VIRAT KOHLI has sensationally QUIT as India’s Test cricket captain.
The world-class batter took on the role back in 2014, replacing MS Dhoni.
Virat Kohli took to social media to confirm his resignation as Indian Test cricket captainCredit: AFP
But a day after the 2-1 series defeat against South Africa, he released a heartfelt statement to confirm he was stepping down.
Kohli, who averages 50.39 from 99 Tests, wrote to his 273million combined social media followers: “It’s been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction.
“I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there.
“Everything has to come to a 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.
“I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent 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.”
Kohli was India’s most successful Test captain.
Under his leadership, the team won 40 of their 68 matches – the fourth-best record of any Test captain in history.
That included ending a 71-year wait for a series win in Australia and leading England 2-1 away last summer before Covid controversially halted the tour.
India, now ranked the No1 Test cricket team in the world, also reached the final of the inaugural World Test Championship last year but lost to New Zealand.
However, tensions behind the scenes with the Indian cricket board mean ex-India batter Ashok Malhotra believes Kohli ‘jumped before he was pushed’.
Kolhi was captain of the white-ball side from 2017 but clashed with the BCCI last year after his resignation as Twenty20 skipper following the disastrous World Cup.
The BCCI responded by removing him as one-day captain because they did not want two different captains for the shorter formats.
Plenty of former India cricket stars sent messages of support to the feisty Kohli.
Yuvraj Singh said: “It’s been a remarkable journey King Kohli! Very few have been able to achieve what you have.
“Gave your all and played like a true champion each time. May you grow from strength to strength! Onwards and upwards.”
Suresh Raina added: “Although I also am shocked by Virat’s sudden decision, I respect his call. I can only applaud him for what he has done for world cricket and India.”
India’s next Test matches are at home to Sri Lanka, with a two-match series in February and March.
The BCCI are yet to confirm who will take over from Kohli as the new captain.