Playing cricket more than an orthodox player and staying on top of the team and leading them from the frontline are two different concepts. In the earliest generation of the cricket as a sport, players with the extraordinary performance were given a chance to lead the team as the captain, But time has shown that being a good player and being a good captain are two different things, many great players have failed to handle the extreme pressure of being a captain. Like in the present day, Sarfraz Ahmed is given the captaincy of the Pakistan cricket team, despite his averagely grown playing style and concept.
Whatever sport it is, leading on the front as the in-charge or the captain, is not as easy as a walk in the park, and when it is about India, where this game is played at an extreme and observed as an obligation, things are entirely different there. On the other hand, the other players do not have to divide the concentration and are just required to focus on their abilities.
A captain is supposed to organize the whole team from tip to toe. What so ever is there, the captain has to manage it, the team selection, strength of every player, mental abilities, tackling the defeat grievance and a lot of other aspects.
In the very history of this sport, India has shuffled captains on a number of occasions. Their cricket board changed the test captains 33 times and the ODI captains 24 times overall. While most of them had been the burden of the sentiments and emotions of the Indian cricket-loving audience. Alongside, most of the captains not just performed as the supervisors or the bosses, instead they served as mentors for their fellows. Even in field decisions rely on the captain, and that could either bring in a remarkable victory or dump everything down into shambles.
Ahead of that, Lala Amarnath, who was the fourth Test captain of the Indian cricket team brought the first-ever victory. Then came Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, the fourteenth captain of the team that served as the lightning star and incorporated the abilities to surprise with this team. Later was the Kapil Dev who won the World Cup of 1983 for his country. But soon as Azharuddin was ranked as the captain, there had been a continuous controversy of the fixed games and bribery.
While they all faded out in the era of Sourav Ganguly who even broke the losing streak in the international venues. Just like the other captains, Dhoni was capped to lead the team. But he not just led it, he even got some friendly yet strict environment with nothing less than perfection was accepted. And that is how he won the World Cup of 2011. The recent captain Kohli is indeed an inspiration, but alongside, he is a style.
There was a Commonwealth Bank Series in 2008 after which the question arose that who had been doing the better captaincy between Ganguly and Dhoni. The comparison is still there and the answer did not satisfy it yet.
Virat Kohli started off like the rest of the captains that lead the Indian cricket team, but recently some of his wise acts proved out to be weird yet worthy. While all the three Indian skippers being discussed here had a pretty different kind of situation and they all had different circumstances. Well, we have analyzed their captaincy career here with some statistical ratings.
Chapter Begins with Sourav Ganguly
Before Ganguly wore the cap of captaincy, the Indian cricket team was under the dark shadows of the match-fixing and bribery conspiracies. Well, it did not just irate the Indian cricket board but also affected the life of every other Indian. That was the time, when there were plenty of investigations and proofs for the denial of such acts were on the quest. And the consequences were troubling every other player in their team. While the board sought to offer the captaincy cap to the Little Master, Tendulkar, but the moment he was offered the position he denied it because of the prevailing situation. After a series of discussion, the very next option appeared to the board was Sourav Ganguly. He bravely accepted the offer and rose to his mates to turn turtle every allegation borne to them for the corruption in the game. And from there dark clouds shadowing the Indian cricket team started wiping-up.
He was aggressive and pretty strict about the game plans the strategies. Those were some core elements that positively affected the performance of the team. The subsequent progress made Indians victorious in the international venues which included Australia, England, and South Africa. Nevertheless, India was all set to stand up and take the bright chance to win the World Cup of 1999 in England. But deep inside this man, some harsh emotions even lived that he displayed on a very few occasions. While all of his efforts helped India evade from the spot of corruption that was roaming around them and went on as a hard target. After Ganguly, the next bright captain in the Indian cricket history is Dhoni.
Dhoni Took Every Challenge
During the World Cup of 2007, some major upset were witnesses. Pakistan lost to Ireland that really had a bad effect on their coach, Bob Woolmer, that on the very next day he was found dead. While on the Indian end, they lost from Bangladesh that inflamed the Indian cricket-loving community to overthrow Rahul Dravid’s captaincy. Certainly, hunt for the new captain began once again. Those were the times when ICC was about to begin a T20 Championship, equivalent as the World Cup of the T20 cricket. Under such a crucial situation, none of the senior players took the quest to lead the Indian cricket team. And for all worries, the board had to pick a youngster to do the job.
Some other concerns added to the query were the injuries that circled a couple of senior players who were in the queue of becoming the next captain. And the T20 Championship was around the corner. Ultimately, the board chose Dhoni as a captain for the time being to lead the team during that tournament. While not sure if anyone from the board had any trust in him, as he won Indian the very first T20 Championship. As a result, he was promoted to captain all the formats.
Dhoni’s captaincy would reveal a mixed analysis of the experts. But whatever they are, the way he leads his team into the World Cup of 2011 was amazing. And all of his wise decision made him win that tournament. By 2013, he had made the Indian cricket team so flawless that they were leading in every format. While at the same spot he transferred his captaincy to Virat Kohli, despite being the best every Indian cricket captain.
