Virat Kohli is currently one of the best players in world cricket. However, more than just his contribution as a batsman, Kohli has been one of the cornerstones of India's success in the last few years, especially in Test cricket.
In 2014, Kohli was handed over the Test reigns as India's captain after MS Dhoni announced his retirement. In 2017, Kohli was named the full-time India captain after he was handed over the captaincy in the limited-overs format too.
Virat Kohli couldn't win any of the ICC trophies during his tenure as white and red ball captain but his overall captaincy record is a dream for any captain. He was the originator of the aggressive form of captaincy that we now associate with the Indian team.
Kohli relieved of captaincy duties in ODIs and Tests
Ahead of the T20 World Cup 2021, Kohli announced his decision to relinquish his T20 captaincy after the ICC event. While India made an early exit from the tournament, it wasn't the greatest of farewells for Kohli as the T20I captain. Kohli has also been relieved of his captaincy duties from the ODIs after selectors chose Rohit Sharma to lead the team starting from the ODI series against South Africa.
Under Kohli's captaincy, India might not have witnessed great success in ICC events but his legacy as an India captain will arise from his constant push to promote Test cricket. Kohli has been a brilliant ambassador for Test cricket globally in the way he has led transformation in the Indian Test team. The Men in Blue also reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship in 2021.
Under Kohli's captaincy, India won its maiden Test series in Australia in 2018/19 after 71 years since 1948. It was under Kohli's leadership that India was crowned as the No.1 Test team in the ICC Rankings for a continuous period of 42 months from October 2016 till early March 2020. Virat Kohli hung his boot as the test captain after Rohit Sharma was appointed the captain for all three formats in February 2022.
We conduct a Statistical Analysis on Virat Kohli and his captaincy record in various formats for India and the IPL:
Virat Kohli Captaincy record in Tests
Matches: 66, Won: 39, Lost: 16, Draw: 11, Wins Home: 24, Wins Away: 15
Matches: 68, Won: 40, Lost: 17, Draw: 11, Wins Home: 24, Wins Away: 15 Series: 24, Won: 18, Lost: 5, Draw: 1, Home Series Wins: 11, Away Series Wins: 7
66 – Kohli holds the record for most Test matches as captain for India. Virat Kohli played his 61st Test match as Captain in the World Test Championship Final against New Zealand. He surpassed MS Dhoni's tally of 60 Tests as India's Captain.
40– With 40 wins in Test matches, Kohli is the most successful Indian Test captain. Under Kohli's leadership, India won 58.8% of the test matches that they played which is the highest among all Indian captains. He has leapfrogged some of India's most successful captains in Test cricket with utmost ease. He's followed by MS Dhoni with 27 wins as captain.
24 – Virat Kohli now has the most Test wins at home for India. India's victory in the Mumbai Test against New Zealand was Kohli's 24th Test win at home. Kohli went past MS Dhoni's tally of 21 Test wins at home as India's skipper.
20– Kohli has scored the most Test centuries for India as captain. With 20 centuries since being an Indian Test skipper, Kohli is only behind Graeme Smith (25) with the most Test hundreds as captain. In the last couple of years, Virat has failed to add to his tally of Test centuries. His last Test ton came against Bangladesh in India's first-ever Pink-Ball Test in 2019.
11- India has not lost any of the 11 series they played at home when Virat was the captain. India built a fortress at home with Virat's aggressive captaincy.
7– Kohli has scored seven double-centuries in his Test career. Coincidentally, all of his Test double tons have come during his tenure as captain. This also puts him first on the list of most double centuries for any Test captain.
1 – Kohli also holds the record for scoring the most Test runs for India as captain. In 66 Tests so far, Virat has scored 5703 runs at an average of 55.36 including a highest score of 254* against South Africa.
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Virat Kohli Captaincy record in ODIs
Matches: 95, Won: 65, Lost: 27, NR/Tied: 3
65 – Virat Kohli has led India in 65 ODI wins as captain. He's the fourth most successful ODI Indian captain after the likes of MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, and M Azharuddin.
2- Virat has the second most runs as Indian ODI skipper (5449 runs) after MS Dhoni. Dhoni registered a tally of 6641 runs ODI runs in 200 matches as captain for India.
21– He has scored the most number of ODI centuries by an Indian captain. Kohli is only behind Ricky Ponting, who scored 22 centuries during his tenure as captain of Australia.
Virat Kohli Captaincy record in T20Is
Matches: 50, Won: 30, Lost: 16, Tie/NR: 4
1– Kohli scored the most T20I runs by an Indian skipper. With 1570 T20I runs, Virat is ranked fourth among captains with the most runs in T20Is.
2– He is the second most successful T20I captain of India with 30 wins. MS Dhoni has secured the most T20I wins (42) as Indian captain.
1– Kohli also holds the record for scoring the quickest 1000 T20I runs as captain. He took a mere 30 innings to claim the milestone, which happens to be an inning quicker than South Africa's Faf du Plessis.
1– Only Indian skipper to win the T20I bilateral series in all SENA nations. Under him, India won 5-0 in New Zealand in 2020, 2-1 in Australia in 2020, 2-1 in England in 2018, and 2-1 in South Africa in 2018.
4 – With 30 T20I wins, Kohli is ranked fourth among the most T20I wins as Captain. He's only behind Asghar Afghan, MS Dhoni, and Eoin Morgan among T20I captains.
Virat Kohli Captaincy record in IPL
Matches: 140, Won: 64, Lost: 69, NR: 7
3– Kohli led RCB in 140 IPL matches which is the second-highest for any captain in the IPL. He is only behind MS Dhoni in terms of matches played as a captain in the IPL.
1– Virat has scored the most runs in IPL history as captain.
22 – At the age of 22 years, Kohli became the youngest player to captain an IPL side. In IPL 2011, in the absence of Daniel Vettori, Kohli captained RCB for three matches to hold the record for youngest captain in IPL history.
During IPL 2021, Virat Kohli also announced his decision to relinquish the RCB captaincy duties in the IPL. However, he asserted that he'll continue to play for Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) for the rest of his IPL career. After nearly 8 years, Virat will don the RCB jersey, not as a captain in IPL 2022.
Virat Kohli Captaincy record across all formats in International Cricket
Matches: 213, Won: 135, Lost: 60, Draw/NR/Tie: 18
While Kohli's captaincy career has come to a close, he can now truly focus on his batting. He can be the successor to the legend Sachin Tendulkar, who himself chose to not be a captain and help the team as a batsman. Kohli can replicate his footsteps with bat. Kohli's record as captain of India has been impeccable. Except for falling short in the ICC events, Kohli has taken Indian cricket to greater heights.
His biggest contribution to Indian cricket remains his passion to win away from home, especially in Test cricket. Kohli has often been criticized for his team selections but he has continued to be bullish about his calls. He has instilled a level of self-belief in his team and has led from the front on all parameters as a true leader. With a win percentage of 63.3% across all formats as Indian national team captain, he has left behind a legacy which can not be topped.