Skipper Virat Kohli is all set to add a new feather into his already illustrious cap when he leads Team India out on field against South Africa in the second Test at Maharashtra Cricket Association Stadium starting Thursday. India lead three-match series 1-0 following their comprehensive 203-run victory at Vizag and the hosts will be hopeful of similar level of performances to take an unassailable lead over Faf du Plessis’ troops.
For Kohli, this will be his 50th outing as captain of team in the longest format. He is currently tied at the second spot with legendary skipper Sourav Ganguly (49 Tests) in the list of most matches played as captain of Team India. Kohli is all set to surpass Ganguly in this illustrious list and become the sole holder of the second spot. Also, Kohli will join former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni as the only two players to lead India in 50 or more Tests.
Most Tests as captain for India:
60: MS Dhoni
49*: Virat Kohli
49: Sourav Ganguly
47: Sunil Gavaskar/ Mohammad Azharuddin
40: Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
Last year Indian head coach Ravi Shastri hailed the current team as the best to have travelled overseas. While this statement can be up for debates, the fact remains that under Virat Kohli, this particular Test team has become a mean Test machine – a side which has players for all scenarios and a side which seems to have all bases covered. Hence, when Virat Kohli became the most successful Indian captain ever in West Indies, he credited the entire team for this feat.
There is another startling captaincy feat for Virat Kohli – when India tramples all over South Africa in Vizag, he became the only Indian captain to have a win rate in excess of 50% in Tests among all the captains with minimum 30 Tests.
“Captaincy is just a ‘c’ in front of your name honestly. It’s the collective effort that matters,” Kohli told in the post-match presentation in Sabina Park, West Indies. “It’s a by-product of this quality team that we have here. If we didn’t have the bowlers that we have, I don’t think the results would have been possible.
“Yes, you can score as many runs as you want, but if you look at these guys running in and putting their heart in – I mean [Mohammed] Shami’s spell today, [Jasprit] Bumrah after having a small niggle, Ishant [Sharma] bowling his heart out, [Ravindra] Jadeja bowling a long spell… I don’t think without these bowlers it would have been possible. So I think all the credit has to go to the whole team.”