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Kohli’s glorious era of captaincy in numbers

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Last updated on 16 Jan 2022 | 11:30 AM
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Kohli’s glorious era of captaincy in numbers

After giving up on T20I captaincy and being sacked from ODI captaincy, Kohli now steps down from Test captaincy as well

Just like the bedtime stories, Kohli’s era of captaincy from now on, starts from saying “Once upon a time, there lived a king who conquered the world”.

India in the last three months have gone through a lot. Kohli announced he will be stepping down from T20I captaincy after the T20I World Cup. A demoralizing defeat and exit in the T20 World Cup. Then came a mother of all confusion between BCCI and Kohli that witnessed his sacking as the ODI captain. Yesterday (15th January 2022), he himself stepped down from Test captaincy, ending up as one of the most successful captains of India.

Kohli, in his stint as India’s captain has achieved a lot. The first ever Test series win in Australia in 2018/19, dominating home series and authoritative wins in England and South Africa are some of the highlights of his Test career. More than those wins, grooming fast bowlers was one of his greatest achievements as India’s captain.

Kohli in Tests for India, has certainly achieved a lot as captain, especially his wins in Tests outside Asia. Here are a few notable stats from his seven-year stint as the captain:

India’s finest captain

Whenever there is a talk about who is the greatest captain of India, Kohli’s name will be at the top of the list. The 40 wins in 68 matches being the most for an Indian is a numerical proof for it. Overall in Tests, only Steve Waugh (41), Ricky Ponting (48) & Graeme Smith (53) have more wins.

Coming back to India, Kohli’s win/loss ratio of 2.352 in these 68 matches are the best for an Indian captain who has led their side in 15 or more matches. In fact, his win/loss ratio is the best among all Asian captains with 15 or more wins.

Speaking of Asian captains, the biggest quest for them is winnings in non-Asian conditions. Kohli was particularly good with that. With 11 wins in 30 matches, Kohli is the only Asian captain to win 10 or more matches outside Asia. In 36 away Tests, Kohli had won 16 matches with a win/loss ratio of 1.142. Among captains who have led in 10+ away matches, his 16 away wins are the most and only Rahul Dravid (1.250) has a better win/loss ratio.

Almost unbeatable after winning the toss

It is a universally known fact that Kohli is one of the unluckiest when it comes to winning the toss. However, if he wins the toss, irrespective of conditions, it is a daunting task for the opposition to beat India. In the 31 times he has won the toss, only thrice has he lost a match. His record after winnings the toss was unbeatable till 2019 as he had a record of winning 21 matches out of the 25 times he had won the toss and the remaining four were draw, practically no losses. But, his three losses came in the last six tosses he won. Irrespective of that, among captains who had won 15+ tosses, his win/loss ratio of 8.0 was the best among all.

Unbreachable at home

Beating India at home is one of the near impossibilities. Under Kohli’s captaincy it was amplified more. In fact, in 31 home matches only twice did India end up on the losing side. Among captains who had led their teams in 20 or more home Tests, only Kane Williamson (16.0) has a better win/loss ratio than Kohli’s 12.0.

But, Kohli has achieved one of the unthinkable at home. In the 11 series he has captained India, in none of those has he lost a series or even drawn. He is the only captain to have a 100 percent series win record at home after leading in 10+ series.

Second to Graeme Smith in batting

Though he has struggled with the bat in the recent past, Kohli is one of the finest.  For most of the captains who are batters, their average takes a hit while leading, but Kohli had owned it. Kohli had averaged 41.1 as a non-captain and he bettered it with 54.8 as a captain.

In Tests, Kohli has scored 5,864 runs as a captain, the fourth most among all skippers. Kohli racked up 20 centuries in his seven-year tenure, only Smith (109 matches) has hit more than him (25) in his 11-year stint as South Africa's captain.

Fast bowlers cherishing under Kohli

The biggest of all improvements that happened under Kohli as India’s captain was the pace bowling department. Mohammed Siraj, Shardul Thakur, an improved Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami and Jasprit Bumrah, a deadly pace battery sent shivers down the opponents.

Under Kohli’s captaincy, four Indian pacers had 100+ wickets to their name. Shami (168), Ishant (121), Umesh (104) and Bumrah (103). Under no other Indian captain, more than two pacers had 100+ wickets. Graeme Smith under his captaincy had seven quicks with 100+ wickets and Sir Clive Ll0yd had five pacers with 100+ wickets. 

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