Kohli has an enviable record during his time as India’s Test captain. In 68 games, he led the team to a record of 40 wins and 11 draws. While the winning percentage remains at 58.82, India has suffered just 17 defeats during his tenure – most recently in the third and final Test against South Africa.
Former India international Irfan Pathan considered him the “best Test captain” and was surprised by Kohli’s decision to step down from the role.
“Virat was the best captain in terms of performance and percentage. He changed the face of India’s Test cricket team and his incredible feat as captain will always be remembered, there is no doubt about it … but I think he should stick around for a while because he still has a lot to offer,” Patan told Reuters sports star Saturday.
Also read: Virat Kohli steps down as India Test captain
“But having said that, a lot has happened in the past few months, most of which we don’t know. We don’t know what he’s going through or what his views are. Continued to contribute to Indian cricket in 2018. But personally I would like him to continue to be the captain of Test cricket because he has that energy,” added Patan.
Kohli was sacked as ODI captain in December, sparking controversy before flying to South Africa by claiming that Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) officials had not told him not to step down as T20I captain – with board chairman Sourav Ganguly’s statement is the opposite.
While BCCI officials have been tight-lipped on the matter, National Selection Committee chairman Chetan Sharma said Kohli was indeed asked not to step down as T20I captain a month and a half before the 2021 T20 World Cup.
“In terms of pressure, he has handled it well throughout his career. There is nothing he can’t handle. I think he wants to make decisions and clarify things. Virat has had a huge impact on Indian cricket and the players. Even on the tour of South Africa, he did his job as a leader. Virat has done a lot to change the perception of the Test team in India over the years,” Pathan said.
With Kohli stepping down and India getting a new red-ball cricket captain, Patan believes it is important now to hand over the responsibility to Rohit Sharma.
“Rohit is currently the only one who can captain the Indian team for at least a few years, depending on his fitness. In the long run, there must be a leadership group with at least a few players to develop. Except for KL You need to add one more person, Rahul, who the selector needs to pick. This will bring long-term benefits to Indian cricket,” Patan said.
Former India international and former national selector Ashok Malhotra also believes Kohli could have stayed on as captain for more tests.
“We were surprised by his decision. After he was removed as ODI captain, he didn’t like it. I think because of the way he reacted to the board chairman’s statement, he knew it wasn’t difficult for him. I Don’t know what happened or what, but he was one of the most successful captains and a phenomenal player. Personally, I think he jumped before he got pushed,” Malhotra said.
“He could have gone on for more Test series, but he may have seen that he could be removed, so he made the decision. At this point, he put all the controversy to rest. It’s the beginning of a new era, I think He learned from Mahendra Singh’s book.”
After watching Indian cricket up close, Malhotra believes that, for now, the selectors should hand Rohit the Test captain.
“KL Rahul still has to excel in Test cricket. I am sure he will learn as he moves around, but for now, the ready option as Test captain would be Rohit,” Indian Cricket Association president Malhotra Say.
With Kohli’s ouster, it was undoubtedly the end of an era.