Virat Kohli has decided to step down from the Test captaincy on January 15. Kohli is fourth behind South Africa’s Graeme Smith (53) and Australia’s Ricky Ponting (48) and Steve Waugh (41) in the list of captains with most wins in Test cricket. Kohli took over the Test captaincy after India had won only one Test match outside Asia in the last 4 years. They also lost a home series against England and there was a lot of pressure on the new captain to turn the fortunes of the team.
Kohli showed great leadership during his tenure and India emerged as a major force under his leadership. They have not lost a single home series since 2015 and have faced only 2 defeats. Outside India, the team won two series in Australia (one led by Ajinkya Rahane), two series wins in the West Indies, eliminated Sri Lanka, and took an unassailable 2–1 lead against England. (There is one test left in the series).
Former India captain Kapil Dev has also reacted to Kohli’s decision and said that he looked tense after leaving the T20 captaincy. The 33-year-old had relinquished the T20I captaincy a month before the T20 World Cup. He was sacked as ODI captain in December 2021.
Kapil Dev told Mid-Day on Sunday, ‘I welcome Virat’s decision to step down as Test captain. Ever since he relinquished the T20 captaincy, he was going through tough times. He has been seen in a lot of tension in recent times, seems to be under a lot of pressure. So giving up the captaincy to play independently was an option. He chose it.”
“He is a mature man. I am sure he must have given a lot of thought before taking this important decision. Maybe, he was not enjoying the captaincy. We should support him and wish him all the best.”
He further said, “Sunil Gavaskar also played under me. I played under the leadership of K Srikkanth and Mohammad Azharuddin. I had no ego. Virat has to drop his ego and play under the leadership of a young cricketer. This will help him and Indian cricket. Virat should guide the new captain, new players. We can’t lose batsman Virat… Not at all.
Rohit Sharma or KL Rahul can be made the Test captain in place of Kohli. However, legend Sunil Gavaskar wants Rishabh Pant to replace Virat Kohli as India’s next Test captain as he believes the sense of responsibility will make the wicketkeeper a better cricketer across all formats of the game.