Virat Kohli on Thursday became the second Indian player to lead the national side to 50 Test matches. With the second Test between India and South Africa in Pune being his 50th as a Test skipper of India, Kohli surpassed former Indian cricketer Sourav Ganguly to stand only behind veteran cricketer MS Dhoni in the elite list.
"I only feel that I'm lucky enough to be in this position. I'm very grateful that I've been able to play so many games for India, let alone captain so many games," the Indian captain had said on Wednesday when asked about his impressive feat in the pre-game presser. "It's a nice little landmark, but the focus is to win as many Test matches as possible and just win every game we can. Stats and numbers don't matter to me but when the team recognizes these little things, it means something to me as a player."
Kohli's road to 50 Tests in numbers...
- Despite being second on the aforementioned list, Kohli is the most successful Indian Test captain, a feat he had achieved back in September after India's series victory against West Indies. From 49 matches, Kohli has 29 wins as captain, which places his two wins above second-placed Dhoni. Overall, only Steve Waugh (36) and Ricky Ponting (34) has more wins as captain after first 49 Tests than Kohli's 29.
- Kohli's win percentage of 59.18 after 49 Tests is the third-most by a skipper after Waugh (71.92) and Ponting (62.33) who has led their skipper in more than 25 Tests.
- Out of Kohli's 49 Tests as captain, 23 matches were played at home with India winning 16 and losing only once. The dream run included a 19-match unbeaten streak as Kohli surpassed Gavaskar's record of 18 such wins under his captaincy reign.
- One of the major reason behind Kohli's success as a skipper has been his bowlers. The bowling unit average 26.44 in 49 Tests under Kohli which places him only fifth behind Viv Richards' West Indies, Hansie Cronje's South Africa, and the England sides led by Mike Brearley and Peter May in the list of skippers who have led their country in 30 or more Tests. On the other hand, batters have averaged 38.47 under Kohli, which is the second-most under an Indian skipper who has led the nation in 30 or more Tests
- Kohli's batting has improved in the format since taking over the captaincy in 2014 with his average increasing from 41.13 to 61.06. In fact, his average as a skipper is the second-most after Steve Smith's 70.37 among skippers who have led their respective nation in more than 25 Tests. Overall, Kohli, with his tally of 4702 runs as a Test skipper, stands seventh in the all-time list.