What if..? Virat Kohli was never made the Test captain?

image-l7k557i9Virat Kohli briefing the Test squad

Virat Kohli's success as Test captain is still leaking through the roof. Moving through the field with insatiable hunger for success, Kohli piloted the captaincy untamed and untouched, manufacturing India's most successful Test team and giving a spine to emerging talent. 

2014, the Test captaincy was a drop on the head; but Virat Kohli being Virat Kohli looked the opportunity right in the eye and took the world by storm. 

But what if he was never named India's Test captain?

The Almanack of Virat Kohli: scripting history


If the right-handed batter wasn't named the captain, India would've missed out on a lot of mentions in the history books. 

Virat Kohli took the quill and scripted his own history. India's most successful Test captain, Kohli led the team in 68 matches, most by any Indian.

Here's a gist of Kohli's records as an Indian captain

  • Most wins (40)
  • Most runs (5864)
  • Most centuries (20)
  • Most double hundreds (7)
  • Highest batting average (54.80)

One of the most historical moments of the Indian Test team under the captaincy of Virat Kohli was the 2018 Border-Gavaskar win. India beat Australia in Australia for the first time in history, the series triumph became India's first ever Test series win on Australian soil. 

Bearing the torch, Kohli drove the team to top of the Test rankings list. India's Test win against West Indies became the highest-margin Test victory for the team which also catapulted the team to the top of the Test rankings. 

Bringing pacers to the forefront 


'The bowler's captain', Kohli has been widely appreciated for giving the limelight to bowlers and bringing them centre stage. Under his captaincy, India recorded bowling supremacy in Test and picked up a few historical feats. 

India picked up all 20 wickets in a Test match 28 times, out of which 13 were overseas and 23 of those matches were clinched by the Indian squad. 

To compare Kohli with the previous captains, MS Dhoni managed to conquer the same feat 16 times, Mohammad Azharuddin did it 11 times and Sourav Ganguly 10 times. 

To highlight just how much the bowlers had dominated the Indian Test scene under Kohli's leadership, as many as six bowlers have picked 100 or more wickets, Ravichandran Ashwin was the highest wicket-taker (293) wickets. 

Kohli is also the only Indian captain under whom pacers picked all 20 wickets in a Test match, India managed this feat twice (against South Africa, Johannesburg 2018 and England, Nottingham 2021)

Bringing aggression back into Test cricket

image-l7k4l3fgVirat Kohli in action

Like any great leader, Kohli wasn't afraid of marching to his own drums. Bringing in a great deal of originality and passion. Virat Kohli reintroduced aggression into Indian Test cricket, with his words, with his bat and with his leadership. Setting the stage with ruthless aggression, Kohli charged up a team that did not shy away from grabbing an opponent by its throat. 

Never failing to heat up the field, Kohli's aggressive take on captaincy was one to be witnessed.

Also Read: What if IND vs PAK ended differently?