England Vs India: What It Means For Virat Kohli's Legacy As A Captain

Cricket News

Virat Kohli is leading an Indian side against England in a five-match Test series which starts on August 1 at Birmingham

Written By Narayan R | Mumbai | Updated On:

Every team playing in home condition can win a series, given the conditions are favoring them. But winning away from home, now that's a challenge. For an Asian team, winning outside subcontinent, that too in Test cricket is something of a rarity. Much of it is because the likes of India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka are so used to playing in spinning pitches that once they visit England, Australia, New Zealand or Pakistan, the conditions seem alien to them.

But there have been many captains in the past who have led their team to success overseas, against all the odds. When it comes to India winning, or getting a positive result from abroad in the recent past, there will always be special mention of Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid.

In the 2003/04 tour of Australia, Ganguly's Indian team managed to draw the four-match Test series 1-1. It was a huge achievement, given they were up against an Aussie team which many consider to be the 'greatest of all time'.

And then there was Dravid, who scripted arguably the greatest series win for his country this century. Leading the team in 2007 tour of England, 'The Wall' guided India to a historical 1-0 series win in the three-Test series, It was just the second time in history that India had managed to beat England in England.

Now, Virat Kohli has a chance to etch his name along with the two greats. He is leading an Indian side against England in a five-match Test series which starts on August 1 at Birmingham.

The 29-year-old assumed the role in 2014 after MS Dhoni quit captaincy. Since then, Kohli has rewritten nation's cricket history, guiding them to unmatchable success in the longer format. 

For starters, he has guided India to an astonishing 21 wins in 35 Test matches, with a win record of 60%. After the 2-0 series loss in Australia, India went on a 10-series unbeaten streak under Kohli, which also saw nine consecutive series wins.

The dominant period from 2015 to 2018 included a first series win since 1993 in Sri Lanka, 4-0 thrashing of England at home, 3-0 thrashing of New Zealand at home, a 2-1 success over Australia at home and a comfortable 2-0 series win in West Indies.

These achievement has put Kohli amongst one of the most successful captains of all time. But in all honesty, these success won't count for much! Most of India's success in the past three years have come either playing in the sub-continent. 

Their first real test was earlier this year, when they toured South Africa. It was the first of three overseas tour, which would have been followed by England and then Australia. And India succumbed in round one, though, showing some promise. Kohli and co. were beaten 2-1 in the three-Test series. But there were many positives which could have been taken from it. 

Now, they are set for the five-match Test series against England, which provides a completely different challenge. The pacer-friendly pitches and swinging conditions are something which India have failed to deal with.

Though this also provides Kohli with the opportunity to remove the 'home bullies' tag from his team. The Indian skipper has a great record as a Test captain. But, if his team can win against England, or even perform well, then Kohli can proudly claim of guiding India to success in overseas condition, something which very few can speak about.

 

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