Why was Kohli excluded from ICC Test XI?

Despite enjoying an unbeaten run as captain during the period for picking the Test XI -- 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016 -- Virat Kohli's batting figures weren't better than the top-five batsmen in the eleven.

virat kohli

Virat Kohli led India to five wins in eight Tests during the selection period for the ICC Test XI.   -  AP

Virat Kohli's exclusion in the International Cricket Council's 2016 Test XI despite leading India atop the rankings and raking up the runs surprised a few.

It might also seem ironical that Kohli's England counterpart Alastair Cook was named the captain of the Test XI immediately after the 0-4 drubbing he suffered in India. England, with four players, had the biggest representation in the eleven.

Despite his unbeaten run as captain during the period for picking the Test XI -- 14 September 2015 to 20 September 2016 -- Kohli's batting figures weren't better than the top-five batsmen in the team including Cook.

David Warner, Cook, Kane Williamson, Joe Root and Adam Voges -- Test XI's top five -- aggregated over 1000 runs and averaged 50-plus in the span as compared to Kohli's 451 runs at 45.10. Kohli, however, played only eight Tests whereas the rest played at least 10.

Here's how they fared in Tests during the selection period:

 

Kohli led India to five wins (three at home, two away) in eight Tests as compared to Cook's six victories (four at home, two away) in 14 matches. Cook's better numbers with the bat might have helped him become captain of the ICC Test XI for the third time.