Virat Kohli’s Test Captaincy Explained in Numbers And Records


Virat Kohli will go down in the history of Indian cricket not just as one of the finest batters ever to have come out of the country, but also as one of the best captains to have led the national team across formats. Kohli’s numbers are stellar as skipper and they look even better in cricket’s longest and oldest format. Kohli took charge, officially, as the captain of the Indian Test team in 2015 after MS Dhoni decided to call time on his Test career. He has since taken the Indian team to the pinnacle of glory in Tests. Under him, the team reclaimed the top spot in the ICC test rankings, and also qualified for the final of the first ever ICC World Test Championship.

He led the country to its first ever Test series win on Australian soil and was in charge of the team that currently leads England 2-1 in a Test series, the deciding match of which will be played later this year. Under his stewardship India won every home series that it played, toppling the toughest sides in world cricket.

Here’s his record as Test captain:

Matches – 68
Won – 40
Lost – 17
Draw – 11

Here are a few other important statistics and records that he helped establish as India’s Test captain:

Virat Kohli is the most successful full-time Indian captain in Tests both in terms of number of matches won and in terms of win percentage.

Four overseas Test victories in a calendar year: Kohli is the only Indian captain to achieve the feat twice. Incidentally, it was under Kohli’s captaincy when India achieved the feat for the first time as well.

India won Tests in Brisbane, Lord’s, Oval, and Centurion in one year, equalling the feat in 2018 when India began their away win campaign in Johannesburg, Nottingham, Adelaide, and Melbourne.

First Asian captain to win at Centurion: Kohli has become the third captain and the first Asian to register a Test win at Centurion, the first two being England’s Nasser Hussain in 2000 and Australia’s Michael Clarke in 2014.

Most Test Wins by Asian Captain in SENA Countries: Centurion win was the seventh under Kohli in 23 Tests (Lost 13 and drawn 3) the most by an Asian Captain in SENA countries. 
In overseas Tests, Kohli has won 16 out of 36 Tests

Only Asian skipper to win two Boxing Day fixtures: With the victory against South Africa, Virat became only the first Asian cricketer to lead his team to two wins in Boxing Day Test matches. Earlier, India had conquered Australia, Down Under in 2018, in a series that the visitors won by 2-1.

First Indian skipper to win two Test matches in South Africa: The 33-year-old has led India to two Test match victories against South Africa, he’s the only Indian captain to achieve this feat. Previously, India won a Test match in the rainbow nation under Kohli’s captaincy back in 2018. India now needs just one more win, to win a maiden Test series on South African soil.

Kohli holds the record for most Test appearances as India Test captain (68) and he also holds the record for most Test wins by an Indian captain (40). Only Graeme Smith, Ricky Ponting, and Steve Waugh have won more matches than Kohli as captain in Test cricket.

Kohli had first led the side in Test cricket in 2014 against Australia. His last game as captain was the Cape Town Test in South Africa, which India lost by seven wickets. Filling the shoes of MS Dhoni was not going to be easy, but Kohli took leadership by storm, and quickly, he cemented himself as one of the best thinkers the country has seen in Test cricket.

The leadership also brought out the best in Kohli and it saw the batter registering seven double-centuries in the longest format of the game. Kohli also holds the record for scoring most Test centuries (20) as India captain.

It was under Kohli’s leadership that India was crowned the number one Test team in the ICC Rankings for a continuous period of 42 months from October 2016 till early March 2020.

Kohli’s decision to leave Test captaincy comes a day after India lost the three-match Test series against South Africa on Friday.

Virat Kohli’s biggest win in the longest format came during 2018-19 as India won its first Test series Down Under. Under his captaincy, India also reached the finals of the World Test Championship (WTC).

It is also important to note that India was almost unbeatable under Kohli in home conditions. In the four Tests that India played against England in England last year, Kohli’s side went on to take a 2-1 lead and the last Test of the series will be played later this year.


Kohli has the most Test wins at home for India as captain. India’s victory against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium last year was Kohli’s 24th Test win at home.

(With ANI inputs)

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