Former Australian cricketer Ian Chappell has stated that Virat Kohli took on the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni, and the 33-year-old substantially built on it during his stint as Team India skipper. He further added that Kohli lifted India to overseas success as no other captain had done.
India suffered a harrowing 1-2 defeat against South Africa in the three-match Test series, and it also ruled out the chances of winning their first-ever red-ball series victory in the rainbow nation. A day after the Test series defeat against the Proteas, Virat Kohli shocked the entire cricket fraternity as he stepped down as India captain in the longest format of the game.
Earlier, after the T20 World Cup 2021, Kohli had relinquished his T20I captaincy, and later the 33-year-old was sacked from the ODI leadership as BCCI preferred a single skipper for the white-ball format. The selectors appointed Rohit Sharma as India white-ball captain, and the Indian opener is likely to succeed Kohli as the Test skipper ahead of the red-ball series against Sri Lanka in February.
Kohli stepped down as India's most successful Test captain, winning 40 out of 68 Test matches. At home, India did not lose or draw a single Test series under the leadership of Kohli, and the national side won 16 away Tests during the right-hand batsman's captaincy stint. In SENA countries, India won seven Tests under Kohl's captaincy, and the 33-year-old tops the list among all Asian captains in the longest format of the game.
"Kohli took the legacy of Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni and substantially built on it in seven years at the helm. His biggest disappointment as captain was the recent series loss to South Africa after India led the away series 1-0, though he didn't captain in the middle Test of that series, in Cape Town," Chappell wrote in his column for ESPNCricinfo.
Team India won 3-0 in Sri Lanka in 2017, 2-1 in Australia during the 2018-19 tour, and defeated West Indies at their home twice by 2-0. Kohli also led India to a 2-1 lead in England last year before Covid-19 issues resulted in the postponement of the final Test.
Chappell reckoned that Kohli was an exception as captain, and the right-hand batsman lifted India to overseas success as no other captain had done.
"There's no doubt Kohli was an exception as captain; he didn't curb his enthusiasm but he was still able to lead the Indian team to a higher level. With the capable assistance of vice-captain Ajinkya Rahane, he lifted India to overseas success like no other captain had done.
"One of Kohli's great achievements was instilling in his team a craving for Test cricket. Despite his all-encompassing success, Kohli's major aim was to achieve victory in the Test arena and this is where his passion really shone," he added.
"Kohli has a number of individual achievements in his resumé, none bigger than the development of Rishabh Pant as a wicketkeeper and batter. Kohli tended to get his way when it came to selection and some of his decisions in this area were a little questionable but there's no doubting his support of Pant was a master stroke," Chappell added.