In a heartfelt tribute to Virat Kohli, his teammate and spinner Ravichandran Ashwin wrote that the former India captain, who stepped down as Test skipper on Saturday, said Kohli is leaving behind a legacy as a leader which will serve as a headache for his successor.
"Your legacy as a captain will stand for the kind of benchmarks you have set," veteran spinner Ravichandran summarised Virat Kohli's spectacular Test captaincy stint as other members of the Indian cricket team also hailed the integrity and the vision the talismanic leader.
Kohli, who took over from MS Dhoni midway through the Australian tour back in 2014-15, on Saturday announced his decision to quit Test captaincy.
The 33-year-old spinner leaves as the most successful India captain in Test cricket with 40 wins from 68 matches with the highlight being the wins in Australia and England last year. It was under Kohli that team India become a force to reckon with in all conditions and won overseas.
"Cricket captains will always be spoken about with respect to their records and the kind of triumphs they managed, but your legacy as a captain will stand for the kind of benchmarks you have set. There will be people who will talk about wins in Australia, England , Sl etc etc," Ashwin tweeted.
"Wins are just a result and the seeds are always sown well before the harvest! The seeds you managed to sow is the kind of standard you set for yourself and hence set the expectations straight with the rest of us.
"Well done @imVkohli on the headache you have left behind for your successor and that's my biggest takeaway from your stint as captain. We must leave a place at such an altitude that the future can only take it higher from there on," Ashwin added.
Senior India and Delhi pacer Ishant Sharma, who has played with Kohli since childhood, recalled a conversation during the 2017-18 tour of South Africa when Kohli had told him that India needs to start winning in overseas conditions.
"Thank you for all the memories I've shared with you in dressing room & on & off the field since childhood, where we never thought that you would be our captain & I'll play 100 test matches for India. All we did was just play cricket with all our heart & things worked out well.
"I still remember back 2017 in South Africa, where u told me it's high time to win series in these countries. Yes, we didn't win 2017-18 series in Africa, but we went to Australia & beat them in Australia. In England 2017-18 series we lost, but we know as team how close we came!
"So cheers to your most successful Test Captaincy for India and thanks for the amazing memories as a Captain you have given us," Ishant wrote.
Kohl's decision to quit Test captaincy caught everyone by surprise and India's limited overs skipper Rohit Sharma was no different.
"Shocked?? But congratulations on a successful stint as Indian captain," Rohit wrote in his Instagram post while also wishing Kohli the best for the future.
India's fast bowling revolution in Tests began under Kohli, who always backed his pacers. Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammad Shami were quick to thank the former skipper for his contributions.
"Integrity, insight and inclusivity. Your contribution to the team as captain is invaluable, you've been a great leader to this side. It's been a pleasure playing under you," Bumrah said.
"The epitome of leadership. The man who galvanised a team to win overseas Congratulations on a brilliant run as Team India captain. Looking forward to more from you with the bat - Go well Virat," Shami tweeted.
Congratulations on taking the Indian team all the way to the top! Been a pleasure playing under your leadership, Virat!," Dhawan tweeted.
"A leader in every sense. Can't thank you enough for all that you've done, Skip," said Rahul.
"Congratulations Virat Kohli on a fantastic term as captain. It was an absolute honour playing under your leadership. Someone who led by example. You have created a winning mentality in everyone. Your passion and dedication towards the game is an inspiration. Thank you, Skips," Agarwal said.
(Reported by PTI)