In a massive development, Virat Kohli on Saturday announced that he will step down as India’s Test captain, a day after his team’s 1-2 series loss to South Africa at Cape Town. The 33-year-old steps down as the most successful Test captain in Indian cricket history. He led the Indian cricket team in 63 matches in which they emerged victorious in 40.
Earlier, last year, Kohli renounced the T20I captaincy after the ICC T20 World Cup and later was sacked as ODI captain as the national selectors wanted a single captain to lead the team in the white-ball format. The BCCI replaced him with Rohit Sharma in ODIs. However, nobody was expecting Kohli to quit Test captaincy at this time as his decision sent shockwaves across the cricketing world. Former cricketers and fans on social media reacted after Kohli’s relinquishment as Test captain.
Among the firsts, former England captain Sir Alastair Cook reacted to Kohli bowing out. The veteran cricketer writing in his column for The Times, agreed with the Indian cricketer’s statement of a Test captain needing plenty of patience and hard work. He also lauded Kohli for doing a spectacular job as India’s red-ball skipper and building the team into a world-beating side. Emphasising how his (Kohli’s) attitude has rubbed off on the team, Cook wrote that India may have lost the World Test Championship (WTC) final in June “but they are ranked No. 1.” and much of the that hard edge attitude is instilled because of him.
“If ever a team was shaped in the mould of their captain, it is this India side,” the 37-year-old added.
Things have not been rosy between the 99-Test veteran and the BCCI, both parties issued contradicting statements in the wake of Kohli’s removal as Team India’s ODI captain. There were reports that the Indian selectors might sack Kohli if he loses the Test series in South Africa. However, the 99-Test veteran had outmanoeuvred the Board and opted to resign himself.