Earlier this month, Kohli stood down as India’s Test skipper a day after the country suffered a 1-2 series defeat against South Africa in the three-match Test series. It has also been more than two years that Kohli scored a century in international cricket.
“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.
“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.
Kohli is India’s most successful Test leader as he won 40 matches out of the 68 he led in. The batting records of Kohli also speak for themselves as he registered seven double-centuries in Tests after being named the captain.
“One of Kohli’s great achievements was instilling in his team 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,” said Chappell.
“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 will now next be seen in the upcoming white-ball series against West Indies. When Sri Lanka tour India next, Kohli is expected to play his 100th Test at Bengaluru.