Virat Kohli had an unforgettable 2016. With the bat, he smashed three double centuries and scored more than 1000 runs in Tests. As captain, he did not lose a single Test at home and won five consecutive series since being appointed as full-time Test captain for the Sri Lanka series in August 2015.
In Twenty20s, Kohli had a record-breaking year. In the Indian Premier League, he smashed 973 runs, including four centuries in a single edition to guide Royal Challengers Bangalore to the final before losing to Sunrisers Hyderabad. The year 2016 has shown that whenever Kohli is saddled with the responsibility of captaincy, he gets better as a batsman.
When MS Dhoni announced his decision to step down as ODI and T20I captain, Kohli was chosen as India’s captain across all three formats. The Kohli-era begins when India take on England in three ODIs and three Twenty20 Internationals from January 15.
Speaking to bcci.tv, Kohli outlined the challenges of being captain in all three formats. “Captaining in shortest format is very difficult, and to keep coming back in that requires (a) different set of thinking, requires you to think out of the box. Captaincy in Test cricket still gives you the opportunity to come back into the game,” Kohli said.
Kohli added that captaincy across formats will push him even more for success. He stated that added responsibilities are the prime factor in him thriving as a player in international cricket.
“Added responsibility has always worked for me in a sense that there is no room left to be complacent. You have no room to relax. Responsibility makes me better player, better person, makes me understand the game much more,” Kohli stated.
Ricky Ponting, MS Dhoni an inspiration
In the annals of cricketing captaincy, Australia’s Ricky Ponting dominates the list. Under Ponting, Australia continued their era of dominance as they won the 2003 and 2007 World Cups. They also backed it up by winning the 2006 and 2009 Champions Trophy. In 230 ODIs, Ponting has registered wins in 165 ODIs, losing just 51 and having a winning percentage of 76.5. As far as successful captains go, Ponting is on top of the list.
In Tests, Ponting has captained Australia in 77 Tests, winning 48 and losing just 16, having a winning percentage of 62. Kohli stated that the leadership skills of Ponting and Dhoni are exemplerary and this is something that he thrives for.
“I saw an Allan Border interview where he spoke about the leadership of Ricky Ponting. He mentioned that Ponting was able to maintain that consistency rate over such a long period of time in a format that doesn’t allow you to comeback very often. So to stay on top was a remarkable achievement. That is what MS has done for India as well. He has got all the major trophies,” Kohli said.
The Kohli-era begins on January 15 against England. However, India will be grateful for the services of Dhoni, under whom India won all three major ICC trophies and under whom India scaled the summit in Tests.