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Top 5 ODI Captains of Indian Cricket team

A look at the top 5 ODI Captains of Indian Cricket Team based on their performances. 

Abhinav Katiyar
Last updated: 28.01.2019
Top 5 ODI Captains of Indian Cricket | Sports Social Blog

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  1. MS Dhoni


Mahendra Singh Dhoni commonly known as MS Dhoni and nicknamed as Maahi is undoubtedly the most successful ODI captain of India. He made his ODI debut in December 2004 against Bangladesh. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and captained team India till 2016. He is an attacking right-handed middle-order batsman and wicketkeeper and also one of the best finishers. He is a man of strong willpower, determination and is exemplary for his super cool attitude intense scenarios. Team India played 200 ODI matches under his captaincy and won 110 matches with 74 losses and 5 ties with a percentage rate of 59.25%. He is also undoubtedly one of wicketkeeper with his unmatched quick-witted and flashes like skills behind the wickets. In his 332 innings, he made 430 dismissals(311 catches and 119 stumpings). He holds various captaincy records. In 2007 under his leadership India won its first bilateral ODI series against Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Under his captaincy, India won the 2007 ICC World Twenty20, 2007–08 Commonwealth Bank Series, the 2011 ICC Cricket World Cup, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, and the 2013 ICC Champions Trophy. Indian team reached number one position for the first time in the ICC Test rankings in 2009 and in 2013, under his captaincy, India team whitewashed Australia in a Test series and became the first team in more than 40 years to do so.


2) M. Azharuddin


Mohammad Azharuddin also was known as Nawab of Hyderabad renowned as one of the of the country. His career and life in the Indian team were no less than a soap opera with a lot of ups and downs. He made his ODI debut on 20 January 1985 against England. Azharuddin became the captain of the Indian team after Krishnamachari Srikkanth in 1989. He played as a   batsman and was known for his explosive batting style irrespective of the situation. He remained the captain of team India from 1190 till 1999. Indian team played 174 ODI matches under his leadership and won 90 matches with 76 losses, 2 ties with the winning rate of 54.16%. It is said that he was reticent, private and had a shy personality and only with his bat in his hand was he articulate. He was also a superb fielder with his catching in slips and outfields. In 1990, against England at Lord’s, he played an aggressive inning of 121 runs and was titled as a batting genius. He was named one of five Wisden's Cricketers of the Year for the year 1991. His career came to an abrupt halt in 2000, when he was accused of a match-fixing in South Africa. The ICC and the BCCI banned Azharuddin for life based on a report by the Central Bureau of Investigation. The ban was later revoked on 8 November 2012, but till then his cricket career had long been finished. He still remains as the 2nd most successful captain of the Indian cricket team.


3) S. Ganguly


Sourav Ganguly referred as DADA by his team member and entier country is the most loved and respected player and the captain of the Indian cricket team and is fondly called as the prince of Kolkata. He is a left-handed batsman and right-handed medium-pace bowler. In 1991, Sourav Ganguly made a disastrous debut during the India tour of Australia and was soon forgotten for four years and again earned his place on England tour in 1996. Due to some match-fixing scandals in 2001, he became the captain of Indian team after Sachin Tendulkar resigned from his position. Ganguly leads India under his captaincy from 1999 till 2005 playing 146 ODI matches with 76 wins and 65 losses with the winning rate of 53.90%. It was Dada himself who provided the strong foundation and straightened the backbone of the Indian team. He earned himself the nickname of ‘God of Offside’ due to his elegant batting style on the offside. He was subjected to media criticism for taking off his shirt in finals of 2002 Natwest Trophy. He led India into the 2003 World cup finals against Australia, where he was defeated. Due to the decline in his performance, he was dropped from the team the following year. He again made his way back to the team in 2006 and became involved in the dispute with coach Greg Chappell due to some misunderstandings. He gave his retirement in 2008 from the world of cricket. No one can refute the credits he is given for nurturing the career of many young players and in making the Indian cricket team into an astonishing and strong team it is today.  


4) R. Dravid


Rahul Dravid hailed as one of the greatest batsmen of the cricket in the entire cricket world. He is also known as Mr Dependable and often called as ‘The great wall’ by the Indian cricket fans.  Dravid batted exactly like the person he is: stately and upright, dignity and standing up to everything coming at him with minimum fuss. He made his ODI debut on 3 April 1996 against Sri Lanka. Dravid is known for his batting technique, as a defensive batsman due to which, he was later dropped from the ODI team while constantly playing as a test player. He later began scoring constantly in the ODI matches and earned himself a position in ODI team. He captained the Indian team for 79 matches, winning 42 matches with 33 losses and winning rate of 54.16%. In 1996 in England he almost alone of the younger Indian batsman proved to have the technique to cope with conditions that aided seam and swing. Rahul has been one of the pillars of the Indian batting with his blend of technical proficiency and stylish strokes. Dravid was one of the five cricketers selected as Wisden Cricketer of the Year in 2000. A number of times he has bailed India out of troubles and there isn’t another player in World Cricket who has performed so consistently in crunch situations as much as Dravid.


5) Virat Kohli


Virat Kohli is one of the most prolific and outstanding players of the Indian cricket team. He is the current captain of the Indian cricket team. He is one of the highest paid sportspeople of the world and has even surpassed the legendary soccer star, Lionel Messi. Kohli made his international debut through the Sri Lanka ODI series in the year 2008. Kohli is a naturally aggressive batsman with strong technical skills. He usually bats in the middle-order and is known for his wide range of shots, and batting under pressure. In the year 2010, Kohli was made the vice-captain and Suresh Raina the captain in the tri-series against Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe. He is the fastest Indian to reach to 1000, 5000, 6000 and 7000 runs in ODIS and the fastest in the world to score 8000 and 9000 runs in ODIs. He is the fitness icon for the youth and is called the fittest cricketer and one of the best fielders of India. He became the captain of an Indian cricket team in 2013. India played 62 ODIs under his captaincy winning 46 matches with only 14 losses, one tie, having a winning rate of 76.22%. He is mostly praised for his consistent batting performance and is popular as the fiercest run-chase. In July 2013 for the five-match ODI tour of Zimbabwe, Kohli was appointed a captain for an entire series for the first time. India completed a 5–0 sweep of the series; they're first in an away ODI series. He is the most loved Indian cricketer with a huge fan following.


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