistent batting has made several records across all formats. The star batter is also one of the biggest ambassadors of red ball cricket. Over the years, with his consistency in different conditions he has been the best Test batsman for India. Kohli has played 102 Test matches and has scored 8074 runs at an impressive average of 49.53. The batsman has scored 27 centuries out of which 14 centuries are away from home. As good a batsman he is in Test cricket, he was also a brilliant captain for the Indian Test team.
The first time Virat Kohli captained India in Test cricket was in the 1st Test of the Australian tour in December 2014 when MS Dhoni was ruled out of the Adelaide Test due to an injury. Kohli scored 115 runs in India’s first innings, becoming the fourth Indian to score a hundred on Test captaincy debut. In the second innings, India were set a target of 364 to be scored on the fifth day. Virat and Murali Vijay stitched a partnership of 185 runs for the 3rd wicket. From 242/2, India was bowled out for 315 losing their remaining wickets for just 73 runs. Virat Kohli scored century in the second innings too and was the top scorer with 141 runs of 175 balls. In that Test, the world got a glimpse of Virat’s aggressive captaincy.
When MS Dhoni announced his retirement from Test cricket at the conclusion of the 3rd Test match, Kohli was appointed as the full-time Test captain ahead of the fourth Test at Sydney. Captaining the Test team for the second time, Kohli hit 147 in the first innings of the match and became the first batsman in Test cricket history to score three hundreds in his first three innings as Test captain.
India’s Most Successful Test Captain
Since taking up the captaincy in 2014 Kohli led the team in 68 Tests out of which India won 40 of them. With 17 losses and 11 draws, he has a very healthy win percentage of 58.82 under his leadership.
Kohli is the most successful Test captain that India has ever produced in terms of number of matches won and win%. He also has led the nation in most number of matches and ranks sixth among captains, who have led their team most times in Test cricket. Only Graeme Smith (53), Ricky Ponting (48) and Steve Waugh (41) have won more Test matches than Kohli (40).
Under his captaincy, India defeated Australia in a Test series for the first time in Australia in 2018. He also led India into the finals of the World Test Championship in 2021.
- With 16 wins away from home, Virat has led India to most wins away from home as Indian captain.
- Virat Kohli has captained India in 24 series. He won in 18, lost 5 and drew one (a washout against Bangladesh).
- During Kohli’s tenure as captain, India did not lose or drew a single home Test series.
- Out of the 11 Test series played at home under him, Kohli lost only 2 matches.
- Kohli has won 7 matches as captain in SENA countries (South Africa, England, New Zealand and Australia) which is the most by any Asian captain, the next best is by Wasim Akram and Javed Miandad with 4. The next best Indian captain has 3 wins in SENA countries.
Ever Since becoming the captain Kohli operated on a different level when it came to his batting, he became a much better batsman compared to when he was not the captain.
In 68 matches as captain, he scored 5864 runs at an average of 54.80.
He also has 20 Test centuries and 7 double centuries to his name as captain.
Kohli’s seven double centuries as captain in Test cricket is the most by any player.
Virat also has the fourth most runs as captain in the world and the most by an Indian Skipper.
In January 2022, Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain after the series loss against South Africa ending a very successful seven year stint as Indian Captain.