India’s Virat Kohli resigned as Test team captain after their 2-1 loss to South Africa, saying of his tenure: “I didn’t leave anything there.” As his side lost by seven wickets in Cape Town on Friday, he admitted it was “hard to take” after India won the first Test last month.
The 33-year-old first temporarily led his country in red-ball cricket during the winter tour of Australia in 2014 before taking the reins of MS Dhoni permanently at the end of the series. Recognizing his predecessor, Kohli said in a statement: “Many thanks to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me capable of taking Indian cricket forward.”
In the statement, posted on Twitter, he added: “It’s been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance on a daily basis to lead the team in the right direction. I did the job with absolute honesty and left nothing there. Everything has to end at some point and for me as India’s test captain, it’s now.
“There were a lot of ups and also some downs along the journey, but there was never a lack of effort or a lack of conviction. I always believed in giving my 120% in everything I do, and if I can’t do it, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I can’t be dishonest with my team.
Kohli relinquished the Twenty20 captaincy in September and was replaced as one-day international skipper in December, with Rohit Sharma taking over in both formats. Kohli led India in 68 Tests, winning 40 and losing 17. During his tenure, they became the No. 1 team in the ICC Tests rankings and finished second against New Zealand during the final of the world test championship last June.
The Board of Control for Cricket in India recognized the outgoing captain’s contribution on Twitter, praising Kohli “for his admirable leadership qualities that took the Test team to unprecedented heights.”
Kohli played 99 Tests and scored 7,962 points with an average of 50.39. He hit 27 Test centuries, but his last triple-digit red-ball cricket score for his country came in November 2019, 15 games and 27 innings ago. He missed the second test in South Africa and had a series best 79.