Monday, July 1, 2013


INDIAN cricket team has always depended on the captains to develop a winning strategy, to gain a winning streak satisfying  the hunger of numerous Indian cricket fans. Over the years Indian captaincy has exchanged numerous hats. Numerous experiences have shaped the future of Indian cricket team. In this blog I am going to talk about the five best captains in Indian cricket history. These captains have spanned over a sprawling cricket time period. Saw ups and downs but held their faith. The five captains are-


India became the part of imperial cricket conference on 31st May 1926. On 25th June 1932 they took on England at Lords under the captaincy of  C.K.NAIDU. India lost this match. But it laid the foundation stone for a team which has won all three versions of world championship trophies. Till now India has got 31 test captains and 21 ODI(one day international) captains. T-20 , the new format of the game has seen just 3 captains till now. The religion of India and the heartthrob of it's people , cricket has always been in the Indian hearts. Now I will put some light on India and it's captains so far.



Vijay Samuel Hazare was the captain of the Indian cricket team during 1950's . Under him the Indian cricket team won the first test match. The match was played at Madras and the opponent was England. 18000 runs and 595 wickets in first class made him a pick for the Indian cricket team. Vijay merchant once said that captaincy prevented him from becoming a fine batsman. 30 tests in all , he was one of the finest all rounder the Indian soil has produced. He was the first Indian batsman to score two centuries in one test , and three consecutive innings. With a batting average of 47.65 and 20 test wickets , he retired in 1953. He was the first Indian cricketer along with Jasu patel to be honoured with padma shri. He died in 2004.


One of the greatest opening batsman in the Indian history, Sunil Gavaskar made test records for most test runs, and most test centuries. But being a captain he was not that successful. Under his captaincy India saw a draught phase , playing 31 matches without a victory. Alumnus of Mumbai's renown 'St. Xavier College' , Sunil Gavaskar was the first Indian to touch the 10000 run mark. His captaincy innings started  with a victory in New Zealand , where he scored a century in the first innings (135) and not out(35*) in the second innings. This test match was a chance a given to him, as the serving captain Bishen Singh Bedi was injured. Often termed as a conservative captain, maximum tests under his captainship ended in draws.He went down with non penetrative bowling attacks and often was under the scorn radars of Indian cricket board. Under his captaincy the first test series was played on home soil against the mighty West Indies, against whom he had a brilliant average. He scored a double century in the first test, becoming the only Indian  batsman to do so. The second test he again made century, but again like the first test it ended in a high scoring draw. The only test they won , gavaskar scored 1 and 4 in the two innings. The series was won (1-0). Once due to hectic schedule Gavaskar refused to go to the west indies tour. Gundappa Vishwanath was made the captain at that  time. But the West Indies board refused to host the matches as Gavaskar was not in the team.
                                   Under his captaincy, 47 test matches were played. only 9 test matches were won , 8 were lost, and 30 test matches were drawn. He captained 37 ODI's. Out of which only 14 were won by the Indian cricket team. 21 were lost and , 2 saw no results.
                       His attitude was also well shown through the controversial incident at MCG, where he was given out by the umpire. But being a captain he asked his fellow player chetan chauhan to leave the field. Vicious in tests , he was meek in the one dayers, scoring only one century coming in the world cup 1987.
                               In a notorious performance in the world cup 1975. Chasing a target of 334(60 overs) , he made 36 runs in 174 balls (1*4). India scored 132-3(60 overs) and lost the match by 202 runs. He later claimed he couldn't adjust to the pace of the game.
          The Border - Gavaskar trophy was instituted in his co-honour.


Graceful batting style compare to Gregg Chapel , he was the most successful ODI captain of India. Under his captaincy India won 90 one day internationals. Best at eden gardens, he scored 5 centuries in 7 test matches.With 22 centuries in test cricket with an average of 45 and 7 centuries in ODI with an average of 37, he played the captaincy innings every time the team required. He was one of the best slip fielders, taking 156 catches.
                                     Azharuddin led his to team to 14 test victories , a record by any Indian captain at that time.In 2000, he was accused of match fixing. But in year 2012 Andhra High court suspended the ban.In the year 1991 he was chosen as the wisden cricketer of the year.


