Captains who were removed from ODI captaincy: ODI captaincy is not as celebrated as Test captaincy. It is an irony that captains who lead sides to World Cup wins aren’t often given their due except for someone like MS Dhoni. These captains go about their work largely unnoticed.
Selectors look at the succession plan in ODIs first. They groom the next captain keeping in mind the forthcoming ODI World Cup. This results in selectors taking bold and at times unexpected calls to axe successful ODI captains.
We look at a few such top Captains who were removed from ODI captaincy:
#1 Steve Waugh
He had a stellar record as an ODI captain. Steve Waugh is one of the most celebrated captains in cricketing history. He led the side in 106 ODIs winning 67 of them with a success percentage of 65.23. Waugh took over from Mark Taylor in 1997-98. Australia under Taylor had lost the World Cup final in 1996. Their campaign in 1999 got off to a shaky start. People were waiting for Waugh to fall.
But he led the side inspirationally to a sensational World Cup win. It was assumed that he would lead the side’s title defence in 2003. But the team’s failure to qualify for a tri-series final at home cost Waugh the job. He was unceremoniously axed from the top job.
He was the one who catalyzed change in Indian cricket. Sourav Ganguly took the reins when Indian cricket was at its lowest in 2000. India became a competitive side under Ganguly’s leadership. They started winning frequently away from home. India qualified for the Champions Trophy final in 2000. They went on to be joint-winners in the next edition (2002).
India won a historic Natwest series in July 2002. They went on to play in the World Cup finals in 2003. Ganguly led India to an ODI series win in Pakistan. India had a lot of memorable victories during the Ganguly era. But poor form and fitness cost him the ODI captaincy abruptly. Rahul Dravid replaced Ganguly at the helm.
#3 Alastair Cook
He was not someone to whom limited-overs cricket came naturally. Alastair Cook to his credit led the side putting in his weight in all the tournaments England featured in. England made it to the finals of the Champions Trophy in 2013. It was the high point of his ODI captaincy.
But England was playing a brand of cricket that was outdated and archaic. He lost the job just six months ahead of the 2015 ODI World Cup. Cook never played an ODI post his unceremonious sacking.
#4 Virat Kohli
He is arguably one of the finest ODI captains if numbers are to tell a story. Kohli led the side in 95 ODIs winning 65 games. His win percentage is right up there with the very best in the game. His tally of 21 centuries as captain is next to Ricky Ponting’s 22.
Virat Kohli led the side in 3 ICC tournaments with not a single trophy to show. It was this reason mainly that cost Kohli the job. He was dropped over a selection meeting wherein he was informed at the end about his removal.