Indian cricket has been blessed with many great cricketing captains over the years. These captains have led India with aplomb. Their leadership has defined cricketing eras. Right from Colonel C.K Nayudu’s times to Virat Kohli, the evolution of Indian cricket captain has been wholesome. Best Captain In Indian Cricket History.
Best Captain In Indian Cricket History
Tiger takes over captaincy charge:
Best Captain In Indian Cricket History. India were slowly picking up the pieces in cricket post their independence. The nation was looking for leaders both on and off the field. Even though there were many leaders who took over the captaincy, but it wasn’t until Tiger Pataudi that India’s captain received widespread acclaim. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi popularly known as Tiger Pataudi made India a competitive team. He was the first Indian captain to win a Test series overseas. Pataudi led India to a series win over New Zealand in 1967-68 (3-1). This was an iconic moment in Indian cricket. He remains one of the most defining captains in Indian cricket.
Haryana hurricane brings home the cup:
The World Cup was introduced in 1975 to test the best ODI cricketing nations. India had a dismal track record in the first 2 World Cups. They won just 1 game out of 8 World Cup games. In 1983, India had a new captain, Kapil Dev. The odds were 1-66 for India to win the World Cup. Nobody except Kapil Dev believed that India could win the World Cup. But he and his team did just that. India won the 1983 World Cup amidst zero expectations and to everyone’s surprise. World cricket was never the same. India became a broadcasting superpower thanks to this win. Dev also won the Test series in England in 1986-87. India won the series 2-0. Dev was an inspirational captain. Indian cricket fans always remember him fondly.
The Mohammad Azharuddin-Home dominance era:
Mohammad Azharuddin started the era of home dominance for India in the 90s. He had two key weapons in his arsenal to do that. Sachin Tendulkar and Anil Kumble flourished under his captaincy. India were virtually unbeatable in Tests at home. His 14 Test wins in 47 Tests was a long-standing record until his successor took him over.
Ganguly and the belief to win overseas:
Sourav Ganguly took over the reins of Indian cricket at a time when it was at its lowest. The match-fixing saga had turned away fans and India were reeling post some dismal performances. It was under Ganguly that India started believing again. He led India to a historic series win against Australia in 2001-02 (2-1). That series kickstarted India’s quest for Test dominance. India drew series in England and Australia. They even finished as runners-up in the 2003 World Cup. But Ganguly’s biggest contribution as a captain was to empower the team. He had 21 Test wins to his name another Indian record that stood for quite some time.
Dravid and Kumble phase: Limited yet impactful
Rahul Dravid led India to a historic series win in West Indies (2006) and England (2007). Anil Kumble took over test captaincy from Dravid and continued India’s golden Test run. These two probably are the only captains who could have delivered the best results had they captained for a wee bit longer.
The Midas touch captain? Was he the greatest ever?
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was appointed India’s captain for the inaugural T20I World Cup. He took the world by storm by leading India to a famous World Cup win. Dhoni became the first Indian captain to take India to the number 1 spot in Test rankings. He didn’t just end it there, Dhoni led India to the ODI World Cup win in 2011. Dhoni-led India even won the Champions Trophy in 2013. As far as limited-overs format is concerned, Dhoni is surely the best Indian captain. His Test numbers were affected owing to his dismal performance overseas as a captain. Hence the one in the list next takes the Test crown.
Virat Kohli’s world-beaters:
There is often an argument associated with Virat Kohli that India hasn’t won anything under him. But what people fail to notice is that it is his team that has gone on top of the Test rankings from languishing at the number 7 spot. India have been on top of the Test pile since 2016. Kohli is currently the most successful Test skipper not just in world cricket but in Indian test history as well. He led India to a historic series win in Australia in 2018-19. He won consecutive series in West Indies in 2016 and 2019. It was his team (albeit in his absence) that went on to win the epic Test series against Australia in Australia earlier this year. Kohli’s obsession with Test cricket has rubbed onto the team. They are not just world beaters but world leaders in this format. Hence, for this reason, Virat Kohli is India’s best Test captain.