Hollywoodbets Sports Blog: Opinion: Is Virat Kohli India's best ever skipper?

Opinion: Is Virat Kohli India's best ever skipper?

Is Virat Kohli India's best ever skipper?

As Virat Kohli racks up the batting numbers to prove he is undoubtedly the best player to captain India it is worth asking if the great batsman is also a great skipper.

In the victory over South Africa in Pune, Kohli became just the second man to captain India in 50 Test matches after MS Dhoni.

Photo Copyright - Steve Haag Sports 

Kohli spent much of the early days of his captaincy trying to justify what many believed was a premature end to the Dhoni-era. Dhoni remains an extremely popular figure in Indian cricket, and even now many would welcome him back into the Test fold, such is the cult that has formed around his abilities.

Dhoni's popularity made him a tough act to follow, but if anybody was bloody-minded enough to do the impossible, it is Kohli.

Kohli has been a skipper who lays down the best example both in training and on matchday while also being a vocal leader. In his dealings with the media, he has always been eloquent if at times stand-offish.

The India skipper is very much the type of guy who pulls a team up by his bootstraps so to speak, scoring 18.67 per cent of his team's runs in his 50 Tests as captain, more than any other skipper when they brought up their half-century as skipper.

In those 50 Tests, India have recorded 30 victories ten draws and ten losses, making Kohli statistically the most successful India skipper in terms of win rate.

In raw numbers, Kohli easily dwarfs some of the biggest names in Indian cricket history. The great Kapil Dev captained India in 37 Tests but tasted victory just four times. Sachin Tendulkar captained India 25 times and also won just four Tests. Kohli is the only skipper to have led India ten times or more and maintained a win-rate higher than 50 per cent in Test cricket.

Had Dhoni surrendered the captaincy earlier he may have preserved what was a brilliant record as captain of India. In his final 11 Tests as captain India won just one Test, in the preceding 49 Dhoni's charges had scored 26 Test wins.

Kohli's only real competition for the status of greatest India skipper of all-time is the man who came before him and laid the platform for his greatness.

Until the rise of Kohli, Dhoni was by far India's best Test captain and he should always be recognised as the man who made his heir's great success possible.

It is now very clear though that India's greatest Test leader of all-time is Kohli, a man who is far from done establishing his legacy.

Written by James Richardson for Hollywoodbets. 

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