MS Dhoni had passed on India's Test captaincy baton to Virat Kohli in 2014. Photograph:( AFP )
In 2014, Virat Kohli was appointed as India's permanent Test captain after MS Dhoni opted to retire from the longest format of the game. Kohli revealed he had broken down after realising that he will be captaining India permanently in Tests.
Virat Kohli brought an end to his seven-year-long stint as the captain of the Indian Test team on Saturday (January 15) after announcing that he will not be leading the side anymore in the longest format. One of the greatest captains of all time in the purest format, Kohli has left a legacy behind that will be hard to match for any Indian Test captain in the future.
Kohli signed off as the most successful Indian Test captain of all time with an impressive 40 wins in 68 Test matches as captain of the team. The batting maestro led from the front and instilled a strong belief in the team which saw them dominate both at home and away from home.
India became a force to reckon with in the longest format under Kohli's leadership and also reached the final of the inaugural edition of the World Test Championship (WTC) last year where they lost to New Zealand by eight wickets. Kohli also became the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia when the visitors clinched the Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under in 2019.
Kohli had led India for the first time in Tests against Australia in Adelaide on the team's tour Down Under in 2014. He had replaced Dhoni as the captain after the latter missed the game due to a thumb injury. However, little did Kohli know that he was destined to become India's permanent Test captain in the same series.
Dhoni shockingly announced his sudden retirement from Tests after the third Test against the Aussies and handed over the baton to Kohli. In an interview back in 2014, Kohli had revealed an interesting anecdote from the night when Dhoni announced his retirement from Tests.
Kohli had recalled how he broke the news to his now better half Anushka Sharma that he will be the permanent captain of the Indian Test team as Dhoni had decided to quit. Kohli revealed he broke down that night as he had never thought he will get to lead India in the oldest format of the game one day.
"Honestly, I was not able to think that I am going to be the Test captain now," Kohli remembered of that day. "After things calmed down a bit, I went to my room. Anushka [Sharma], who had come to watch that series, was there and I told her about the news. Her feelings were also mixed as to how did this happen so suddenly. Why did he [Dhoni] do this?," - Kohli had said in an interview with Cricket Monthly in 2015.
"After a while for both of us it sunk in that I am going to be Test captain of India, not just for one or two games, but permanently. And that is when I broke down, because I never expected this to happen," he had added.
Kohli took no time in taking India to the top of ICC Test rankings, lifting them from the seventh spot. It was the start of one of the best eras in India's Test history as the team went on to achieve some of the most memorable wins overseas and at home.
Kohli is not only the most successful Indian captain of all time in Tests but is also the 4th most successful captain of al time overall behind only some of the legends of the game like Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh.