India had played just a single T20I game before playing the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. The Mahendra Singh Dhoni-led Indian team went on to win the World Cup despite being relative newcomers. Dhoni since then went on to lead India in all the 6 T20 World Cups. The upcoming T20 World Cup will be the first that Dhoni won’t be in the realm of affairs. But owing to the rest and rotation policy many unexpected names as well have gone on to captain the India T20I side over the years. List of India T20I captains
StumpsandBails looks at 7 players who went on to captain India in T20I cricket:
List of India T20I captains
#1 Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag holds the distinction of captaining India in its very first T20I game. Sehwag led the side in a match against South Africa in South Africa. India ended up winning the game and Dinesh Karthik won the man of the match award. It was the only instance where Sehwag led the country. He later went on to captain the Delhi Daredevils in the IPL.
#2 MS Dhoni
The BCCI had announced MS Dhoni as the captain of the team for the inaugural T20 World Cup. MS Dhoni’s appointment as captain came as a shocker to many. Experts were tipping Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh for the captaincy role. But Dhoni ended up piping them to the post. Dhoni-led India to a memorable World Cup win in 2007. He went on to lead the side in all 6 T20 World Cups that have been played till now. Apart from the 2007 championship win, Dhoni-led India finished as runners-up in 2014 and as semi-finalists in 2016.
#3 Suresh Raina
Suresh Raina was a central figure to India’s T20I side. He narrowly missed out playing the inaugural World Cup but was a crucial part of India’s plans in all other T20 World Cups. Raina in fact is the first Indian batsman to score a T20I century (2010). He went on to lead the side on 3 occasions winning all the 3 games. Raina announced his retirement in 2020.
#4 Ajinkya Rahane
It comes as a surprise to many that Ajinkya Rahane was first handed the T20I captaincy before Virat Kohli. Rahane was made the captain of the T20I side that toured Zimbabwe in 2015. He led the side in 2 games winning 1 and losing 1 game. Rahane also captained the Rajasthan Royals side in the IPL.
#5 Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli took over as the limited-overs captain in 2017. He has had a fantastic run as captain in terms of numbers. The 2021 T20 World Cup will be Kohli’s first T20 World Cup as captain. Kohli has led India in 45 games winning 27 out of those. He holds a win percentage of 65.11.
#6 Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma has long been India’s vice-captain. He often captains the team in Kohli’s absence. Sharma has led the Indian team brilliantly. He has won 15 out of the 19 games he has led. Sharma holds a winning percentage of 78.94. These numbers are one of the finest in the game for a captain who has led the side in 15 matches or more.
#7 Shikhar Dhawan
Shikhar Dhawan made his T20I captaincy debut against Sri Lanka. He registered a win in his very first game. Dhawan is leading a young India side against Sri Lanka in the 3 match T20I series. He earlier made a winning start to his captaincy career winning the ODI series against Sri Lanka in the same tour.