Test cricket, the oldest format of cricket, is also the game’s purest form. Leading an international team in the game’s longest format is an extremely prestigious job that only a handful have been entrusted with since the evolution of the game.
The Indian cricket team has had 34 Test captains in its history, the first of them being C.K. Nayudu and the current one being Rohit Sharma. The Australian cricket team, on the other hand, has had 47 Test captains in its history, starting from Dave Gregory. Currently, they are led by Pat Cummins.
Check out who the best cricket captains of all time in Test cricket are.
Graeme Smith (South Africa) – 53 wins in 108 matches
Graeme Smith became the captain of South Africa’s Test team in 2003 and remained at the helm of the team until his retirement from international cricket in 2014. Smith’s leadership as well as batting performances played a significant role in South Africa becoming one of the dominant Test teams in world cricket at one point. Smith holds the record for the most Test wins as captain, with 53 wins in 108 matches. He also played the most Tests as captain (109) and has the most Test runs as captain – 8,659 runs. Not just that, he also holds the record for most Test centuries as captain (25).
Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 48 wins in 77 matches
Ricky Ponting succeeded Steve Waugh as Australia’s Test team captain in 2004, a position he held until his retirement in 2012. Ponting led Australia to many famous victories during his tenure. He holds the record for the most Test wins as captain of Australia, with 48 wins in 77 matches. As a batsman, he scored 8,551 runs, which is the second-highest number of runs scored by any captain in the history of Test cricket. Additionally, Ponting played 77 Test matches as captain, which is the second-highest number of Tests played by any captain.
Steve Waugh (Australia) – 41 wins in 57 matches
Steve Waugh succeeded Mark Taylor to become the captain of Australia’s Test team in 1999, a position which he held until 2004. Although it was a relatively brief tenure, Waugh established himself as one of the most successful Test skippers of all time. He won 41 out of 57 Test matches as captain of Australia, which is the third-highest number of Test wins by any captain after Smith and Ponting. He has an incredible win percentage of 71.92, the best by any Test skipper. As a batsman-captain, Waugh scored 17 Test centuries, which is the joint-third-highest number of 100s scored by a skipper of any Test team.
Virat Kohli (India) – 40 wins in 68 matches
Former Indian captain Virat Kohli led India in 68 Test matches, which is the most matches for any Indian captain ever in the longest format. He won 40 Test matches as India’s Test captain which makes him the most successful red-ball skipper for India with a win percentage of 58.8. The next best is MS Dhoni under whom India won 27 Tests. Kohli also holds the record for most Test wins at home as captain (24), and the most double centuries by any Test skipper (7). As a batsman-captain, he averaged a staggering 55.36. Kohli also led India to the final of the first World Test Championship.
Clive Lloyd (West Indies) – 36 wins in 74 matches
Clive Lloyd’s captaincy played a massive role in West Indies’ rise to become one of the best Test teams during the 1970s and 1980s. He has the most Test wins as captain of the West Indies, with 36 wins in 74 matches, and also holds the record for most consecutive Test wins as captain – between 1982 to 1984, West Indies won 27 Tests in a row under the captaincy of Lloyd.
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