Best Captains of Indian Cricket Team for Test Matches
India is a country where people are crazy about cricket. Today, Indian cricket is at its peak and the Indian cricket team is one of the best teams in the world. Lots of people have contributed to Indian cricket becoming what it is today. Amidst all the contributions, the captain’s role is of utmost importance. In this post, we are going to share our picks of the Top 5 best captains of Indian cricket team. We will list our picks for the best captains of Indian cricket team for tests. Click here to check out our picks for the best Indian cricket captain for ODIs.
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Our top pick is the best captain in Indian cricket history not only based on the stats but also on his influence and overall impact on Indian cricket. We have pulled out the data as far as match stats are concerned but this list is not based on success rate (or win percentage) only. Let us find out who is the best Indian cricket captain of all time.
Top 5 Test Captains of Indian Cricket Team
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#5-Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, The Nawab
The Nawab of Pataudi is our fifth-best Indian cricket captain. He was a batsman par excellence even though he had damaged vision due to a car accident which perhaps didn’t allow him to realise his potential. He became the captain of the Indian team at the young age of 21. He led India in 40 out of 46 Tests he played in, and won 9 of them managing a win percentage of just above 22.
He led Indian cricket out of its quagmire of losing and inculcated in Indian cricket team players a belief that they can win matches. India won their first overseas Test in 1967 against New Zealand under his captaincy. He believed that India should play to their strengths and thus he almost always played three spinners.
#4-Mohammad Azharuddin, Miyaan Ji
At number four in the list of Top 5 Best captains of Indian cricket team, we have none other than Mohammad Azharuddin aka Azhar. Azhar made his test debut in 1984 at Eden Gardens, where he scored 110 in his first innings. Not only he was a great fielder but also a magician with his wristy strokeplay.
Azar was appointed as a captain in 1989-90 and his 14 test match wins as a captain was a record before Sourav Ganguly overtook him. However, Azhar’s career ended abruptly after 99 test matches as he was banned for life by the BCCI for being involved in match-fixing. Though, In 2012, the life ban was lifted by the Andra Pradesh High Court.
#3-Sourav Ganguly, The Prince Of Calcutta
‘Dada’ as we all know him, is our pick for the No.3 spot on this list of Top 5 best captains of Indian cricket team. This stylish left-handed batsman was regarded as the ‘God of Off Side’. Sourav was made captain in 2000 just after the match-fixing scandal. Sachin Tendulkar had relinquished his captaincy citing health reasons and the Prince of Calcutta took over from him to build a winning team from a bunch of talented, but directionless, individuals.
Ganguly is one of the most successful captains of Indian cricket team with a win percentage of a stunning 42.85% which was the best amongst all his predecessors. He is rightly credited for the transformation of the Indian team into a fighting unit and the rise of Indian cricket which was in shambles after the match-fixing scandal.
Did you know? Sourav Ganguly is the only batsman to score a century on debut and to be dismissed first ball in his final Test innings.
Not only does he have one of the best cricketing minds of all time but also he was the coolest captain Indian cricket has ever seen. The calm composure and worry-less expressions in the tough of the toughest situations are synonymous with MSD. Under Dhoni’s captaincy, India topped the Test rankings for the first time ever and remained at the top for 18 months starting December 2009.
Taking over the reins of Indian cricket, Dhoni’s calm style of captaincy worked like a charm in every format and we saw the Indian team winning the matches pulling up from bad situations many times. Dhoni’s incredible test captaincy record and undying ‘can’t stop, won’t stop’ spirit that gives him the ability to win matches from any situation, in India and abroad makes MSD our choice for the 2nd spot. Legend in a true sense, he is undoubtedly one of the best test captains of Indian cricket team and in the world.
Before we unveil the best captain of Indian cricket team (although, you must have already guessed it by now) we would like to honorably mention the captaincy of the batting great Sunil Gavaskar who was considered for our picks of the top 5 best captains of Indian cricket but could not make it to the final five. He had captained 47 test matches and went on to win 9 of them. Only 8 matches were lost but the highest percentage of matches (30) ended in a draw.
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Virat Kohli was made test skipper as soon as MSD relinquished the captaincy. He is considered one of the modern greats and one of the best batsmen in the world. Under Kohli’s captaincy, India achieved its first-ever series win in Australia. Kohli, as we all know had a contrasting approach in his captaincy as compared to MSD. He led India to a long stay at No. 1 in the Test rankings and kept winning matches from impossible situations.
Kohli is widely credited with changing the culture of the team by giving more importance to fitness. Leading from the front Kohli went on to set examples for his teammates by performing consistently. Playing an aggressive brand of cricket, ruthless very often, under his captaincy we saw the sharpness of the Indian pace attack which won them many matches. One can undoubtedly say that Virat has taken the baton forward by leaps. The whopping 58.82% of wins is enough to call him the best captain of Indian cricket team.
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Stats Source: EspnCricInfo