Virat Kohli has announced that he is stepping down from Test captaincy of the Indian team after the recently-concluded South Africa series. The 33-year-old took to social media on Saturday, January 15 and said that his 7-year-journey as the Test captain of India has come to a halt.
The unforeseen decision comes a day after India lost a 3-Test series 1-2 to South Africa in South Africa. Virat Kohli led India in 68 Tests between 2014 and 2022 and won 40 out them. The skipper finishes as India’s most successful Test captain with a win percentage of 58.82.
Virat Kohli had been one of India’s longest-serving skippers in the longest format of the game, having successfully led the team in whites for close to 8 years. Kohli took over from MS Dhoni as India’s Test captain in the middle of a high-profile series in Australia in 2014 and never looked back from there.
Kohli led India to a historic Test series victory in Australia in 2018-19 and dominated England in England last year. However, Kohli’s last assignment as Test captain ended in disappointment as India failed to conquer what was being looked at as the final frontier — win a Test series in South Africa.
Kohli’s decision comes months after he quit T20I captaincy. He was sacked as India’s ODI captain before India departed to South Africa earlier this year.
Notably, Kohli had said in September that he would want to continue as ODI and Test captain.
Everything has to come to halt: Virat Kohli’s full statement
— Virat Kohli (@imVkohli) January 15, 2022
“It’s been 7 years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I have 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’ 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,” Virat Kohli said in his post.
“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 right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.”
‘A BIG THANK YOU TO MS DHONI’
Virat Kohli also thanked former head coach Ravi Shastri and his former Dhoni in the heartfelt post on Saturday.
“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,” he added.