Virat Kohli, 33, shocked India on Saturday by stepping down as captain from the longest format as well, following the team’s 2-1 series loss in South Africa.

The white-ball captaincy had already passed to Rohit Sharma but Kohli’s decision brings an end to a seven-year reign as the skipper that saw India enjoy success in international cricket around the world.

The ICC trophies may not have come India’s way, but the stature of the team grew and the kind of cricket they played drew fans to it. Under Kohli, every match was played with just one goal in mind: to win.

Draws were far from his mind and losses weren’t even a consideration.

Bollywood star Anushka Sharma, Kohli’s wife, watched the changes that captaincy brought about in Kohli from up close and she has detailed some of them in her post on Instagram:

I remember the day in 2014 when you told me that you have been made the captain as MS had decided to retire from test cricket.

I remember MS, you and I having a chat later that day and him joking about how quickly your beard will start turning grey. We all had a good laugh about it. Since that day, I’ve seen more than just your beard turning grey. I’ve seen growth. Immense growth. Around you and within you. And yes, I am very proud of your growth as the captain of the Indian National Cricket team and what achievements the team had under your leadership. But I’m more proud of the growth you achieved within you.

In 2014 we were so young and naive. Thinking that just good intentions, positive drive and motives can take you ahead in life. They definitely do but, not without challenges. A lot of these challenges that you faced were not always on the field. But then, this is life right? It tests you in places where you least expect it to but where you need it the most. And my love, I am so proud of you for not letting anything come in the way of your good intentions.

You led by example and gave winning on field every ounce of your energy to the extent that after some losses I’ve sat next to you with tears in your eyes, while you wondered if there’s still something more you could have done. This is who you are and this is what you expected from everyone.

You’ve been unconventional and straightforward. Pretence is your foe and this is what makes you great in my eyes and the eyes of your admirers. Because underneath all this were your pure, unadulterated intentions always. And not everyone will be able to truly understand that.

Like I’ve said, truly blessed are those who tried to get to know you beneath what meets the eye. You are not perfect and have your flaws but then again when did you ever try to conceal that? What you did was to always stand up for doing the right thing, the harder thing, always! You held on to nothing with greed, not even this position and I know that. Because when one holds on to something so tightly they limit themselves and you, my love, are limitless.

Our daughter will see the learning of these 7 years in the father that you are to her.

You did good.

— Anushka Sharma / Instagram

Also read:

Full Text: Virat Kohli steps down as India’s Test captain

Definitely India’s most aggressive & successful: Reactions to Kohli resigning as Test captain

Book excerpt: Virat Kohli is the biggest boon to cricket so far this millennium – Ravi Shastri

Data check: The numbers that show why Kohli was India’s best Test captain by a distance