New Delhi | Subhasish Dutta: Thank you, Virat Kohli! Thank you for adding the spicy tadka to a traditional recipe. Thank you for your aggression. Thank you for the character you brought as a leader. Thank you for instilling belief. Thank you for making Test cricket more entertaining.
These were some of the traits of Virat Kohli that made Test cricket more enthralling to watch. Virat Kohli always wore his heart on his sleeve, never shying away from showing raw emotions both on and off the field. Yes, this quality of his made him obvious at times. But, he seldom cared. He always charted his own course and played on his terms. And just like that, he gave up Test captaincy at a time of his liking.
Virat Kohli always listened to his heart. He was never the one to think too much before taking a call and staying true to his character, he stunned the world with his decision to quit Test captaincy. However, people who have followed Virat Kohli would know that his decision was not completely unexpected after all the drama that unfolded before India's tour of South Africa. For him, it's always all or nothing, and it was quite evident in his parting note.
"I've done the job with absolute and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to halt at some stage and for me as Test captain of India, it's now. 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," Virat Kohli signed off with an emotional note on Twitter.
"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 have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team," he added.
Virat Kohli's decision will raise a lot of eyebrows. Questions will be asked: "He quit or was he asked to quit?", especially on the back of a Test series defeat against a South African team that is still going through a transition. The massive BCCI vs Virat Kohli controversy that erupted just ahead of the series will only add fuel to the already raging fire.
Controversies notwithstanding, Virat Kohli has undeniably achieved a lot.
Virat Kohli brought a dash of fresh energy to the "calm and composed" team under his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni. Kohli's energy and aggression only rubbed on to other players and it ultimately added more character to the team.
The numbers will show that Kohli is the most successful Indian Test captain but what set him apart was his hunger to win Test matches, and not settle for the draw.
When Virat Kohli permanently took over as Test captain, India were languishing at No.7, above West Indies, Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. And now when he leaves, India are ranked No.1 in the ICC Test rankings.
Virat Kohli's records are astonishing. Apart from being the most successful Indian Test captain in history, he is also the third-most successful captain in Test cricket's history (who have led in at least 20 Tests). Kohli, who has 40 wins in 68 Tests as captain, stands behind Steve Waugh (41 wins in 57 games) and Ricky Ponting (48 in 77 games).
India achieved many maidens with Virat Kohli at helm, including a memorable Test series victory Down Under and reaching the finals of the first World Test Championship.
Virat Kohli will also be credited for bringing a fitness revolution to the Indian team. Under his leadership, India also developed an intimidating fast bowling unit which proved key to the team's success at home and away.
Virat Kohli surely leaves behind a legacy that will always be cherished. His shoes will be difficult to fill.
Posted By: Subhasish Dutta