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Shrewd cricketing minds but were never given the captaincy

Shrewd Indian brains who never led: The chair of the Indian captain is the most high-profile in the cricketing world. It is regarded as the most influential voice in world cricket. Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli wielded great powers when they were captains. If these leaders preferred a specific skillset of cricketers, the selectors were bound to give them those.

It is mainly during their era that many Potential Indian captains could never get the top job due to various reasons.

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We look at Shrewd Indian brains who never led:

#5 Javagal Srinath

He was regarded as India’s first out-and-out fast bowler. Javagal Srinath was a one-man pace battery for India in the 90s. He was asked to do most of the fast bowling from one end as pitches were tailored for spinners. His utility away from home was well documented. If India stood any chance in overseas conditions it was mainly because of his exploits.

Srinath was an honest trier who even won India a couple of games with the bat. His commitment to the team was unquestionable. He could have been an ideal captain when the Indian team kept shuffling between Mohammad Azharuddin and a reluctant Sachin Tendulkar.

#4 Mohammad Kaif

There was a lot of speculation that Mohammad Kaif would lead the side post their disastrous exit in the 2007 ODI World Cup. But as fate would have it Kaif had played his best cricket before that period. It was in good faith that Kaif’s name kept doing the rounds as he was the first Indian skipper to lead the side to a U-19 World Cup title in 2000.

He was looked at as someone who had the captaincy smarts. Kaif was a terrific fielder who was always aware of the match scenarios. He had all the qualities of a strong leader but probably his game wasn’t at the highest level that the side would ideally want.

#3 Zaheer Khan

MS Dhoni had called Zaheer Khan as the Sachin Tendulkar of Indian bowling. In the period between 2007-11, Zaheer Khan was the default captain when it came to bowling. He was one of the canniest operators in the game. Khan who revived the art of reverse swing relied more on his mastery and mental ability to trump the batsmen. He used different angles to different batters and kept them guessing.

His use of the knuckleball to dismiss Michael Hussey in the 2011 World Cup quarterfinal remains an iconic delivery. Khan had apparently worked on that ball for more than a year. He marshalled his fellow bowlers well and India richly reaped all the rewards. Indian cricket missed out on another fine bowling captain.

#2 Yuvraj Singh

He was always known as someone who loved the big stage. Yuvraj Singh announced himself with a MOS performance in the U-19 World Cup in 2000. He blazed away in his maiden ODI innings powering India to a shock win in the CT 2000. Singh is the only player in the history of the game to win MOS in both the U-19 and ODI World Cup (2011).

He was also instrumental in India winning the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007. The ability of a leader is to lift their side on big occasions. Yuvraj did that without being one. Indian cricket missed a trick in not exploring his full potential!

#1 Ravichandran Ashwin

This might be the only name that might not come as a surprise. Ravichandran Ashwin is a fine servant of the game. He eats, reads, thinks, and sleeps cricket. There are just a few players in the modern game who are as meticulous as Ashwin. He isn’t just about preparation though. Ashwin is a master executioner who isn’t afraid to experiment.

He is someone who is fierce and is always up for a challenge. Ashwin has showcased enough of his strengths, courage, talent, and brilliance not to warrant the leader’s cap. Such is the working of Indian cricket that just like others on this list, he too isn’t in the running for the top post.

Vignesh Rajagopal
Vignesh Rajagopalhttps://stumpsandbails.com/
I am a passionate cricket lover, who likes to express his views on the beautiful game and share insights and analysis about the finer aspects of the sport.

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