The position of a cricket team’s captain is highly prestigious. And the position is awarded only to those worthy of it. The captain is the leader of the team and sets the tone for the players. They are responsible for providing direction, motivation, and inspiration to the team members, and for making key decisions in the dressing room and on the field. They also act as the sportsperson for the team, and are answerable to the media for the team’s performances.
Rohit Sharma is the current captain of the Indian Cricket Team across formats. Since becoming the full-time captain of all formats in early 2022. Sharma has failed to lead India to a trophy in any major tournament, be it the T20 World Cup 2022 in Australia or the Asia Cup or the World Test Championship 2023. However, he stands a chance to become a World Cup winning captain when the ODI World Cup gets underway later this year.
As of July 14, 2023, Sharma had led India in eight Test matches, winning four and losing two. His win percentage is 66.66. In ODIs, he has a win percentage of 73.07 – 19 wins and seven losses. In the shortest format, his win percentage is 74.67 after 51 matches.
While his form with the bat has waned over the last few months, Sharma still continues to be one of the best batsmen produced by India. He is the only player in history to score three double centuries in ODIs, making scores of 209, 264, and 208*. He also holds the record for the highest individual score in a single innings in ODIs. In T20Is, he has scored four centuries, the most by any player.
India’s most successful captains – top 3
Virat Kohli took over the captaincy of the Indian Test team from MS Dhoni in December 2014. Under Kohli’s leadership, the Indian team achieved significant success in Test cricket. He guided India to their first-ever Test series win in Australia during the 2018-2019 season. The team also reached the top spot in the ICC Test rankings during his captaincy. With 39 wins in Test matches, Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain.
In limited-overs cricket, Kohli was appointed the captain of the ODI team in January 2017 after Dhoni stepped down from the role. Under his captaincy, India had several notable achievements, including reaching the final of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2017 and winning the Asia Cup in the same year. Kohli has been one of the leading batsmen in ODI cricket, and his leadership has played a crucial role in India’s success. Overall, India won 65 of 95 ODIs under Kohli, which makes him India’s fourth most-successful Indian captain.
Kohli also led the Indian T20I team from January 2017. In the shortest format, Kohli is India’s second most successful skipper with 30 wins in 50 matches. During his captaincy tenure, the Indian team reached the final of the ICC T20 World Cup in 2016 and won several bilateral series. Kohli gave him up his Test and ODI captaincy in 2022, after giving up his T20I captaincy in 2021.
MS Dhoni is considered one of the most successful captains in the history of cricket. He captained the Indian national cricket team from 2007 to 2017 in limited-overs formats and from 2008 to 2014 in Test matches. Under his leadership, the Indian team achieved several remarkable milestones.
Dhoni’s captaincy tenure began with the inaugural ICC World Twenty20 in 2007, where he led a young and inexperienced Indian side to victory, defeating Pakistan in the final.
In Tests, Dhoni led the team to the number one ranking in Test cricket. Under his captaincy in ODIs, India won numerous bilateral series, including notable victories against Australia, South Africa, England, and Sri Lanka. One of his most significant achievements came in 2011 when he led India to win the ICC Cricket World Cup after a gap of 28 years. Dhoni played a match-winning knock of 91 not out in the final against Sri Lanka and hit the winning runs to etch his name in Indian cricket history.
In addition to the World Cup triumph, Dhoni led India to victory in the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. His captaincy record also includes notable achievements like the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cup victories. Apart from his leadership skills, Dhoni was an exceptional wicketkeeper-batsman as well. Dhoni stepped down as the captain of the limited-overs formats in January 2017 but continued to contribute as a player until his retirement from international cricket in August 2020.
Sourav Ganguly, regarded as one of India’s most iconic cricket captains, led the Indian cricket team from 2000 to 2005, ushering in a new era of aggressive and fearless cricket.
Under Ganguly’s leadership, the Indian cricket team witnessed several significant achievements. One of his most memorable achievements as captain came during the 2001 Border Gavaskar Test series against Australia at home. India was facing an uphill battle after losing the first Test match but made a remarkable comeback to win the series 2-1. Ganguly’s aggressive and assertive captaincy style, coupled with his own impressive batting performances, played a pivotal role in India’s victory.
Under Ganguly’s captaincy, India also reached the final of the 2003 ICC Cricket World Cup held in South Africa. The team performed exceptionally well throughout the tournament, before falling short in the final against Australia. He also led India to an ODI and Test series with Pakistan in 2004. It was India’s first Test series win in Pakistan.
Overall, Ganguly led India in 196 matches, winning 97, losing 79 and drawing 15. His win percentage in international cricket as captain is 49.48.
After stepping down as captain in 2005, Ganguly continued to contribute to Indian cricket as a player until his retirement in 2008.