Team India’s Test captain Virat Kohli has decided to relinquish his captaincy in the longest format of the game as well, the 32-year-old confirmed on his Twitter account.
Kohli took over the captaincy from MS Dhoni midway through the Australian tour back in 2014-15. He took India to the top of the Test table and won the ICC Test mace for a record five times.
He revolutionized Test cricket in India and instigated a surge in pace bowling attack which has reaped rewards in the last few years. He led India to their first-ever Test series win on Australian soil back in 2018-19 before leading the team to a 2-1 lead in England last year as well.
Kohli was also the leader when the Indian team reached the finals of the ICC World Test Championship (WTC) 2019-2021 but failed to defeat New Zealand. Similar to his white-ball ventures, Kohli ends his Test captaincy stint without an ICC trophy as well.
“I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation,” Kohli wrote on Twitter.
The 32-year-old also went on to thank the former head coach, Ravi Shastri, and the 40-year-old legendary captain, MS Dhoni, for helping him through the captaincy. The news comes after India failed to win in South Africa despite leading the series after the first Test in Centurion.
As expected, the news came as quite a shock to the fans as he was always the favorite to lead the side in the longest format of the game, which he has strived so hard to promote.
Here’s how Twitter reacted to Virat Kohli’s retirement:
Fair enough. Quit when people ask why and not, why not… https://t.co/OKr6at9YP7
— Anant Tyagi (@anantyagi_) January 15, 2022
BREAKING: After seven years at the helm, Virat Kohli has stepped down as India’s Test captain. pic.twitter.com/0aZzSUvEYq
— ICC (@ICC) January 15, 2022
— Rajasthan Royals (@rajasthanroyals) January 15, 2022
so virat's 100th test won't be as captain of the team
— Gaurav Kalra (@gauravkalra75) January 15, 2022
Wow…to say I am surprised would be lying, however it will be strange not seeing Virat captaining. Though everyone’s time must come to end, as they say. Thank you driving the global game through your leadership especially in the Test arena 🙏🏽 https://t.co/ZsIZ4NNbYM
— Lisa Sthalekar (@sthalekar93) January 15, 2022
Kohli stepped down as Test Captain 🤔🤨🧐
— Harbhajan Turbanator (@harbhajan_singh) January 15, 2022
Whoaaa…didn’t see that coming. #Kohli
— Aakash Chopra (@cricketaakash) January 15, 2022
When Virat took over as Test captain, India winning a test overseas was an achievement, now if India lose an overseas test series it is an upset. And that's how far he has taken Indian cricket forward, and that will be his legacy. Congratulations on successful reign @imVkohli 👏🏻 pic.twitter.com/My2MOXNwMc
— Wasim Jaffer (@WasimJaffer14) January 15, 2022
You’ve been an inspiration and a leader par excellence. Thank you for taking Indian cricket forward like only you could have. 🙌🏻
— Royal Challengers Bangalore (@RCBTweets) January 15, 2022
— R P Singh रुद्र प्रताप सिंह (@rpsingh) January 15, 2022
Virat Kohli (C) forever 🇮🇳🤗
— Riyan Parag (@ParagRiyan) January 15, 2022
— Vinay Kumar R (@Vinay_Kumar_R) January 15, 2022
@imVkohli created Habits which turned into a culture. With courage,character passion & aggression, You led this indian Test cricket team to great heights. Today's decision is a shocker!!
Wishing you all the very best for the rest of your international career. #No1forever 💯💔 pic.twitter.com/NhcdsQOfwY
— R SRIDHAR (@coach_rsridhar) January 15, 2022
— Irfan Pathan (@IrfanPathan) January 15, 2022
If anyone deserved a fairy tale ending, an away series win in SA, it is this man. But there are no such things in sport, not even for the best Test captain of India men.
What he's achieved is phenomenal. The way he's left, it's almost as if he's channeling his inner Dhoni. https://t.co/Hyb37sLdwg
— Snehal Pradhan #MaskUp (@SnehalPradhan) January 15, 2022
Thankyou King Captain* 🙏❤️
— Rajesh (@Rajesh76098258) January 15, 2022
Indian cricket always had a leader who added a different value to the team and inculcated some of their characteristics to make a difference. Virat will always be remembered as an aggressive leader who changed the way everyone looked at fitness. #thankyouVirat 😇 https://t.co/9sBa0KBy0V
— Pragyan Ojha (@pragyanojha) January 15, 2022
7 YEARS of brilliance, memories & legacy! We know you gave it a 120% and more 👑
— KolkataKnightRiders (@KKRiders) January 15, 2022
— Bella Ciao (Chai) (@punjabiii_munda) January 15, 2022
— parthiv patel (@parthiv9) January 15, 2022
68 tests as captain. 40 wins to just 17 losses. Easily the best percentage and 13 test wins more than Dhoni at No2. Thank you @imVkohli, you were an outstanding captain for India.
— Joy Bhattacharjya (@joybhattacharj) January 15, 2022
Virat Kohli as Test captain of India:
Matches – 68
Won – 40
Lost – 17
Draw – 11
The Greatest Test captain of Indian cricket history.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 15, 2022
The legacy of Virat Kohli the Test captain will be remembered forever in Indian cricket, he lead from front, made a great depth in fast bowling unit, the aggression, passion and changed the way how India play the longer format. Thank you, Captain Kohli.
— Johns. (@CricCrazyJohns) January 15, 2022