New Delhi, Jan 15 (IANS) Virat Kohli's sudden announcement on Saturday to quit Test captaincy stunned the cricketing fraternity, which lauded the star batter for his services as India skipper in the longest format of the game.
Kohli steps down as India's most successful captain in the format, with 40 wins in 68 Tests. He also helped the side to a historic Test series win in Australia and took them to the top of the ICC Test rankings. Under him, India also reached the final of the inaugural ICC World Test Championship.
The cricket fraternity -- including past and present players -- lauded Kohli for his captaincy in Test cricket.
'Many Congratulations #ViratKohli on an outstanding career as India's Test Captain. Stats don't lie & he was not only the most successful Indian Test Captain but one of the most successful in the world. Can be very proud @imVkohli & looking forward to watch u dominate with the bat,' wrote Virender Sehwag on Twitter.
Former head coach Ravi Shastri, who shared a special bond with Kohli, also said that star batter can go with his head held high.
'Virat, you can go with your head held high. Few have achieved what you have as captain. Definitely India's most aggressive and successful. Sad day for me personally as this is the team we built together,' tweeted Shastri along with his picture with Kohli.
'Congratulations @imVkohli on a stunning run as the Indian captain. You can be very proud of what you have achieved so far, and for sure, your name will be up there among the best leaders in world cricket,' tweeted legendary Vivian Richards.
'It's always an honour to lead the dynamic Indian team. And the decision to step down is an emotionally heavy moment. A journey well travelled,' former India skipper Mohamad Azharuddin said in a tweet.
'Although I also am shocked by @imVkohli sudden decision, I respect his call. I can only applaud him for what he has done for world cricket & India. Easily one of the most aggressive and fittest players India has had. Hope he'd continue to shine for India as a player,' tweeted former teammate Suresh Raina.
His Delhi and India teammate Ishant Sharma shared all the memories in the dressing room and on & off the field since childhood.
'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,' said Ishant in a tweet along with pictures.
'All we did was just play cricket with all our heart & things worked out well,' he added.
'Congratulations on taking the Indian team all the way to the top! Been a pleasure playing under your leadership, Virat,' said Shikhar Dhawan in his tweet.
Former India pacer Irfan Pathan wrote: 'Whenever the talk of Indian cricket captains will arise in Test cricket @imVkohli's name will be up there, not only for results but the kind of impact he had as a captain. Thank you #ViratKohli.'
The most notable victories from the time under Kohli will be the 2018/19 Border-Gavaskar Trophy win, where India won a Test series in Australia for the first time and led 2-1 in England in the 2021 series apart from reaching the World Test Championship (WTC) final at Southampton in the same year.
He also took the Indian team to the No.1 ranking in Tests apart from overseeing the development of the pace-attack reaching a world-class level and fitness being given prime importance.
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