Virat Kohli who is the current captain of the Indian team captained India for the first time in ODI cricket in 2013 in a tri-series game against Sri Lanka in the absence of MS Dhoni. Virat Kohli became full-time ODI captain in 2017 when MS Dhoni resigned. Since then, Kohli has been India’s all-format captain, with Rohit Sharma taking the reins in case of Virat Kohli missing a game.
Virat Kohli has captained India in 95 ODIs and India has managed to win 65 out of those. He has a win percentage of 68.42% which is great for any captain. No other Indian captain has had such a percentage after captaining for at least 20 games. But it would be interesting to see what was the playing XI when Virat Kohli captained India for the first time in ODI cricket. So, let us have a look at the playing XI with Virat Kohli as captain.
Openers – Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan
Rohit Sharma and Shikhar Dhawan had started opening together in the 2013 Champions Trophy, and they were an instant hit. The formula worked in England as both of them scored runs and India went on to win the trophy. So, India stuck with them for the tri-series which was right after the Champions Trophy.
Sri Lanka had scored a mammoth 348-1 in their 50 overs and in reply India’s openers were dismissed for 5 and 24 respectively. But such has been the dominance of these two guys that even after 8 years, they are India’s opening pair in ODIs.
Middle-Order – Murali Vijay, Virat Kohli, Suresh Raina
Murali Vijay was slotted in place of MS Dhoni, who couldn’t play the game due to an injury. He was the backup opener in the squad, so was asked to bat at No.3. Virat Kohli batted at No.4 and Suresh Raina was the other member in the playing XI.
Vijay managed to score 30 runs, while the Indian captain scored only 2. Suresh Raina got run out on 33 off 33 balls. The middle-order didn’t look good in the absence of MS Dhoni.
Wicket-keeper and All-rounder – Dinesh Karthik and Ravindra Jadeja
Dinesh Karthik was already in the playing XI even in the presence of MS Dhoni, as he was batting brilliantly in the middle-order. But in this game, he was asked to keep the wickets as Dhoni wasn’t available. Karthik who is currently commentating in England managed to score 22 runs.
Ravindra Jadeja was the all-rounder in the playing XI captained by Virat Kohli. Jadeja was the highest scorer for India as he scored 49. He bowled nine overs but couldn’t pick up a wicket.
Bowlers – R Ashwin, Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav
R Ashwin was the spinner in the playing XI captained by Virat Kohli as he managed to pick up one wicket. The fast-bowling trio comprised of Mohammed Shami, Ishant Sharma, and Umesh Yadav. All the fast bowlers leaked runs as Sri Lanka scored 348 runs and lost only one wicket in the whole innings.
6 years later, the same fast-bowling trio has been devastating in the longest format under the captaincy of Virat Kohli. It has been a great journey for most of these players who were in the playing XI when Virat Kohli captained in an ODI for the first time.