When Virat Kohli walked out for the toss in the first Test against South Africa in Pune, he claimed a very important record in India’s Test history. Kohli became only the second Indian captain to lead a side in 50 Test matches. In completing the milestone, he went past the record of India’s legendary captain Sourav Ganguly.
Previous Indian captain, Mahendra Singh Dhoni holds the record for leading an Indian Test team most times. Becoming the skipper in 2008, the wicketkeeper captained the side till 2014 until he handed the reigns to Kohli. He was in charge of the team for 60 Tests where he celebrated 27 wins, lost 18 matches and drew 15 encounters. Dhoni retired from Test cricket in Australia 2014-15 tour.
Kohli’s captaincy in numbers
In his previous 49 Test matches as the captain, Kohli has secured 29 victories for the Indian team. With the recent thumping of 2-0 over West Indies, he became the most successful Indian Test captain ever crossing Dhoni’s tally of 27. India have suffered 10 losses under Kohli, nine of them coming outside home. Same number of matches have been drawn encounters.
— BCCI (@BCCI) October 9, 2019
Astoundingly, since Kohli took over, India have lost only one Test match at home (against Australia in Pune 2017). They have won every home Test series at home. Even in away conditions, they have been a force to reckon. India challenged South Africa and England in their own den while successfully defeated the Australians becoming the first Asian side to do so. India’s fast bowling stocks have grown exponentially under Kohli.
Comparing with the world
In the current era, none of Kohli’s contemporaries has enjoyed such long stay at the leadership position. Closest to him is England’s Joe Root who has captained the side in 33 Tests. Overall, the world record is held by Graeme Smith of South Africa. The young captain led his side in 109 Tests, winning 53 of them. Apart from him, no one else has captained a team in more than 100 Test matches.
When it comes to the win percentage, Steve Waugh leads everyone by a country mile. Captaining a world champion side in their golden period, Waugh won 71.92% of his Test matches. Kohli’s win record currently stands at 58%.
Kohli has led the nation in 50 Tests now. In Tests, the phenomenal batsman has scored 22 fifties and 25 hundreds. His conversion rate of fifty into hundred is next to only Don Bradman. If he can replicate the same in his leadership, he will leave a great legacy behind.