When Mahendra Singh Dhoni gave up the Indian Test team captaincy back in December 2014 after the Melbourne test match, Virat Kohli was handed over the captaincy. Kohli, by then, had been groomed as the next captain of the Indian side and had led the team in Adelaide when Dhoni missed out due to an injury. Everyone had known Kohli to be an aggressive captain from his U-19 days but no one would have predicted the success Kohli has had as a captain.
Initial Days under Kohli
Kohli’s immediate task after gaining Test captaincy was to play the last test match against Australia. India had already lost the series and were given a target of 349 in their second innings. At 201/3, with a set Kohli and Ajinkya Rahane at the crease, India looked comfortable but the loss of four wickets for just 16 runs and a little over ten overs meant India had to negotiate the remaining overs for a draw.
India then went to Bangladesh in the hope of a first win under Kohli but large periods of rain meant the test ended in a draw.
Kohli’s litmus test as a captain came in the Test series in Sri Lanka where India had not won in 22 years. Things looked very bleak after India lost the first test but the team turned things around to win the series 2-1. It was India’s first away series win in four years.
After the win in Sri Lanka, India won the four match home test series against South Africa 3-0. Indian spinners Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja came to fore as they picked up 31 and 23 wickets respectively.
India then toured the Caribbean Islands and defeated the West Indies team 2-0 quite comfortably.
After West Indies tour, India was scheduled to face 12 test matches at home spread across four series in 2016-17. The first of those was against New Zealand, whom India brushed aside in a 3-0 whitewash. India followed it up with a 4-0 win over England in a five-match test series. Kohli scored an amazing 655 runs in the series.
Full time Captaincy
Just before the ODI series against England went underway, MS Dhoni announced his decision to retire as captain from the limited formats of the game as well. Kohli was handed over the role in all formats. He went off to a good start with a 2-1 win over England.
India won the solitary Test match against Bangladesh and then beat the Australia 2-1 in a tough series in 2017.
Kohli’s next task as captain was the 2017 ICC Champions Trophy. India reached the finals but lost to arch-rivals Pakistan. However, India shrugged off the loss with a 3-1 ODI series win in West Indies.
India toured Sri Lanka in late July 2017 and won all games across all three formats in the island nation.
The Aussies visited India in September and the Indians beat them convincingly 4-1 in a five-match ODI series. Kohli’s men also beat the other Tasman nation, New Zealand, in the home stretch 2-1.
The weak Sri Lanka side toured India in late 2017 but could not match the class of Kohli’s team. India won the test series 1-0 and the ODI series 2-1.
India toured South Africa next in a tough away series. While they lost the Test series 2-1 but won the ODI series 5-1.
The team is ranked number one in both ODIs and Tests. However, tougher tests await the team as they tour both England and Australia in the year 2018.