New Zealand spinner Ajaz Patel hailed former India skipper Virat Kohli for changing the panorama of Indian cricket. Kohli stepped down as India’s Test captain following the India vs South Africa Tour. India lost the three-match red-ball series 1-2. The world-class batter quit as the skipper in the T20 format after the T20 World Cup 2021, and was laid-off from ODI captaincy, shortly after.
Patel, who became the third bowler in history to take 10 wickets in a single inning recently, congratulated Kohli on his teute as captain. He noted that the legacy and direction left behind the 33-year-old forever changed the landscape of cricket in India. Under the leadership of Kohli, the Indian team reached newer heights, especially in Test cricket. Patel cited comparisons between Kohli and former Kiwi skipper Brendon McCullum, saying the former India skipper left a similar impact to turn around cricket in his country.
“Congrats to Virat Kohli on your tenure as BCCI captain, the legacy and direction you leave behind has forever changed Indian cricket. Much like we saw Black Caps by Brendon McCullum,” tweeted Patel.
Kohli released a statement explaining his decision to step down as India’s Test skipper. After taking the reins from MS Dhoni in 2014, Kohli led India to the numero uno Test spot from No. 7 and finished with 40 wins in 68 games with a victory percentage of 58.82, most by an Indian skipper. He guided from the front, himself scoring 5,864 runs as a Test captain, including seven double centuries. 20 of his 27 Test tons came while leading the side. Under Kohli, India lost two matches at home and became one of the best touring nations by series wins in Sri Lanka, Australia, West Indies, and England (currently leading 2-1).
McCullum won 11, lost 11 and drew nine in the 31 Tests he captained New Zealand in. His win percentage of 35.48 is the third-highest for any Kiwi skipper with over 10 matches as Test captain. McCullum became the first skipper to score a century (fastest) in a farewell Test.
The BCCI announced Rohit Sharma as India’s white-ball captain in December last year. However, the board is yet to announce a new Test captain.