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Virat Kohli called time on his seven-year stint as India’s Test captain on Saturday, just hours after being lambasted for his team’s on-field behaviour.

Kohli, 33, walked away as his country’s most successful captain in Test cricket, having won 40 of his 68 matches — only Australians Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh, plus South Africa’s Graeme Smith, have presided over more.

His 40th win over South Africa three weeks ago placed his side on course for another famous away series triumph only for the hosts to complete a turnaround in a spiky third match in Cape Town.

Virat Kohli has announced he is stepping down as India Test captain after seven years in the job

Virat Kohli has announced he is stepping down as India Test captain after seven years in the job

Kohli, who is India's longest serving captain, made the decision after a 2-1 series loss to South Africa

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Share 721 shares Kohli, who led India as captain in 68 Test matches, released this statement on social media

Kohli, who led India as captain in 68 Test matches, released this statement on social media

It centred around a flashpoint on the third evening when Kohli’s opposite number, Dean Elgar, was handed a reprieve via DRS after being given out on the field.

It led to an outburst from several players, with a visibly annoyed Kohli going up to the stump microphone and seemingly addressing broadcaster SuperSport, saying: ‘Focus on your team while they shine the ball. Not just the opposition. Trying to catch people all the time.’

Kohli’s vice-captain KL Rahul and Ravichandran Ashwin, the bowler who had been denied Elgar’s scalp, also pitched in.

Michael Vaughan led the criticism of Kohli’s bizarre mic rant, dubbing it ‘disgraceful’ and called for the authorities to fine or suspend the India star.

However, the seven-wicket defeat at Newlands will go down as his final match in charge of India and concludes a dramatic period in which Kohli has relinquished the armband across all three international formats in consecutive months.

‘It’s been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction,’ Kohli said in a statement on Saturday.

‘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.

‘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, 33, has the most Test wins as India captain - 39 - as well as the most centuries - 20

Kohli had already stepped down as India T20 captain after their disastrous World Cup exit

Kohli had already stepped down as India T20 captain after their disastrous World Cup exit

For all his histrionics, Test cricket owes Kohli its gratitude. His belief in its pre-eminence has influenced world cricket’s most powerful country and its vast audience at a time when the shortest formats have dominated.

And although India lost the inaugural World Test Championship final to New Zealand last year, they have been the team to watch throughout Kohli’s tenure, claiming the Test mace three years in a row from 2017-2019.

Former India coach Ravi Shastri led the tributes, saying: ‘Virat, you can go with your head held high. Few have achieved what you have as captain. Definitely India’s most aggressive and successful. Sad day for me personally as this is the team we built together.’

Kohli’s own form has dipped, though — he has not hit a hundred in 15 matches, causing his average to drop to 50.39. But he won’t be out of the spotlight for long. His next Test will be his 100th. 

Source : https://www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/cricket/article-10405791/Virat-Kohli-STEPS-India-Test-captain-series-defeat-South-Africa.html

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Virat Kohli shocks India as he STEPS DOWN as their Test captain after the series loss to South Africa... as he insists hes left nothing out there following seven years in charge

Source:Daily Mail

Virat Kohli shocks India as he STEPS DOWN as their Test captain after the series loss to South Africa... as he insists hes left nothing out there following seven years in charge