Virat Kohli has resigned as India’s Test captain, effective immediately, he said on Saturday (January 15).
Kohli’s decision comes a day after India’s attempt to win their first-ever series in South Africa fell short. India lost the series 2-1 despite winning the first Test.
The 33-year-old had recently stepped down as India’s T20I captain and was subsequently ousted as the ODI captain ahead of the South Africa tour, which he announced via social media.
Statement by Kohli:
“It’s taken 7 years of hard effort, toil, and unwavering perseverance every day to move the team forward.” I’ve done the task completely honestly and haven’t left anything out. Everything has to come to a standstill at some point, and for me as India’s Test Captain, that time has arrived. Along the way, there have been many ups and some downs, but there has never been a lack of work or belief. I’ve always believed that giving 120 percent in everything I do is the right thing to do, and if I can’t, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I am completely honest with my team and have absolute clarity in my heart.
“I’d want to express my gratitude to the BCCI for allowing me to represent my country for such a long time, and, more significantly, to all of my players who believed in the vision I had for the team from the beginning and never gave up in any situation.” This journey has been made even more memorable and lovely because of you. You all played a huge role in bringing this idea to life, Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this car that continually propelled us ahead in Test Cricket. Finally, I’d like to express my gratitude to MS Dhoni, who believed in me as a captain and saw me as a capable guy capable of leading Indian cricket forward.”
In the absence of MS Dhoni, Kohli led India in a Test match for the first time in Adelaide at the end of 2014. Following Dhoni’s Test retirement, he took over as full-time captain in the same series. Kohli’s success as a Test captain led to him taking over the reins in the other forms as Dhoni stepped down throughout the years. He eventually eclipsed Dhoni as India’s most successful Test skipper.
Under Kohli’s leadership, India ascended to the top of the Test rankings and, for the first time in their history, won a Test series in Australia in 2018-19. While Australia’s batting was decimated in that series, India, led by Virat Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane, returned two years later to beat them again. India is already 2-1 up in the series in England and will play the fifth and final Test later this year. India made it to the final of the inaugural World Test Championship but lost to New Zealand. Kohli has led India to 40 Test victories, trailing just Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh in the all-time list.