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Virat Kohli’s Captaincy Records

September 14, 2021, 10:45
Virat Kohli and the Centuries That Have Earned Him the Title, ‘The King’


Nasser Hussain wrote recently in the Daily Mail after India’s latest test win with Virat Kohli at the helm:

“I said at the start of the fifth day that it was going to be a big test of Virat Kohli’s captaincy and he passed that test with flying colour,”

Hussain wrote in his column in the DailyMail.

According to Hussain, everything Kohli touched turned into gold, in what the former England captain called ‘Kohli’s Midas Test’.

Captaincy Record Across Formats

Virat Kohli is universally acknowledged as one of the greatest current cricketers across formats. In addition to batting, Kohli has also contributed hugely to India’s cause as captain across formats. In 2014, Kohli took over the Test captaincy from Dhoni who retired from test cricket halfway through India’s tour of Australia. While his first series as test captain did not go India’s way, Kohli has tasted a lot of success as India’s captaincy thereafter.
Virat Kohli and the Centuries That Have Earned Him the Title, ‘The King’

2017: BCCI Appoint Kohli Captain Across Formats

In 2017, Kohli became India’s captain across formats, including ODI and T20I matches. Though he has yet to win a major ICC tournament as captain, Kohli has established a brilliant record as India’s captain in tests, wherein India has played consistently well on his watch.

2018-19: Kohli Leads India to First-Ever Test Series Win in Australia

In 2018/19, Virat led India to their very first test series in Australia since the first tour in 1948. With Kohli at the helm, India enjoyed a reign of 42 months as the top-ranked test team, a reign that began in October 2016 and remained uninterrupted until March 2020.

                        Virat Kohli’s International Record as Captain Across Formats
Category Matches as Captain Won Lost No Result
Test Matches 65 38 16 11
One Day Internationals 95 65 27   3
T20 Internationals 45 27 14   4
Total 205 130 57 18

Virat Kohli Record as Test Captain

Kohli has led India in 65 tests, of which they have won 38 and lost 16, with 11 matches ended without result. The 38 wins included 23 at home and 14 in away matches. In the fourth match of India’s ongoing test series versus England at the Oval, Kohli won his 15th overseas test match and his 38th overall as captain.

Most Tests as Captain of India

No other player has led India in as many test matches as Kohli. The previous record was held by MS Dhoni who led the team in 60 matches. In the fourth match of India’s ongoing test series versus England at the Oval, Kohli won his 15th overseas test match and his 38th overall as captain.

Most Successful Test Captain of India

His 38 test wins as captain make Kohli the most successful test captain in India’s history. The previous record of 27 wins was held by Dhoni who surpassed the previous record of 22 held by Sourav Ganguly.

Most Test Centuries by an India Captain

Kohli holds the record for most test centuries by an Indian captain, with 20 centuries while at the helm, establishing a record for an India captain. He is second only to Graeme Smith who holds the world record of 25, while captaining South Africa.

Most Test Wins in India

Kohli went past Dhoni’s record of 21 test wins in India when he won the pink ball test versus England earlier in 2021. He has since registered another win to take his tally of home test wins to 23.

Most Test Runs, Double Tons as Captain

Kohli has scored all of his seven test double centuries during his tenure as captain, setting a world record for most test double tons as captain. With 5573 runs at 56.29 in 64 matches, Kohli holds the world record for most test runs as captain.

Spin Legend Shane Warne Hails Kohli as Biggest Superstar on Planet

Australian spin legend Shane Warne was effusive in his praise of Virat Kohli’s captaincy after India pulled off a miraculous win on the last day of the Oval test match in September 2021:

“He loves Test cricket and he’s made it a priority. India is a powerhouse in world cricket and you’ve got the biggest superstar in the planet, Virat Kohli, saying Test cricket is important, we’re going to Australia and win and we’re going to England and win”

Virat Kohli as Captain in ODI Cricket

Kohli has led India in 95 matches, of which India has won 65 and lost 27, with three matches ended without result. His 65 ODI wins as skipper put him in 4th place behind Dhoni, Ganguly and Azharuddin.

Most ODI Runs, Tons as India Captain

Barring Dhoni who scored 6641 runs in 200 ODIs as India’s captain, no other batsman has more ODI runs as captain of India than Kohli who has scored 5320 runs from his 95 games at the helm. Kohli has scored 22 ODI tons while captaining India, second only to Ricky Ponting who made 22 centuries as Australia’s ODI skipper.

Virat Kohli Captaincy Record in T20Is

Kohli has led India in 45 T20I matches, winning 27 and losing 14, with 4 matches ended without result. His aggregate of 1421 runs as India skipper gives Kohli the record for most T20I runs by an India captain and the fourth highest amongst international captains.

Virat Kohli and the Centuries That Have Earned Him the Title, ‘The King’

Second Highest Number of Wins as T20I Captain

His 27 wins as India skipper is second only to Dhoni’s record of 42 wins at the helm. Only Asghar Afghan, Dhoni and Eoin Morgan have registered more wins as captains of their respective national sides.

Fastest 1000 Runs by a T20I Captain

Kohli scored 1000 T20I runs in 30 innings, setting the record for the fastest to the feat as a captain breaking the previous record set by Faf du Plessis.

Only Indian Captain to Win Bilateral Contests in SENA Countries

Kohli is the only Indian skippet to have won bilateral contest in South Arica, England, New Zealand and Australia (known as SENA countries).

Virat Kohli’s Captaincy Record in IPL

In 132 IPL matches as skipper, Kohli has won 60 and lost 65, with 4 games ended without result. Only Dhoni has captained more matches in the IPL. Kohli also hold the record for most runs as IPL captain.

Youngest Skipper in IPL History

In IPL 2011, he replaced Daniel Vettori as captain of RCB for three games, making him, at age 22, the youngest player to skipper an IPL side.

Best Captaincy Record in IPL 2016

His best performance as IPL captain came in the 2016 season, when he led RCB in 16 matches, winning 9 and losing 7. That was also Kohli’s best season as batsman in the IPL when he scored 973 runs from 16 matches at 81.08, with four tons and seven fifties. Kohli smashed 83 fours and 38 sixes to register a strike rate of 152.03. On the back of his batting profligacy, RCB entered the final of the IPL only to lose to Sunrisers Hyderabad in the title clash.


The biggest compliment for Kohli as captain comes from his biggest rivals. Former Australia spinner Brad Hogg put it aptly, when he said,

“Virat Kohli is a skipper that England and Australia fear!”

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