Indian skipper Virat Kohli fell agonizingly short of a record set up by Ricky Ponting, which stood firmly intact for the last 12 years. With the stubborn Lankans just about hanging on to a stalemate at the Feroz Shah Kotla, Kohli remained on par with Ponting in terms of most wins in a calendar year in International cricket. Considering a fact that this was Virat’s first year as a full-time captain, it’s absolutely brilliant.
The Indian side under the 29-year-old’s leadership hit new levels, storming past the likes Australia, New Zealand, England, and others with ease. The Champions Trophy’s loss to Pakistan in the final remains the only dark spot in this glorious year for him. He might be very grounded to say it’s a collective effort from the entire team, but the way he performed in most of these games has been outstanding.
The Delhi man got a well-deserved rest for the ODI and T20I series against the Lankans. It has been record-breaking and path-breaking 2017 for the captain, who will remember this year for a long time to come. Despite all the controversies he was a part of, especially during the Test series against Australia and the Anil Kumble fiasco, the fans have seen the best of the man and have been full of praises for him.
A whisker away from a brilliant record
If it had not been for the sturdy Lankan fightback on the final day, the result could’ve been so different and if India had managed to beat the Lankans in the Kotla Test, he could’ve registered a brilliant record. Ricky Ponting in 2005 led his incredible Australian side to 31 wins in 46 games played, which remained at the top of the list of most wins in a calendar year in International cricket.
Virat Kohli and his troops registered 31 wins before going to Delhi, which gave him a priceless opportunity to take over the legendary Australian’s long-standing record. But he will have redo all the heroics again as he will not be taking part in any of the International games till the South Africa tour, which is set to commence next year.
Ricky Ponting is on this elite list another couple of times, registering a mind-boggling 29 wins in 2003 and 2007, the same years when they won their third and fourth World Cups. The other two cricketers with 29 wins are Lankan legend Sanath Jayasuriya (2001) and South Africa’s greatest ever captain, Graeme Smith (2007).
Another iconic figure in South African cricket, Hansie Cronje, registered 28 wins in the year 1998, which happens to be the third best tally. Ricky Ponting’s Aussie side amassed 28 wins in 2006 and Waqar Younis is the only Pakistani on the list with the same number of wins in 2002.
Here’s the complete list of the captains with most wins in International cricket in a calendar year.