India vs England, 3rd Test, Mohali: Captaincy boost for Virat’s batting
It was in December 2014 that Virat Kohli got his first taste of Test captaincy, against Australia in Adelaide. Although his captaincy skills left much to be desired, one thing was clear from the start – leadership didn’t affect Virat’s batting. In fact, when saddled with responsibility, his willow only plundered more runs.
In Adelaide itself, Virat scored 256 runs – 115 in the 1st innings and 141 in the second – and nearly fashioned an improbable victory for the Indian team. Full-time Test captaincy came to him in that Australia series itself, when the incumbent skipper MS Dhoni brought an abrupt end to his Test career after the third match.
Virat once again became India’s Test captain in the fourth and final Test in Sydney. He followed his elevation to the hot seat with another century (147 in the 1st innings of the Test); his third consecutive ton in as many innings as Indian captain. As captain, Virat the run-machine totalled 449 runs in four innings at a Bradmanesque average of 112.25, with three centuries, in that Australia series. The recent Test against England in Vishakhapatnam was another testimony to the fact that Virat the leader’s batting thrives on responsibility. Virat tallied 248 runs (167 in the first innings and 81 in the second) in the match – the fourth highest by an Indian captain in a Test.
Over the past two years, as India’s Test captain, Virat has scored 1793 runs in 19 matches with 7 centuries and 3 half-centuries. His average during this period has been 59.76 – nearly 19 points up from his batting average when he played under other captains. Before becoming captain, Virat had seven tons in 55 innings – one every eight innings. As a captain, Virat scores a century every four innings that he plays.