Virat Kohli Is India's Successful Captain, Opines Ian Chappell

Updated - 30 Jan 2022, 12:29 PM

Ian Chappell. (Credits: Twitter)

Former Australian captain Ian Chapell opined that Virat Kohli is India’s most successful captain.

Virat Kohli took over the Test captaincy from MS Dhoni in 2015 after the latter retired from the red-ball format during India’s tour of Australia from 2014-15. In 2017, Kohli was made captain of the Indian team in all formats, once again courtesy of Dhoni to quit the white-ball captaincy.

Kohli might not have won a single ICC Trophy under his leadership but his role in changing the approach and attitude of the team’s winning mentality will be talked about for years to come.

Virat Kohli-Ishant Sharma
Photo Credit: (BCCI)

Kohli had a great bond with Ravi Shastri, who was India’s head coach between 2017-2021, and the duo took India’s Test side to different heights. They won their first-ever Test series in Australia in the 2018-19 season after they thumped the hosts 2-1.

India were very close to winning their first Test series in England last year in September as they were leading 2-1 but the final Test was postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Virat Kohli took the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni: Ian Chappell

After stepping down from T20I captaincy and being removed from the ODI leadership, Kohli relinquished the red-ball captaincy after 1-2 series defeat to South Africa.

Chappell said that Kohli didn’t curb his enthusiasm and led the Indian team in a way that his predecessors couldn’t do.

The successful captain is Virat Kohli of India. When Kohli took over after the successful reign of MS Dhoni, there was one major concern: would his boundless enthusiasm cloud his judgment as a leader? There’s no doubt Kohli was an exception as captain; he didn’t curb his enthusiasm but he was still able to lead the Indian team to a higher level. With the capable assistance of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, he lifted India to overseas success as no other captain had done,” Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.

SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA - JANUARY 07: Virat Kohli of India holds aloft the Border–Gavaskar Trophy during day five of the Fourth Test match in the series between Australia and India at Sydney Cricket Ground on January 07, 2019 in Sydney, Australia. (Photo by Mark Metcalfe - CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)
SYDNEY, AUSTRALIA – JANUARY 07: Virat Kohli of India holds aloft the Border–Gavaskar Trophy (Photo by Mark Metcalfe – CA/Cricket Australia/Getty Images)

“His two personal major overseas successes were Australia in 2018-19 and England in 2021. At home, his side was virtually unbeatable, with only a loss apiece to Australia and England in 31 Tests. Kohli took the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni and substantially built on it in seven years at the helm. His biggest disappointment as captain was the recent series loss to South Africa after India led the away series 1-0, though he didn’t captain in the middle Test of that series, in Cape Town,” he added.

Virat Kohli’s major aim was to achieve victory in the Test arena: Ian Chappell

Kohli, who recently relinquished captaincy from all formats, holds the record of most Test wins (40) as India’s Test skipper.

Chappell said that Kohli made his teammates fall in love with Test cricket and hailed him for his decision to give up the leadership role at the right moment.

One of Kohli’s great achievements was instilling in his team a craving for Test cricket. Despite his all-encompassing success, Kohli’s major aim was to achieve victory in the Test arena and this is where his passion really shone. There is no doubt that Kohli drove his men hard but it’s also apparent they enjoyed competing and wanted success. Kohli has a number of individual achievements in his resume, none bigger than the development of Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper and batter,”Chappell mentioned.

Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli
Rishabh Pant and Virat Kohli. Credits: ICC

“Kohli tended to get his way when it came to selection and some of his decisions in this area were a little questionable but there’s no doubting his support of Pant was a masterstroke. Performance is another factor in ranking a captain and in his Tests as captain, Kohli averaged a masterly 54. He also has to be commended for resigning at a time of his choosing,” he added.

Kohli is one Test shy from completing his 100th Test match and the first Test against Sri Lanka next month in Bengaluru will give him the momentum to accomplish the feat.

Had he been fit to play the second Test against the Proteas in Johannesburg, by now he would have completed the landmark.

Also Read: Personally Feel Virat Kohli Could Have Had Couple Years More As Captain – Bharat Arun


Ian Chappell India National Cricket Team Virat Kohli