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The head coach of a cricket team plays a crucial role in the success of the team. The head coach not only devises the team’s strategies and game plans, but also plays a role in selecting the playing XI. Additionally, the head coach is responsible for fostering a positive team environment and maintaining team morale.
There have been a total of 24 head coaches of the Indian Cricket Team in the past. Check the full list.
List of Head Coaches of the Indian Cricket Team
|Serial No||Head coach||Duration||Nationality|
|2||Hemu Adhikari||1971 – 1974||India|
|5||Salim Durrani||1980 – 1981||India|
|7||PR Man Singh||1983 – 1987||India|
|8||Chandu Borde||1988 – 1989 & 2007||India|
|9||Bishen Singh Bedi||1990 – 1991||India|
|10||Abbas Ali Baig||1991 – 1992||India|
|11||Ajit Wadekar||1992 – 1996||India|
|13||Madan Lal||1996 – 1997||India|
|14||Anshuman Gaekwad||1997 – 1999||India|
|15||Kapil Dev||1999- 2000||India|
|16||John Wright||2000 – 2005||New Zealand|
|17||Greg Chappell||2005 – 2007||Australia|
|18||Ravi Shastri||2007, 2015, 2017 – 2021||India|
|19||Lalchand Rajput||2007 – 2008||India|
|20||Gary Kirsten||2008 – 2011||South Africa|
|21||Duncan Fletcher||2011 – 2015||Zimbabwe|
|22||Sanjay Bangar (Interim)||2016||India|
|23||Anil Kumble||2016 – 2017||India|
In earlier times, India did not have a full-time coach for their cricket team. Instead, they had a manager who travelled with the squad. In 1971, Keki Tarapore was appointed as the manager and is widely recognized as India’s first coach. He held the position for a year before being succeeded by Hemu Adhikari, an army officer and cricketer.
During the following decade, the role of the coach went through several changes, often filled by former cricketers. One notable instance was when PR Man Singh, a former First-Class cricketer, served as the manager when India achieved a historic victory in the first-ever Cricket World Cup held in 1983. Singh played a crucial role behind the scenes as the team’s manager during their triumphant campaign.
Prominent Team India Head Coaches from Last 10 Years
Kapil Dev – 1999 to 2000
Kapil Dev, who led the Indian team to its first-ever Cricket World Cup victory in 1983 and is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders in the history of the sport, was appointed coach of the Indian national cricket team in 1999, succeeding Anshuman Gaekwad. However, his tenure as coach was not as successful as anticipated.
India won only one Test match during that period, which was against New Zealand at home. The team also suffered significant series defeats, including a 3-0 loss in Australia and a 2-0 loss at home against South Africa.
John Wright – 2000 to 2005
John Wright, a former New Zealand cricketer, served as the head coach of the Indian national cricket team from 2000 to 2005. His appointment marked the first time a foreign coach was appointed to lead the Indian team.
During his tenure, Wright played a pivotal role in transforming the Indian cricket team’s performance. He formed a successful partnership with former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly during the early 2000s. Some of the most notable achievements during this period was India’s historic Test series victory over Australia in 2001, significant victories in Test matches in England and Australia, and reaching the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
In 2004, India achieved another significant milestone under Wright’s coaching as they won a Test series during their historic tour of Pakistan. However, in 2005, Wright was replaced as the head coach of the Indian cricket team by Greg Chappell.
Greg Chappell – 2005 to 2007
Former Australian cricketer Greg Chappell served as the head coach of the Indian cricket team from 2005 to 2007. His tenure as the coach was marked by both notable achievements and controversies.
During his coaching stint, India achieved some notable victories. They won a Test series in the West Indies after 35 years, won 4-1 in an ODI series against Pakistan in Pakistan and also registered their first-ever Test win in South Africa.
However, Chappell’s tenure was also marred by controversies and internal conflicts. There were reported differences with senior players, including Sourav Ganguly, and the rifts within the team were widely discussed in the media. Ultimately, India’s disappointing performance in the 2007 Cricket World Cup, where they were knocked out in the group stages, led to Chappell’s exit as the coach.
Ravi Shastri – 2007, 2015, 2017-2021
Former India cricketer Ravi Shastri has had more than one stint as the head coach of team India. The first stint came in 2007, the second in 2015, and the third and most prominent one from 2017 to 2021.
Shastri and Virat Kohli formed a formidable coach-captain partnership. During their tenure, Team India achieved remarkable feats and maintained the top position in the Test rankings for an astonishing 42 months, from 2016 to 2020.
Under Shastri’s coaching, the team achieved significant success across all formats. In Test cricket, India won 58.10% of their matches. In ODIs, the team had a win percentage of 67.1%, and in T20Is, they had a win percentage of 69.20%.
The team emerged victorious in the 2018 Asia Cup under Shastri’s guidance. Additionally, India won a Test series against Australia twice on Australian soil. They also reached the final of the ICC World Test Championship.
Gary Kirsten – 2008 to 2011
Gary Kirsten served as the head coach of the Indian cricket team from 2008 to 2011. Kirsten, a former South African cricketer, played a crucial role in transforming the Indian team into a highly successful side.
During Kirsten’s tenure, India reached the pinnacle of Test cricket by becoming the top-ranked team for the first time in history. Under his coaching, India won several notable Test series, including a historic series victory against Australia in Australia in 2008. The team also achieved success in ODIs and won the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, a significant milestone for Indian cricket. It was India’s first World Cup victory in 28 years.
Kirsten’s coaching stint came to an end after the 2011 World Cup, but his impact on Indian cricket remains significant. Several talented players saw the peak of their career under Kirsten’s guidance.
Anil Kumble – 2016 to 2017
Anil Kumble served as the head coach of the Indian cricket team from 2016 to 2017. During his tenure as coach, India reached the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017, among a few other feats. But Kumble’s tenure was also marked by reported differences with some players, including the then-captain, Virat Kohli. This eventually led to his resignation as the head coach after the conclusion of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017.
Rahul Dravid – 2021 to Present
Rahul Dravid, one of India’s most respected cricketers and a former captain of the Indian cricket team, became head coach of the team after Shastri’s exit in 2021. Dravid, who previously coached the India under-19 and India A sides from 2016 to 2019, is the current coach of the national side.