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Most Successful Captain in Indian Cricket History

Indian cricket has witnessed numerous transformations over the decades, driven by the dynamic leadership of its captains. These leaders have steered the team to memorable victories.

When the question “who is the most successful captain in India” comes up, many go with MS Dhoni as the answer. Some, however, vote for Sourav Ganguly.

In no particular order, take a look at the five most successful captains of Indian cricket. 

List of 5 Most Successful Captains of Indian Cricket

1. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev, often celebrated as India’s greatest pace all-rounder, made his international debut in 1978 and quickly established himself as a formidable force in cricket. His career, spanning till 1994, was marked by significant achievements, with his crowning glory being the captaincy of the Indian team that won the 1983 World Cup. This victory not only marked India’s first major triumph on the global stage but also revolutionized Indian cricket, bringing it into the limelight.

Known for his aggressive and inspirational leadership, Kapil’s tenure as captain from 1982 to 1987 was transformative. His performance in the 1983 World Cup was legendary, especially his unbeaten 175 against Zimbabwe, which saved India from elimination. Kapil’s leadership style was characterized by his indomitable spirit and never-say-die attitude, which galvanized the team to perform beyond expectations.

Under Kapil’s captaincy, India played 34 Test matches, winning 4, losing 7, and drawing 22, resulting in a win percentage of 11.76%. In ODIs, he led the team in 74 matches, securing 39 wins, 33 losses, and 2 no results, with a win percentage of 52.70%. Overall, his captaincy record stands at 108 matches with a win percentage of 39.81%. 

FormatMatchesWinLossDraw/NR% Win 

Read More: Top 5 Best Cricket Captains

2. Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly captained the Indian cricket team from 1999 to 2005, bringing a new era of aggression and confidence to Indian cricket. He is credited with transforming the Indian team into a formidable force, especially in overseas conditions. Ganguly’s leadership was instrumental in nurturing young talent and instilling a fearless attitude within the team.

Among Ganguly’s significant achievements was leading India to the final of the 2003 Cricket World Cup. His tenure also saw India winning the ICC Knockout Trophy in 2000, the NatWest Trophy in 2002, and a memorable Test series win against Australia in 2001. Ganguly’s captaincy was marked by a historic Test series victory in Pakistan in 2004, making him the first Indian captain to achieve this feat.

In Test cricket, Ganguly captained India in 49 matches, achieving 21 wins, 13 losses, and 15 draws, resulting in a win percentage of 42.85%. In ODIs, he led the team in 146 matches, with 76 wins, 65 losses, and 5 no results, maintaining a win percentage of 52.05%. Overall, his captaincy spanned 195 matches with a win percentage of 49.74%. 

FormatMatchesWinLossDraw/NR% Win 

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3. MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni is revered as one of the greatest cricket captains of all time, renowned for his calm demeanour and astute leadership. Taking the reins of the Indian cricket team, Dhoni led India to numerous prestigious victories, including the T20 World Cup in 2007, the ODI World Cup in 2011, and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. 

He guided India to the number one spot in Test rankings in 2010 and 2011 and secured two Asia Cup titles in 2010 and 2016. 

His success as a captain in ODIs is highlighted by 110 wins out of 199 matches, boasting a win percentage of 55.27%. In Tests, he achieved 27 wins in 60 matches, with a win percentage of 45%, while his T20I captaincy saw India winning 41 out of 72 matches, with a win percentage of 56.90%.

Dhoni’s leadership extended beyond international cricket, with significant success in the Indian Premier League, where he led Chennai Super Kings to five titles.

FormatMatchesWinLossDraw/NR% Win 

Suggested Read: MS Dhoni Net Worth, Sources of Income, Home, Cars and Bikes Collection

4. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli took over the captaincy of the Indian cricket team in 2013, leading the team with unmatched aggression and passion until 2022. Kohli’s tenure as Test captain was particularly notable, as he led India in 68 matches, winning 40 of them, making him the most successful Indian Test captain with a win rate of 58.8%. Under his leadership, India reached the final of the World Test Championship and frequently held the number one ranking.

In ODIs, he captained India in 95 matches, securing 65 victories and establishing himself as the fourth most successful Indian ODI captain. His T20I captaincy was equally impressive, with India winning 30 out of 50 matches, achieving a win rate of 64.58%. A notable highlight of Kohli’s captaincy was his success in winning T20I series in all SENA countries – South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia.

Despite some setbacks, such as the semifinal loss in the 2019 World Cup, Kohli’s captaincy is remembered for its intensity and drive for excellence. Overall, he led India in 213 matches across formats, with a win percentage of 58.82%.

FormatMatches CaptainedWinLossDraw/NR% Win 

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5. Rohit Sharma 

And now talking about the current captain of the team, who has some great numbers in all three formats as the skipper. Rohit Sharma assumed the captaincy of the Indian cricket team in all formats in 2022. In Test cricket, Rohit has captained India in 16 matches, securing 9 victories and facing defeat in 4, yielding a win percentage of 62.50%. 

In ODIs, Rohit has continued to shine as a captain. In 45 matches, he has led India to 34 wins, with just 10 losses, resulting in a win percentage of 75.55%. Recently, he guided India to the final of the 2023 World Cup in India. 

Rohit’s impact in T20Is has been particularly remarkable. Leading India in 54 matches, he has guided the team to 41 victories, with only 12 losses. This impressive record translates to a win percentage of 76.85%.

FormatMatchesWinLossDraw/NR% Win 

Further Read: Rohit Sharma Net Worth and Sources of Income


From Kapil Dev’s groundbreaking 1983 World Cup victory that ignited a cricketing revolution in India, to Sourav Ganguly’s era of aggressive and fearless cricket that laid the foundation for future successes, to MS Dhoni’s calm, strategic mastery that brought numerous ICC trophies, and Virat Kohli’s passionate and relentless pursuit of excellence that set new benchmarks, Indian cricket has been enriched by several players over the years.



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