Stats: Revisiting Indian Cricket Captains - Sportzwiki
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Stats: Revisiting Indian Cricket Captains

India won 3 cricket Test matches in 2015 since Virat Kohli took over as captain. The victories registered include – India v South Africa at Mohali, 1st Test, Nov 5-7, 2015, Sri Lanka v India at Colombo (SSC), 3rd Test, Aug 28-Sep 1, 2015 and Sri Lanka v India at Colombo (PSS), 2nd Test, Aug 20-24, 2015. India has played so far 2186 Test matches until today. Lots of praises have been showered on Kohli already I feel it is too early to infer much as he has just led the country in just 7 matches with 3 victories, 2 losses and 2 drawn Test matches with an average of 42.85% wins. 

However, it is time to revisit the best seven captains of Indian Cricket test Team. I have used the criteria of leading India in 25 or more Test matches.

Table1: Table showing major contribution of Top 8 Indian Test Cricket Captains

Personal Particulars

Captaincy Contribution

Personal Contribution

Player

Capt. Span

Matches

Wins

Losses

Drawn

% win

Runs: Total / Average

Top /100s

Wkts

Catches

Nawab of Pataudi

1962-1975

40

9

19

19

22.50

2793/34.91

203*/6

1

27

SM Gavaskar

1976-1985

47

9

8

8

19.14

10122/51.12

236*/34

1

108

N Kapil Dev

1983-1987

34

4

7

7

11.76

5248/31.1

163 /8

434

9/83

64

M Azharuddin

1990-1999

47

14

14

14

29.78

6216/45.03

199/22

Nil

105

SR Tendulkar

1996-2000

25

4

9

9

16.00

15921/53.78

248*/51

46

115

SC Ganguly

2000-2005

49

21

13

13

42.85

7212/42.17

239/16

32

71

R Dravid

2005-2007

25

8

6

6

32.00

13288/52.31

270/36

1

210

MS Dhoni

2008-2014

60

27

18

18

45.00

4876/38.09

224/6

Nil

256

Source: ESPN Cricinfo &WikipediA

The general analysis indicates that MS Dhoni has led the Indian team in most of Test matches (66.7%) he played apart from the absolute numbers followed by Ganguly (43.3%) , Md. Azaruddin (47.5) and Gavaskar (37.6%). The lone bowling all rounder captain of India Kapil Dev’s contribution is also outstanding for the fact that apart from good batting he accounted for a total of 434 wickets, the best being 9 wickets for 83 runs. 

Looking at the proportion of wins it is M S Dhoni again outstanding with 45%, followed by Ganguly (42.85%) and Dravid (32%). In terms of the personal contribution Sachin Tendulkar is sparkling with a total of 15921 runs and 51 centuries, followed by Dravid with 13288 runs and 36 centuries and Sunil Gavaskar with 10122 runs and 34 centuries to his credit. 

In an individual top score in an innings Rahul Dravid (270), Tendulkar (248*) and Ganguly (239) contributed in that order. Catching, another skill of good cricketer is steered by the wicketkeeper captain M S Dhoni with 256 catches and followed by Rahul Dravid with 210 catches and Tendulkar with 115. Gavaskar and Azaruddin also contributed for more than 100 catches. It is interesting to notice that majority of the captains of Indina test team were essentially batsmen, with only exception of  Kapil Dev, who was a bowling all- rounder and MS Dhoni a wicketkeeper batsman. India did have Spin bowlers as captains in B S Bedi (22) and Anil Kumble (14) but for a short tenure.

Some individual laurels of each of these captains can be found in the table and the following description

Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi: A right hand batsman and right-hand medium pace bowler from Bhopal, MP played 46 matches and captained in 40 of them.

SM Gavaskar: A right-hand batsman and right-hand medium pace bowler from Mumbai played 125 matches and captained in 47.

N Kapil Dev: A right-hand medium pace opening bowler and right-hand batsman from Haryana and a true all rounder India has produced. Has played a total of 131 test matches and led the country team in 34 of them.

Md. Azharuddin: A right-hand batsman and right-hand medium pace bowler from Hyderabad has played a total of 99 test matches and led the country team in 47 of them.

Sachin Tendulkar: A right-handed batsman and Right-arm mediumleg breakoff- break bowler from Mumbai, played a total of 200 matches, the highest so far in Test cricket.

Saurav Ganguly: A Left-hand batsman and right-hand medium pace bowler from Kolkata has played a total of 113 test matches and led the Indian team in 49 of them.

Rahul Dravid: A right-handed batsman and Right-arm off spin bowler from Bengaluru, Karnataka has played a total of 163 tests and led the Indian team in 25 matches only. Under the captaincy of Dravid, India won the test series against England for the first time in 2007-08.

M S Dhoni: A right-handed batsman and wicket-keeper  and occasional medium pace bowler from Ranchi, Jharkhand played a total of 90 matches and captained the national team in 60 of them.

Over all, one can say MS Dhoni, Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid are the best captains who led the country team in test matches.

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