India vs England, 3rd ODI: Virat Kohli joins an elite list of captains in international cricket

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli entered an elite list of captains in international cricket during the third ODI between India and England on Sunday.

Virat Kohli entered an elite list of captains in international cricket during the third ODI between India and England on Sunday.

The third ODI, which is the series decider of the ongoing three-match series, was Kohli's 200th game, across formats, as Team India's captain. He became the third Indian skipper to captain in 200 matches after MS Dhoni and Mohammad Azharuddin. Arguably the most successful Indian captain, Dhoni, led the country in as many as 332 matches between 2007 and 2018. Meanwhile, Azharuddin led India in 221 games between 1990 and 1999.

Kohli now has captained Team India in 95 ODIs, 60 Tests, and 45 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is).

Overall, Kohli was the eighth player to join the elite list. The overseas skippers to have led in at least 200 international matches are ex-Australia captain Ricky Ponting (324 games), New Zealand's Stephen Flemming (303 games), South Africa's Graeme Smith (286 games), Australia great Allan Border (271 games), and Sri Lanka's Arjuna Ranatunga (249 games).

India kickstarted the three-match series with a 66-run victory before England bounced back to claim the second ODI by six wickets with utmost ease. India recently won the series decider against England to clinch the three-match Twenty20 International (T20I) series. Kohli and Co will look to replicate the feat on Sunday.

England's stand-in captain Jos Buttler won the toss and put India to bat in the series decider game in Pune. It was Kohli's sixth consecutive toss loss to England. Out of the 12 matches in the underway series (4 Tests, 5 T20Is, and 3 ODIs), Kohli has won just two tosses.

After losing the toss on Sunday, Kohli said," The toss is completely out of my control right now. It's a hard pitch and has some grass covering. We've introspected and identified a few areas that we need to improve on, put up 20-30 more runs with the bat and put up a better show with the ball. Our best cricket has come out when our backs have been against the wall - Test series, after being one down and the same in T20s, after being 1-2 down. We have to be at our best today to win the decider. We have a tactical change: Natarajan comes in for Kuldeep Yadav."

After scoring two brilliant half-centuries in the first two ODIs, Kohli managed just seven runs in the crucial series decider fixture on Sunday. Kohli's wait for scoring a century continues as his last international ton had come during India's day-night Test against Bangladesh in Kolkata in 2019.

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