Virat Kohli steps down as India Test captain

"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 the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team."

India captain Virat Kohli has stepped down from his position as Test captain on Saturday.   -  REUTERS

The signs were there. Virat Kohli was becoming extremely frustrated with the captaincy. The manner he kicked the air and blew up after Dean Elgar won a review on day three of the decider indicated he was running out of patience.

If he had a vision then behaving badly on the field of play was not one of them.

Kohli, who withdrew from the second Test citing back spasm, resigned as the India Test captain in a long tweet, on Saturday. 

The Delhi batter who took over the captaincy in a rather dramatic fashion when M.S. Dhoni shocked everyone by stepping down as skipper after the Melbourne Test against Australia in 2014, formed a lasting relationship with coach Ravi Shastri. 

READ: Virat Kohli as Test captain: stats

His greatest achievement as captain was in leading India to its first-ever Test series triumph in Australia. Passionate about Tests, the failure to beat South Africa in a Test series on this tour would go down among his greatest disappointments.

During his stint as captain, Kohli did not see eye-to-eye with the legendary Anil Kumble and forced him out as coach. He also did not lead India to a title triumph in any ICC competition.

Being removed as the ODI captain hurt Kohli. And his verbal duel with the BCCI did not help matters either.

The writing was on the wall. Rohit Sharma will be a natural successor to Kohli. 

Kohli said in his tweet, “It has been 7 years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I’ve 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 is now. There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey: but never had there been a lack of effort or a lack of belief.”

He added, “I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it is not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to the team.”

He thanked “Ravi Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved up in Test Cricket consistently. You all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life. Lastly, a big thank you to M.S. Dhoni, who believed in me as captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward.’

Kohli thanked his teammates and the BCCI. The Board responded by acknowledging Kohli’s efforts as captain.

One era ends and another will begin.

Away from home stats

M 37

W 16

L 15

Drawn 6

Win % 43.24

Home stats

M 31

W 24

L 2

Drawn 5

Win % 77.41

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