The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) treasurer Arun Dhumal on Saturday said that there is no doubt that Virat Kohli is the most successful Indian team captain and cricket in the country would continue to thrive under his mentorship and batting skills. Dhumal’s remarks came after Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain after leading the side for seven years. “Virat beyond doubt is the most successful Indian cricket team captain. We respect his decision and we wish him all the best for his future endeavours as a batter. I am sure under his leadership, mentorship and with his batting skills, Indian cricket would keep doing well,” Dhumal told ANI.
Kohli’s decision to leave Test captaincy came a day after India lost the three-match Test series against South Africa on Friday. The 33-year-old’s biggest win in the longest format came during 2018-19 as India won its first Test series Down Under. Under his captaincy, India also reached the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).
When asked whether series defeat against South Africa played a role in Virat’s decision, Dhumal said: “I do not think series loss against South Africa would have weighed that much in his decision. This would have been the first series win in South Africa. There is no Indian Test captain that has won a series in South Africa, so that could not be the case. I am sure he would have thought about his decision, he has been leading the side for seven years. He would have thought that this is the time to give leadership to someone else in the team. He will continue leading with his bat.”
Replying on who can be the next Test captain, Dhumal said: “The decision to appoint a captain is taken by the selectors, not the office bearers. They would discuss among themselves on who will be the next Test captain.”
Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.
Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli took leadership by storm, and quickly cemented himself as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.
The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter registering seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain.
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