Indian cricketer of the century in 2002, Kapil Dev was the best allrounder that team India has ever produced. Fantastic performance in the first class led to his test debut against pakistan in faisalabad. Brilliant sportsmanship and honesty added stars to his bracket. How can we forget the 1980-81 tour of australia , when he got cramped in the leg. But faith in himself and love for his nation made him play the test match. His bowling figures were 28-5, inspite of taking pain killing injections. There are numerous other examples. When he was given the captaincy of Indian Cricket team in the 1983 world cup, the cricket team was facing troubles . Gavaskar was not performing well, so the captaincy of the team was given to kapil dev. ON 25th June 1983 , the day was recorded in the history of Indian Cricket as the day, on which the Indian Cricket team won the International world cup. Kapil playing an important part was the hero of Indian victory. His real test came in the match against zimbabwe, when India were 5 down for 17 runs. Kapil Dev came at the crease at that time, and played his natural innings. He made 175(138, 16*4, 6*6). The 9th wicket partnership for 126 broke the previous 9th wicket partnership records. This record was broken after 10000 days or 27 years.
                     After the world cup the west Indian cricket team toured India , and won all the matches , and both test and one day series, taking revenge of the world cup final defeat. Kapil Dev was removed from the captaincy and Sunil Gavaskar was again handed over the captaincy.
 During the 1987 world cup the team captaincy was again handed over to kapil dev. He again took the team to the semi finals of the world cup . One match against australia being the special one . Indian team in that match required 269 runs to win. But Kapil Dev discussed with the umpires about a boundary which was to be given to australian team , but was not given. The target was revised to 270 runs , and India required 271 to win. India made 269 runs in the match, but after a discussion , the match was awarded to India for the true sportsmanship of Kapil Dev.
               Under his captaincy 34 tests were played , out of which 4 were won by India and 7 matches were lost. 23 were drawn. His ODI performance was good. India won 39 matches out of 74 matches played by the team
           Great captain getting India the world cup, Kapil dev retired in 1994. On 8th March 2010 , he got  a spot in the ICC HALL OF FAME


Affectionately known as 'dada', sourav was one of the most successful captain of Indian cricket team. Fifth highest scorer in ODIs, he was the third person in history to cross the 10000 mark. He played his first match in 1992 against West Indies. He scored only 3 runs in this match. His original debut was against England in 1996, for a chance given to him as Navjot singh sidhu left the team giving the reason of ill treatment by the then captain Mohammad Azharuddin. Sourav took this chance as his last chance and scored consecutive centuries against England. Proving his worth in the 1999 world cup by scoring his career best 183 against srilanka, he was given the captaincy of the team in 2000. But this captaincy was not a gift to him. He got this in tough times of Indian cricket as Mohammad Azharuddin was caught in the fixing scandal, and Tendulkar refused to captain Team India.
                                       During his time , Ganguly gave the Indian fans a reason to cherish. Taking India to the finals of world cup 2003, defeating australia 2-1 at home soil, winning the champions trophy in 2002. Taking the team to ICC knock out trophy finals and many more. He is termed as the most successful overseas test captain , with 11 test wins. Who can forget the finals of Natwest trophy in England , where India took the victory from the jaws of Englishmen.
                                 He was dropped out of the team in 2005 due to his poor form. But found the place again in 2007. He played his final match against australia , where he scored (85,0).
                               Dada was known to be an aggressive captain. In 1992 he was ruled out of the team only because of his arrogance.Taking the team from the difficult times, dada was the only person to introduce  yuvraj, raina etc . to the Indian cricket team . The future of Indian cricket. He took the responsibility at times , when the team was facing severe crisis. Building up the bowling, batting and fielding performances, he faced the mightiest and fought as a brave tiger. He was one of the most successful captain of Indian Cricket team.
                            He was given  padma shri in 2004 and banga vibhushan award in 2013.


Mahendra Singh Dhoni was made the captain of Indian Cricket team in 2008. At present he is the captain of all three formats of the game, viz. Test, ODIs and T20s.  Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty-20, the CB Series of 2007–08, the 2010 Asia Cup, the 2011 cricket world cup  and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. India became the number 1 test team in 2009 ,and is currently the number 1 ODI team , all under his captaincy. Captain cool by the name , he has played captaincy innings numerous times. The final of the 2011 world cup where he played the match winning 91 is one of his best innings. At present he is the most successful test captain of india with 24 wins, ahead of ganguly by 3 wins.

Talking about the captains I  have found out that dhoni has the overall records to make him the best Indian captain ever. But the competition is also given by Sourav Ganguly. He was given a team that was to be moulded. At his time Indian fielding department was rough, only yuvraj singh and mohammad kaif  were the selected few to dive and catch the ball. Other players just rolled to catch the ball. With the better infrastructure now a days. We have got numerous athletic legs- ravindra jadeja, suresh raina, virat kohli and many more. These have increased the strength of Indian cricket team. With cricket extravaganzas like IPL and champions trophy, numerous options are available nowadays. We cannot say that Dhoni has been victorious only due to these reasons. But it makes us conclude that Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly both are the best cricket captains that India has ever got.

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