Virat Kohli steps down as India Test captain after losing South Africa series

India’s Virat Kohli has stepped down as captain of the Test side following their 2-1 series defeat by South Africa, saying “I’ve left nothing out there” during his time in charge.

In a statement on Twitter, the 33-year-old said: “It’s 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. Every thing 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 percent 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.”

Kohli gave up the Twenty20 captaincy in September and was replaced as one-day international skipper in December, with opener Rohit Sharma taking over in both formats. The batsman, who first took the reins in 2014, led India in 68 Tests, winning 40 and losing 17. During his tenure they became the No 1 side in the ICC’s Test rankings and finished runners up to New Zealand in last June’s World Test Championship final.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India acknowledged the outgoing captain’s contribution on Twitter, congratulating Kohli “for his admirable leadership qualities that took the Test team to unprecedented heights”.