The Best ever Indian captain in Test Cricket


Captaining the Indian Cricket team comes with its own hardships. You can be a hero one day and a villain the next day. The debate as to who has been the best Indian cricket captain will always be an intriguing one. Rather here, in this column let’s focus on who has been the best Indian captain in test cricket.


Best Captains of the Indian Cricket Team over the years

Few of the names who come into mind are MAK Pataudi- An aggressive instinctive captain, Sunil Gavaskar- An intelligent and shrewd captain, Kapil Dev- One of the most natural captains, Mohd Azharuddin-Giant slayer at home, Rahul Dravid-Strategically strong captain, Saurav Ganguly-Lead by example and a motivating captain, Anil Kumble- Leader and instinctive captain. MS Dhoni- Calm and low risk taking captain.

If I filter the above captains on the basis of just numbers the top three are MS Dhoni ( 27 wins, 18 losses out 60 matches as captain, Success percentage-45%), Sourav Ganguly( 21 win, 13 loses out of 49 matches as captain, Success percentage-42.8%), Mohd Azharuddin (14 wins, 14 losses out of 47 matches as captain, success percentage- 29.8%). Even though i feel Rahul Dravid (8 wins, 6 losses out of 25 matches, Success percentage- 32%) and Sunny Gavaskar(9 wins and 8 losses out of 47 matches, Success percentage-19.5%) are strong contenders for the top slot, going by the numbers i will limit my discussion to the top two-Sourav Ganguly and MSD.

Manish Pandey – Creating Opportunities

Stung by the last loss where the team India could not manage 90 of 90 with 9 wickets in hands, the men in blue desperately needed a win to salvage some pride. Injured Ajinkya Rahane was replaced by Manish Pandey for the Sydney ODI. Pandey walked in to join Rohit Sharma still needing 197.


He didn’t show any signs of pressure as he confidently left the first few deliveries of John Hastings and then kept rolling the strike with Rohit and then with Dhoni. Playing a few Ranji Trophy and IPL Finals would have given him lessons to cope up with the pressure.

And he has been like that for sometime now. Creating an impact in big matches. Scoring hundreds when teams were down and out or taking a stunner on the field to create an unlikely opportunity for his team.

A few instance where he created opportunity for his team:-

2009 IPL – Banglore v Deccan Chargers

pandey ipl hundred

Manish Pandey was picked up by Mumbai Indians in 2008 season but only managed to score 3 runs from equal opportunities and was traded with Royal Challengers Banglore in 2009.  Against Deccan Charges RCB needed a win to seal their place in the Semi Finals. Manish Pandey was asked to open the innings in this crucial encounter at Centurion. He got a reprieve early on in the innings but he made it count and scored a brilliant 114. In the process Manish Pandey became the first Indian to score an IPL hundred. Banglore went on to win the match by 20 runs.

Haryana Cricket – From Bad to Worse

A loss vs Gujarat by 9 wickets in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy summed up the sorry season for Haryana. Haryana could manage only a single victory against Bengal in this format. At the start of the season, things looked positive when Virender Sehwag joined in from Delhi. And one would have thought that the experience and acumen he brought with him will help Haryana perform better. However, nothing changed.

In the Ranji Trophy, Haryana could manage only 4 draws from 8 matches and no victories. And the form continued in the limited overs. 2 victories in Vijay Hazare Trophy (50 overs format) and 1 victory in Syed Mushtaq Ali Trophy (T20 format).

What is more disappointing is that the whole team has performed poorly. Only Nitin Saini with 542 runs appear in the list of Top 50 run scorers and not a single bowler appears in the list of Top 50 wicket takers.

Haryana has never been the stalwarts in the Ranji Trophy. They have only reached to the finals twice. First time in 1986, they lost to Delhi. Next time in 1991, won against Mumbai. They also went on to win the Irani Trophy. However, apart from these two performances there has been few and far between.

In the past few years the performances have gone bad to worse which is visible from the chart below.

Format Standings (last 5 years)
2015 2014 2013 2012 2011
Ranji Trophy (Days) 9 of 9 8 of 9 8 of 9 8 of 9 Semi
Vijay Hazare Trophy
(50 overs)
5 of 7 6 of 6 5 of 6 5 of 6 3 of 6

Pranav Dhanawade 1009 Not Out Scorecard

1000 runsBhandari Cup

Arya Gurukul (CBSE) 31 & 52
KC Gandhi English School 1465/3d

KC Gandhi English School won by an innings and 1382 runs

KC Gandhi English School Bowling O M R W Eco
Aayush Kamath 4 3 4 1 1.00
Sandesh Shinde 5 4 1 1 0.20
Sahil Shetty 5 1 14 3 2.80
Chinmay Patil 3 2 3 5 1.00
KC Gandhi English School 1st Innings Runs Balls 4s 6s S/R
Aakash Singh b Jadhav 173 92 29 0 188.04
Pranav Dhanawade not out 1009 327 129 59 308.56
Siddesh Patil lbw Dubey 137 92 19 0 148.91
Sashwath Jagtap b Dubey 58 31 5 2 187.10
Aman Yadav not out 36 25 5 0 144.00
Aayush Kamath did not bat
Sandesh Shinde did not bat
Siddharth Nair did not bat
Shubham Shinde did not bat
Chinmay Patil did not bat
Sahil Shetty did not bat
Extras 32 wides, 3 no balls,
14 byes, 3 leg byes
Total 3 wickets dec; 94 overs 1465
Arya Gurukul (CBSE) Bowling O M R W Eco
Sarth Salunke 20 0 284 0 14.20
Pratik Bedekar 18 0 241 0 13.39
Ayush Dubey 23 0 350 2 15.22
Tejas Misar 6 0 142 0 23.67
Harshal Jadhav 18 0 281 1 15.61
Mayank Gupta 2 0 37 0 18.50
Swaraj Deshmukh 5 0 80 0 16.00
Aditya Solanki 2 0 33 0 16.50
Arya Gurukul (CBSE) 2nd innings Runs Balls 4s 6s S/R
Rahul Pathak b Kamath 0 1 0 0 0.00
Sarth Salunke not out 20 35 - - 57.14
Swaraj Deshmukh c S Patil b Kamath 0 7 0 0 0.00
Kunal Ghansolkar c Dhanawade b Kamath 0 8 0 0 0.00
Aditya Solanki b Kamath 0 5 0 0 0.00
Pratik Bedekar c & b Kamath 0 1 0 0 0.00
Ayush Dubey b Kamath 0 1 0 0 0.00
Mayank Gupta run out (Sandesh Shinde) 0 4 0 0 0.00
Tejas Misar b Kamath 16 23 4 0 69.57
Harshal Jadhav b Kamath 0 4 0 0 0.00
Aditya Kasare absent hurt -
Extras 6 wides, 10 byes 16
Total all out; 14.5 overs 52
KC Gandhi English School Bowling O M R W Eco
Aayush Kamath 7.5 5 16 8 2.04
Sandesh Shinde 3 1 5 0 1.67
Chinmay Patil 2 2 0 0 0.00
Sahil Shetty 2 0 21 0 10.50

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