Virat Kohli shocked the Indian cricket world on Saturday by abruptly retiring as the national team’s test captain after leading the team to memorable overseas victories in his seven years as leader.
The 33-year-old, considered one of the best batsmen of his era, took to Twitter to announce his decision a day after India’s 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.
“It has been seven years of hard work, hard work and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction. I have done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there, ”Kohli said in his statement.
“Everything has come to a standstill at some point, and for me as a test captain in India it is now. There have been many ups and downs along the way, but there has never been a lack of effort or a lack of faith.”
The fat top-order batsman has had a difficult relationship with the Indian Cricket Board (BCCI) since stepping down as the Twenty20 captain after last year’s World Cup.
It also cost him the one-day captaincy, with BCCI installing Rohit Sharma as captain in both short formats.
Kohli, who took over the reins in 2014, led India in record-breaking 68 Test matches, winning 40 and losing 17.
“BCCI congratulates #TeamIndia captain @imVkohli for his admirable leadership qualities that took the test team to unprecedented heights,” the Indian board wrote on Twitter.
BCCI officials were not immediately available to confirm who would take over as India’s next Test captain, although opener KL Rahul’s name has already begun to make the rounds.
Board Secretary Jay Shah wrote on Twitter after Kohli’s surprise announcement: “Virat turned the team into a ruthless fit unit that performed admirably both in India and abroad. The test victories in Australia and England have been special.”