Even before a ball was bowled in the Pune Test between India and South Africa at the MCA stadium, Virat Kohli has created a special captaincy record. The Indian skipper won the toss and chose to bat against the Proteas in what was his 50th Test as skipper of the Indian cricket team. Kohli became the second captain after MS Dhoni to captain in 50 or more Tests and he overtook Sourav Ganguly's record of 49 Tests. Kohli became captain for the first time during the 2014 series in Australia Down Under but ever since Dhoni's retirement from Tests in the same series, Kohli has been the full-time captain ever since the start of the Sri Lanka series in 2015.
Kohli is the 17th individual to captain a side in 50 or more Tests.
Currently, his winning percentage is 58 percent, having won in 29 out of the 50 Tests. Already, he is the most successful Indian captain ever in Tests, breaking Dhoni's record of 27 which he achieved in 60 Tests. Graeme Smith of South Africa is the only skipper in history to captain in over 100 Tests. From 2003 to 2014, Smith captained South Africa in 109 Tests, winning 53 of them and helping South Africa win back-to-back Test series in Australia and England in 2008 and 2012.
Allan Border of Australia, Stephen Fleming of New Zealand, Ricky Ponting, Clive Lloyd, Dhoni, Alastair Cook, Steve Waugh, Misbah ul Haq, Arjuna Ranatunga, Michael Atherton, Hansie Cronje, Michael Vaughan, Sir Viv Richards, Andrew Strauss and Mark Taylor are the other individuals apart from Kohli who have captained the side in 50 or more Tests.
If one looks at the success rate of all captains with a minimum criteria of 50 Tests, then Steve Waugh of Australia has the highest success percentage by winning 41 out of 57 Tests with 71.92 percent success. Waugh is followed by fellow Australian Ricky Ponting who has won 62 percent of his Tests followed by Kohli. The Delhi right-handed batsman was at the helm when India won their first-ever Test series Down Under in 2018/19. After winning the Adelaide Test, India lost in Perth but won a Boxing Day Test for the first time in 37 years and when the Sydney Test was drawn, history was created.
India will be gunning to win the Test series against South Africa and continue their great start in the World Test Championship, having won the series in West Indies 2-0 and winning the match in Vizag by 203 runs against the Proteas.