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Virat Kohli – The Red Ball Captain

One of the most vocal supporters of Test Cricket format will no longer be at the helm of Indian side.

It was ever so refreshing to have an advocate for the elite format while leading from the front across formats, however, Virat Kohli’s announcement comes as a shock to Indian cricket fans. He had previously shown intentions of concentrating solely on the long-form captaincy in his previous interviews and media briefings.

Needless to say, he’ll be missed as captain.

The Legacy

Virat Kohli’s stint as leader resurrected the Indian side into the phoenix it is today. Taking over a team reeling from a series defeat in Australia, he became the first Indian captain to win a series there 4 years later.

He has been the most successful skipper for India in its Test history with 40 wins under his belt at an impressive Win% of 58.82 from 68 games. No other captain has won more than half the games for a minimum of 10 Tests.

His push to the fast-bowling culture in the Indian team has been one of the highlights of his tenure among a list of positives too long for this blog. Ravi Ashwin’s record-breaking success at home gave Virat a free hand but India’s pace attack repaid his faith by some tremendous performances over the years. Only the pacers under Sir Viv-Lloyd and Cronje took more wickets at a better average.

He backed the likes of Ishant, Umesh and Siraj when others had little trust in them and each of them came through, impressing both at home and overseas.

Record-breaking 2018 for Jersey No. 18

Virat Kohli’s fantastic 2018 saw India win 4 Tests in SENA countries which is most for an Asian captain in a calendar year. He scored 1138 runs at 51.7 and top-scored for India in 8 innings out of the 22. During this SENA raid he scored 4 centuries which is most by any Asian batsman, equalling his own record from 2014.

2018 is all the more iconic in Indian cricket as the side made history by winning its first ever Test series down under. Kohli marching the side around SCG has to be one of the sweetest moments for an Indian fan in recent times…

Lesser Known Records as Test Captain

-Highest ever Win% at Home (77.4%) edging past the all-time greats like Waugh & Ponting
-Best Bowling Average of a team under a captain (24.9)
-Most Wins by an Asian captain in SENA countries (7)
-The Most Wins by the margins of 100+, 200+ and 300+ runs
-Most double-centuries (7) followed by Brian Lara (5)
-Most runs/centuries in the first 100 innings as Captain (5449/20)
-Joint most instances of 500+ runs series along with Lara and Bradman (4)
-Most Centuries in a decade (20). Followed by Ponting who scored 18 in 2000s
-One of the only 2 players to score century in each innings of the first Test as Captain. Other one to do it is Greg Chappell

So many imperious performances with the bat while leading, countless known/unknown records in Test history, but Virat Kohli the Test Captain will majorly be remembered for the ever-lasting camaraderie, endless energy and his fluorescent presence on the field.