India and England will take on each other in a five-match Test series starting August 4 in Nottingham. The captains of the two teams, Virat Kohli and Joe Root, will be under scrutiny going into the series. Kohli’s India failed to win the World Test Championship (WTC) final against New Zealand, going down in yet another crunch ICC encounter. England-led Root were defeated 1-3 in India and 0-1 by the Kiwis at home recently. Both Kohli and Root will be keen to make a point when India face England in the upcoming Test series. In this feature, we rate Kohli and Root as captains analysing various parameters.
Overall record as captain
Kohli: The Delhi cricketer has led India in 61 matches of which India have won 36 and lost 15. Ten Tests under Kohli have been drawn. Statistically, Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain ever. In these matches, the 32-year-old has scored 5449 runs at an average of 57.96 with a whopping 20 hundreds.
Root: The England batter has captained the team in 52 Tests of which the team has won 26 and lost 19. Seven matches in which Root led the team ended in a draw. In these games, he has scored 4120 runs at an average of 44.78 with nine hundreds. Root has also claimed 23 wickets with his off-spin.
Rating: Kohli – 9/10, Root – 8/10
Record as captain away from home
Kohli: He has led India in 30 Tests away from home out of which the team has won 13 and lost 12 while five games produced no result. In the 30 games, he has scored 2521 runs at an average of 49.43 with 10 hundreds. Looking at his record in SENA countries, Kohli averages 62 with four hundreds in Australia, 59.30 with two hundreds in England and 47.66 with one ton in South Africa. New Zealand is the only country where Kohli has struggled, averaging 9.50 from two Tests.
As away captain, he has won one match in England, one in South Africa and two in Australia during the historic 2018-19 series. On the contrary, Kohli has led India during four losses in England, three in Australia, two in South Africa and two in New Zealand. These numbers definitely do not make for great reading.
Root: The England skipper has led the team in 25 Tests away from home. Of these, England have won 10 and lost 12 matches while the remaining games did not produce a result. Root has scored 1898 runs in these matches at an average of 45.19 with four hundreds. If we look at Root’s record in Asia as a batsman while leading the team, he has done rather well. He averages 46 from four Tests in India with one hundred and 65.50 from five Tests in Sri Lanka with three tons.
Of his 10 Test wins away from home, six have come in Asia – five in Sri Lanka and one in India, which is rather impressive even if we consider that the Lankans have become a weak side. Looking at Root’s losses away from home as captain, four have come in Australia and three in India. Like Kohli with India, under Root, England too have struggled against stronger opponents away from home.
Rating: Kohli – 5/10, Root – 5/10
Captaincy record over the last year
Kohli: He has led India in six Tests over the last year. Of them, India have won three and lost as many. All three of India’s wins under Kohli over the last year have come in India. Two of India’s three losses during this period have come in Australia and England (WTC final) and one in India (Chennai). Personally, too Kohli has struggled, averaging only 30.70 in these six Tests with a best of 74.
Root: He has captained England in 13 Tests over the last year. Of these, England have won six, three at home against West Indies and Pakistan and three in Asia – Sri Lanka and India. Root has registered four losses as captain over the past 12 months – three in India and one in England. Root has been impressive with the bat, scoring 1115 runs from 13 Tests at an average of 50.68, including three hundreds. He has also claimed 10 wickets with the ball. Rating: Kohli – 4/10, Root – 6/10