Virat Kohli may have lost his status as the number one test batsman to Steve Smith in the latest ICC rankings, but there is some consolation for the 30 year old from Delhi. That is because, in leading his side to victory in the second test against the West Indies in Kingston, Jamaica, on Monday, he overtook the record of MS Dhoni to become the most successful Indian test skipper of all time.
Dhoni, who captained the side between 2008 and 2014 won 27 times in 60 test matches. Kohli, who succeeded him after the conclusion of the Melbourne test in December 2014, has now won 28 tests from just 48 matches. He also has the distinction of being the most successful Indian captain overseas, with a record of thirteen wins, five draws and nine defeats in tests where he has led the side in tests played outside India.
That included the two matches that he won in Australia at the start of the year, making him the only captain in Indian cricket history to have skippered his side to a test series victory against the Aussies down under.
For the record, Kohli’s other overseas victories including one win apiece over both England and South Africa, five against Sri Lanka, and four against the West Indies, including the two just played.
And, unlike some players, such as England captain Joe Root, whose batting has suffered because of having to shoulder the burden of captaincy at the same time, Kohli has actually flourished in the role, and has a higher batting average since assuming the baton from Dhoni than before, when he was just an ordinary member of the side.
With Kohli showing no signs of relinquishing his captaincy responsibilities any time soon, he has numerous opportunities to add to his new record in the next six months or so. They include a three test series at home to South Africa in October, another two tests against Bangladesh, again at home in November, and then another two test series when his side travels to New Zealand in February of next year.
He still has some way go, though, to match the record of Graeme Smith, the South African who captained his side to 53 test wins, or Australia’s Ricky Ponting, with 48 victories to his name as test skipper. Still, if he maintains his current winning rate, he could challenge the record of even those luminaries in a few years’ time.