Kohli Stays Steady
Back in the days of Rahul Dravid, when the Indian side was looking for a captain, Kohli was busy leading the Under-19 cricket team in the U19 World Cup of 2008. Well, Kohli won that event. Later he was given a chance to play for the national side when the World Cup of 2011 was about to begin. The way he played impressed the selectors and they put him in the team.
His continuous good form with the bat impressed the board which in result awarded him the Test captaincy cap. He not just proved worthy of that very positions but also displayed a fine work with the bat. The next results started the winning streak for this new captain. While the reasons so dig for bringing down Dhoni from captaincy was his lowered form that he wanted to concentrate on. And soon after he left the captaincy, he has been coming back to his good form.
Just a couple of years back, Kohli led India into the Champions Trophy and qualified for the final against the arch-rival Pakistan. But he could not come up with a stringent solution to blow the Professor, Mohammad Hafeez (Pakistan skipper at that time) out of the game. But Kohli decently led his side into the international tours, making it hard for the Proteas and the English. Well, among his biggest accolades is the Test series victory in Australia. In the World Cup, India is considered to be the favorite after England based on their consistent victorious innings.
The Common Carrier
The three discussed above has captained India for a longer length than the other Indian captains. Ganguly bashing against Sri Lanka in World Cup 1999 brought him to the front. Dhoni’s effort against the same team in 2005 gave him the chance to lead. And Kohli’s attempt against Pakistan during the Asia Cup of 2012 brought him the cap.
Test Captaincy Comparison
Under the captaincy of Ganguly, India played 49 Test matches and remained victorious in 21 games. According to records, Ganguly successfully maintained a percentage of 42.85 for winning with 26.53% of entitlement for lost games. His career includes the triumph of some major events played against Australia and Pakistan. While his victories further extend to a win of Test match series in Pakistan. Well, when Ganguly wore the captaincy cap, India ranked number 8 in the Test standings, but when he left, India was on the second rank. Indeed that is one of his highest achievements.
As per the entitlements, Dhoni stands the most successful Indian Test captain and the records prove that, with a winning percentage of 45%. He played in 60 games as a captain and won 27 out of them. Further, his captaincy includes only 30% of the lost games. One of the biggest achievements was to secure the first rank in the Test standing, that Dhoni made possible. Some additional accolades include victories against England and Australia.
For the time being, Kohli stands as the most anticipated Indian Test captain with 56.52% games won. He captained India in 46 matches with a score of 26 wins. While he pockets 21.73% of the lost games. Further, his accolades include multiple home and away wins against England, Sri Lanka, South Africa, and Australia. And under his captaincy, India has maintained its ranking in the Test standing.
Comparison between Home and Away Records
Ganguly earned most of the fame because of the success he achieved in the international venues. But he could not explore that form in the home games. He performed as a captain is 28 away matches, winning 11 out of them.
However, Dhoni could only retain a better form in the home games. While out of the country, he could only secure 6 victories out of 30 matches. Though that came under wide criticism, that as a part of sports win and loss should be happily accepted. The grieving portions include a complete loss in England and Australia.
While Kohli has a better record at home as well as away. Both of the records reveal a progressive intent and success for the Indian side, which speculates Kohli becoming the most successful Indian Test captain. And that is also influenced by his lower losing impacts as well.
Personal Records with the Bat
In terms of personal records with the bat we can look at following stats:-
As a captain, Ganguly averaged 37.66 with the bat scoring 2,561 runs. While his captaincy average is 5 runs lower than the actual one.
Dhoni has an average of 40.63 runs with 3,454 runs scored. And it is 2 runs higher than his actual average.
While Kohli is the most successful with 62.70 runs average as a captain with 4,515 runs scored. And it is 9 runs higher than his actual average.
ODI Captaincy Analysis
Ganguly has 54% wins with 76 games in hand out of 146 matches. The accolades include plenty of One Day tournaments and series won, with the road to the final of the World Cup 2003, but India could not win it.
Dhoni maintained 59% wins with 110 games pocketed out of 200 fixtures. And the finest among those in the World Cup of 2011.
While Kohli has the highest for the time being with 68 games played. He maintains 74% wins with 49 victories, but he is young enough for a mature result.
Records in Home and Away
If we look at the records made at home and away, Ganguly appeared the same as he did in the Test matches. He has a good winning average overseas but inside the country, the result is just fine, with 58 wins out of 111 games. Dhoni is better in the One Day games compared to the test matches, having 67 wins out of 117 games. While Kohli’s result is still grooming, as he has only played 40 games out of which he won 30.
If we talk about Batting Records, Ganguly had an average of 38.79 runs which was 2 runs short of his actual average. While he scored 5,082 runs in total as a captain. But Dhoni brought his average 3 runs higher than actual while he was captaining the Indian side. While Kohli has an average of 80.84 runs per game as a captain which is indeed the highest among these all.
In a way, it is really hard to compare these three, as all three have their strengths and weakness and their records prove that. Like Ganguly started off with the progress, Dhoni took it high and Kohli is steady with the progress.