Virat Kohli resigns as India Test captain following seven years in the role
Virat Kholi has shocked India by stepping down as captain of the Test team.
After seven years which saw him lead the Test side, the cricket great has called time at the helm of the national side with immediate effect.
Taking to Twitter, Kohli posted an emotional statement summing up his time as the team’s leader.
"It's been 7 years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance everyday to take the team in the right direction. I've done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it's now," he wrote.
"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief. I have always believed in giving my 120 percent in everything I do, and if I can't do that, I know it's not the right thing to do.
"I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the teammates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.“You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful.
"Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian Cricket forward."
The 33-year-old’s tenure as captain began when he took over the test side in early 2015, when the aforementioned Dhoni announced his retirement from the game's longest format in Australia, before he took over the limited overs sides the following year.
Under Kohli, India ascended to the top of the Test rankings and reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship last year.
Kohli is one of India's biggest sports names and goes down as the longest-serving skipper of the country's Test. team.
He took charge of 68 matches, with his last series coming in the 2-1 defeat on South African soil.
Kohli had already relinquished his T20 captaincy role and was stripped of the ODI job too.
They reached two consecutive ODI world cup semi finals as well as the 2016 world T20 semi-final.
Things began to unravel for the iconic batsmen as skipper when he resigned from his post as T20I skipper before the last year’s World Cup.
However, a day later, BCCI president Sourav Ganguly stated he had asked Kholi not to step down as the captain of the shortest format, which was then contradicted by the batter.
The ICC Men's Cricketer of the Decade (2011–2020), said his decision was "received well" and deemed "progressive" by the BCCI top brass, and that Ganguly, who stated he told Kholi to keep his post as T20I captain, was incorrect.
"When I decided to leave the T20I captaincy and approached the BCCI about my decision, it was received well – there was no offence or hesitation, I wasn't told to reconsider it," he shared.
The drama continued as Kholi, who also stepped down as captain of IPL franchise Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2021, said he was axed as ODI captain just one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting to pick the Test squad for South Africa.
"There was no prior communication to me at all from when I announced the T20I captaincy decision until the eighth (of December) where, as I said, I got a call one-and-a-half hours before the selection meeting," Kholi added.
"The chief selector [ Chetan Sharma ] discussed with me the Test team to which we both agreed, and before ending the call I was told that the five selectors have decided that I will not be the ODI captain, to which I replied, 'okay, fine'.
“And in the selection call afterwards, we chatted about it briefly. And that's what happened. There was no communication prior to that at all."
While announcing the ODI to tour South Africa, Sharma added fuel to the fire when he said "everyone who was present in the meeting asked him to reconsider" his decision when Kohli stepped down as T20I captain.
India's star man is currently with the national team touring South Africa and they will be looking to bounce back in the three-match ODI series after losing the test series 2-1.
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