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Top 5 Successful Test Captain in Indian Cricket

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Buvanesh Thiraviam

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Jun 01, 2024


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India is one of the most successful Test teams in cricket’s history. They have played the World Test Championship final twice and were the number-one ranked Test team from 2016 to 2020.

In this article, we will talk about the top 5 successful Test captains in Indian cricket. 

#5 Rohit Sharma

India’s current all-format captain, Rohit Sharma, has led India in 16 Tests and won 10 matches. The most memorable win under him came in January this year when India beat South Africa in Cape Town very comfortably by 7 wickets. Under Rohit, India equalled a Test series in South Africa for the first time since 2010.

Rohit Sharma was appointed Indian Test Captain in February 2022 after Virat Kohli stepped down. So far, Rohit Sharma has captained India in three home Test series, and he has won all three of them. Under Rohit, India also retained the Border Gavaskar Trophy in 2023.

#4 Mohammad Azharuddin

Azharuddin led India for the first time in Tests in 1990 against New Zealand in Christchurch. The team lost the match by 10 wickets, but in the next two games of the series, India managed to draw the matches and lost the series by 1-0. The former captain won 14 games out of 47 games for India, and his first win as the Indian test captain came against Sri Lanka in Chandigarh. Before this win, the Asian country had lost 2 Tests and played 4 drawn Test matches under him.

In 1999, India drew a home test series against arch-rivals Pakistan. After losing the first Test by 12 runs in Chennai, India won the second match of the series by 212 runs in Delhi.

#3 Sourav Ganguly

After Azharuddin, Sachin Tendulkar led India, but he lost an away series to Australia and a home series to South Africa as a captain post-Sachin India appointed Sourav Ganguly as the captain. Under Ganguly, India won 21 Test matches out of 49 matches.

Sourav Ganguly led India to wins in the West Indies, England, and Australia. Even in Pakistan, he won a test match by an inning. Ganguly is known as the Indian captain who made his team win overseas tests. It is said that earlier Indian teams had a mentality of just drawing Test matches overseas, but Sourav Ganguly changed that.

#2 MS Dhoni

Dhoni led India for the first time in Tests in 2008 against South Africa. India won the match by 8 wickets. In the same year, Dhoni led India against Australia in two matches, and India won both of them. Under Dhoni, India beat New Zealand in New Zealand in 2009, and by the end of the year, Dhoni took India to the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in the history of Indian Test cricket.

He had tough times as a Test captain post-2010, as he lost to England in both home and away series and lost to Australia too in 2012 in an away series before beating them 4-0 in the home series.

MS Dhoni captained India in 60 Tests, winning 27, losing 18, and drawing 15 matches.

#1 Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain. He led India in 68 Tests and won 40 out of them. He lost 17, and only 11 matches were drawn under him. Kohli led India for the first time in December 2014 against Australia, but India lost the game.

In 2015, Virat led India to a series win in Sri Lanka after losing the first test match by 63 runs. Under Virat Kohli, India never lost a home series, and he led India to famous wins in South Africa, England, and Australia.

Virat Kohli (2019-20) became the first Indian Test captain to win a Test series in Australia and 2021 in an away series against England. India was leading the series by 2-1, but the fifth Test match was postponed due to COVID-19, and when the fifth Test was played a year later, Kohli wasn’t leading the team as he had stepped out. India lost the fifth Test.

Virat Kohli, as a Test Captain, has an average of 54.80, while he averages 40.87 when he plays as a player.

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