- admin | January 16, 2022 | 9:11 am
Virat Kohli recently stepped down from the Test format ending his captaincy tenure across formats. He is one of the most prolific captains but the 33-year-old has decided to move forward as a batter, handing the reins to somebody else.
Before taking over in 2014, Virat Kohli lead the side in limited-overs on a stand-in basis. He took over as Test skipper at Adelaide for the first time, and put a stamp on the Indian Cricket team immediately. Chasing 365 on the final day, Virat Kohli decided to go for the chase, rather than play for the draw.
Although he went for a risky option, the statement he made set the tone for a wonderful tenure. Virat Kohli made two aggressive centuries, but India lost the game after getting painfully close. After MS Dhoni’s Test retirement, Virat Kohli took over as captain in the final Test of the same series, and made another wonderful century as India played out a draw.
After the Australia tour, Virat Kohli’s next assignment was to conquer Asia and the Caribbean. There was a drawn Test in Bangladesh, and a 2-1 series win in Sri Lanka, against a side which had Rangana Herath raging as Sri Lanka defended 180-odd in the first Test. The series win was India’s first in Sri Lanka over 22 years.
Following the series win against Sri Lanka, India kicked off a long home season, which helped Virat Kohli settle into his captaincy role. He led the side to a series win against South Africa, as they faced some difficult pitches. Next India faced West Indies away, and won the series conquering their first overseas location after the Australian tour. The home series turned out to be a strong one for India as they beat England, New Zealand and Australia.
Through the series, Virat made three double hundreds and was very prolific, but fell away against Australia in a crucial series. Against Australia at home, runs didn’t come easy as Australia planned well for Kohli. Despite the lack of runs, India managed to get past Steve Smith’s Australia in tough and tense series which saw India losing in Pune.
During the home season, Virat Kohli was promoted to captain the limited-over sides following Dhoni’s resignation. During this period, Virat Kohli and Anil Kumble went through some turbulent moments leading to Kumble’s resignation. Ravi Shastri came back after a defeat in the finals of the Champions Trophy. Late 2017 to 2018 saw Virat Kohli face another challenge India had overseas tours lined up.
They went to South Africa, and lost the series 2-1, but the bowlers took 60 wickets in the series, and it was small moments that proved the difference as India fell. He made a dream century in Centurion, but was the only contributor. In the final Test, there was a counter-attacking fifty on a treacherous surface, which displayed the class of Virat Kohli.
India then went to England, a place where Virat Kohli struggled in the past against the likes of Anderson. After a terrible tour in 2014, Kohli made amends in the tour. He allowed Anderson to beat him on numerous occasions, but his patience paid of as Virat Kohli led the run scoring chart in the series. Despite losing 4-1, the series was very close as India again lost key moments of the series.
India finally won a series away from home with a historical series win against Australia. The side came in with strong depth, and good bowling. The batting line-up fired collectively and the series went well as India won 2-1. Following the series win against Australia, Virat Kohli lead the side to a World Cup semi-final, before the depth of the side came on display. With IPL gaining prominence, India began to improve their bowling options, which proved helpful when the visited Australia again in 2020.
In 2019, India beat West Indies away from home again, and then won again at home against South Africa. The wins took India to the top of the World Test Championship table. Along the way though, India went through one of its biggest falls, and a strong rise. They were all-out for 36 in Adelaide after dominating the game, and following the defeat, Virat Kohli had to go back to India on paternity leave. In his absence, Rahane lead an injured side to a strong series win.
The series win propelled India to the WTC Final, which India lost, giving Kohli another defeat in a big ICC event. His decision to play two spinners was questioned, and following the defeat, Virat Kohli reverted back to a five bowler strategy, with only Ravindra Jadeja for spin away from home. Following the final defeat, Virat Kohli lead India in England again, and the team took a two-one lead, leaving India in a strong position with one test to go.
Following the England tour, Virat Kohli began to leave captaincy, and his tenures ended after the IPL and a terrible World Cup. After a series loss to South Africa, in which India took the lead after the first Test, Virat Kohli finally decided to end his time as captain of India. His tenure saw India make the knockout stage of each ICC event, barring the 2021 World Cup, and dominate Test Cricket as well. He finishes as India’s most prolific Test captain and is one Test away from playing a hundred Tests.