Mumbai: The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) on Sunday thanked Virat Kohli on his outstanding career as India’s Test skipper, adding that the board and the selection committee respect his decision to move on from the captaincy role.
Kohli on Saturday made a sudden announcement of stepping down as India’s Test skipper, a day after the 1-2 series loss against South Africa.
The 33-year-old finished his tenure as India’s most successful captain in the longest format of the game. After taking over the reins from MS Dhoni, he has led India in 68 Test matches and secured 40 wins at a win percentage of 58.82.
As Test captain, he registered his first series win against Sri Lanka in 2015, a victory that India earned in the Emerald Island after 22 years.
The Indian cricket board has the confidence that Kohli will continue to contribute as a player and help the country’s cricket attain greater heights.
“The Board of Control for Cricket in India congratulates Virat Kohli on an outstanding career as Team India’s Test Captain. The BCCI and the selection committee respect his decision to move on from the captaincy role and have full confidence that he will continue to contribute as a player and help Indian cricket attain greater heights,” the BCCI said in a statement.
Under Virat’s leadership, India also scripted history as they registered their first Test series win in Australia in 2018, clinched series in the West Indies, attained the No. 1 spot in Test rankings and later in the subsequent years marched into the maiden ICC World Test Championship Final in 2021.
BCCI president Sourav Ganguly thanked Virat for his immense contributions as captain of the team and added that the star batter will continue to be an important member of this side and take it to newer heights with his contributions with the bat under a new skipper.
“I personally thank Virat for his immense contributions as captain of the Indian cricket team. Under his leadership, the Indian cricket team has made rapid strides in all formats of the game. His decision is a personal one and the BCCI respects it immensely,” said Ganguly.
“He will continue to be a very important member of this team and take this team to newer heights with his contributions with the bat under a new Captain. Every good thing comes to an end and this has been a very good one,” he added.
The star batter also holds the impeccable record of winning 24 out of the 31 Tests played at home as captain, having lost only two Tests.
“Virat Kohli has been one of the finest captains to have ever led the Indian cricket team. His record and contribution towards the team as a leader has been second to none,” said BCCI Secretary Jay Shah.
“To lead India in 40 Test wins is proof that he led the side with aplomb. He led the team to some of its finest Test match wins in India and overseas — including Australia, England, West Indies, Sri Lanka and South Africa — and his efforts will inspire the fellow and upcoming cricketers who aspire to represent the country. We wish Virat the best for the future and hope that he will continue to make memorable contributions on the field for the Indian team,” he added.
Meanwhile, Rajeev Shukla, BCCI vice-president, highlighted that a cricketer like Virat comes once in a generation and Indian cricket is fortunate to have him.
“A cricketer like Virat comes once in a generation and Indian cricket is fortunate to have him serve the team as a leader. He captained the side with passion and aggression and played a pivotal part in many of India’s memorable wins at home and abroad. We wish him the best for his career ahead,” he said.
Arun Singh Dhumal, BCCI treasurer praised Kohli’s never-say-die attitude, saying that he gave his all to the side as leader.
“With his never-say-die attitude, Virat gave his all to the side as leader and his fabulous record as a captain speaks for that. From the moment he became India’s Test captain, he made sure that India always strives for excellence and dominates world cricket. While Virat — the batsman — remained a powerhouse, Virat — the captain — did not leave any stone unturned, powering the team to some of its finest performances across the globe. I wish him all the very best for the future,” said Dhumal.
“Virat will go down in the history of cricket as one of the finest cricketers and captains to have ever graced the game. He captained the side with grit, determination and played a massive part in shaping India’s future as a cricket team. We are sure that Virat will continue to play a massive role as a player and as one of the most experienced members of the side,” said Jayesh George, BCCI joint secretary.
Kohli will be also known for overseeing the development of the pace-attack reaching a world-class level and fitness being given prime importance during his tenure.