Virat Kohli is the greatest test captain in the history of Indian cricket: Irfan Pathan

Virat Kohli has a winning percentage of close to 60 as a test captain

The former Indian medium-pacer Irfan Pathan has declared Virat Kohli the greatest Indian test captain ever after Kohli led India to another test match victory against New Zealand at the Wankhede Stadium earlier today. It was Kohli’s 39th test win as an Indian test captain.

Virat Kohli went past the tally of his predecessor MS Dhoni a while back and is now a fair few wins ahead of him. Dhoni captained India to 27 test match victories.

Irfan Pathan compared the test match captaincy stats of Kohli and Dhoni in terms of winning percentage and insisted that Kohli has a winning percentage of 59 as a test captain which easily makes him the greatest, as the captain who is second on the list (Dhoni) had a winning percentage of 45.


Dhoni is regarded as a genius limited-over captain and not so much as a test captain, even though he guided India to no. 1 rankings in test match cricket. But, even if Kohli’s captaincy stat is compared to the captaincy stat of the other great Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, Kohli still stands miles ahead because Ganguly had a winning percentage of 42 as a test captain.

The reason why the Indian test team has delivered consistent results under Virat Kohli, not just at home, but also abroad, particularly in England and Australia, is because Kohli brought a cultural change in the Indian set-up as he took over the test captaincy.

He insisted on fast bowling fitness and the need for the fast bowlers to bowl attacking areas on overseas tours. To make sure that the workload of the fast bowlers is kept in check for them to bowl in attacking areas regularly, India started playing with 5 bowlers, something that they weren’t regularly doing before Kohli’s stint.


While people have still been raising question marks over the tactical ability of Kohli in terms of his on-field decisions at times, the fact that he brought a cultural change in the set-up and got India playing a different brand of test cricket can’t be overlooked.

Irfan Pathan has hailed Kohli’s influence on the Indian test team in the past too

Irfan Pathan. who himself played a fair bit of test cricket for India overseas, knows what it takes to win overseas consistently in tricky conditions. The southpaw has suggested even in the past as well that no Indian captain has had as much influence on India’s test cricket as Virat Kohli.

Pathan reiterated it again as he put out a tweet after India thumped the Kiwis by 372 runs to secure their biggest ever win in the longest format.




I write a bit on cricket and I am more interested in technical and tactical side of the game, rather than bravado.

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