Virat Kohli has stepped down from his role as captain of India’s Test team.
The 33-year-old first led his country in red-ball cricket temporarily during the winter tour of Australia in 2014 before he permanently took the reins from MS Dhoni at the end of the series.
During his tenure as India’s Test captain, Kohli helped them clinch the number one spot in the ICC Test rankings and saw them finish runners-up in the World Test Championship Final last summer.
Kohli said on Twitter: “It’s been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance every day to take the team in the right direction.
“I’ve done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test captain of India, it’s now.
“There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief.
“I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can’t do that, I know it’s not the right thing to do. I have absolutely clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.”
The India batter relinquished the Twenty20 captaincy after the IT20 World Cup in November and was also replaced as one-day skipper by Rohit Sharma in December.
Kohli was in charge of India’s red-ball team on 68 occasions, winning 40 matches but he signed off following a 2-1 series loss at home to South Africa this week.
He added: “I want to thank the BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the team-mates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation. You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful.
“To Ravi Bhai (Shastri) and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life.
“Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward.”
Kohli has played 99 Tests and scored 7,962 runs at an average of 50.39.
He has hit 27 Test centuries but not passed three figures in red-ball cricket for his country since November 2019, a run of 15 matches and 27 innings.
“BCCI congratulates Virat Kohli for his admirable leadership qualities that took the Test team to unprecedented heights,” a statement on Twitter read.
“He led India in 68 matches and has been the most successful captain with 40 wins.”