Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain
Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain

Virat Kohli has stepped down as India Test captain following the 2-1 series defeat in South Africa.

The 33-year-old took over as skipper in the longest format following MS Dhoni's retirement in 2014 and has gone on to lead his country 68 times in the longest format.

Kohli called time on his reign as Twenty20 captain following the World Cup in the United Arab Emirates late last year, with Rohit Sharma taking that role before also replacing his fellow batter as ODI skipper.

India failed to secure a first Test series win over South Africa after they lost the decider at Newlands by seven wickets on Friday and Kohli has confirmed that will be his last match as captain.

Kohli posted on Twitter: "It has been seven years of hard work, toil and relentless perseverance everyday to take the team in the right direction.

"I've done the job with absolute honesty and left nothing out there. Everything has to come to a halt at some stage and for me as Test Captain of India, it's now,

"There have been many ups and also some downs along the journey, but never has there been a lack of effort or lack of belief.

"I have always believed in giving my 120 per cent in everything I do, and if I can't do that, I know it's not the right thing to do. I have absolute clarity in my heart and I cannot be dishonest to my team.

"I want to thank the BCCI for giving me the opportunity to lead my country for such a long period of time and more importantly to all the team-mates who bought into the vision I had for the team from day one and never gave up in any situation.

"You guys have made this journey so memorable and beautiful. To Ravi [former India head coach Shastri] Bhai and the support group who were the engine behind this vehicle that moved us upwards in Test Cricket consistently, you all have played a massive role in bringing this vision to life.

"Lastly, a big thank you to MS Dhoni who believed in me as a captain and found me to be an able individual who could take Indian cricket forward."

Kohli is India's most successful Test captain, having led his country to 40 victories.

KL Rahul will be in line to step up and succeed one of India's greatest ever players, having recently been appointed as vice-captain in place of Ajinkya Rahane.

Kohli gave no indication he would quit after the loss to the Proteas in Cape Town, warning India "must come back as better cricketers” and improve with the bat.

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