Virat Kohli © Getty Images
Virat Kohli (above) joins the illustrious company of the likes of the Nawab of Pataudi (both Sr and Jr), Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Ajit Wadekar and others © Getty Images

With MS Dhoni being rested from the first Test against Australia, Virat Kohli is set to become the 32nd player to lead India in Test cricket. He joins the illustrious company of the likes of the Nawab of Pataudi (both Sr and Jr), Lala Amarnath, Vijay Hazare, Vinoo Mankad, Ajit Wadekar and others. Shiamak Unwalla looks at some statistics regarding past Indian captains.

Virat Kohli is all set to lead India in Test cricket for the very first time when India take on Australia from December 4, 2014. He will be the 32nd captain of the Indian Test team. Below is a list of all the men to have captained the Indian team in the longest format of the sport.

Name

Tenure

M

W

L

D

T

W/L

CK Nayudu

1932-1934

4

0

3

1

0

0

Maharajkumar of Vizianagram

1936-1936

3

0

2

1

0

0

Nawab of Pataudi Sr

1946-1946

3

0

1

2

0

0

Lala Amarnath

1947-1952

15

2

6

7

0

0.333

Vijay Hazare

1951-1953

14

1

5

8

0

0.2

Vinoo Mankad

1955-1959

6

0

1

5

0

0

Ghulam Ahmed

1955-1959

3

0

2

1

0

0

Polly Umrigar

1955-1958

8

2

2

4

0

1

Hemu Adhikari

1959-1959

1

0

0

1

0

0

Datta Gaekwad

1959-1959

4

0

4

0

0

0

Pankaj Roy

1959-1959

1

0

1

0

0

0

Gulabrai Ramchand

1959-1960

5

1

2

2

0

0.5

Nari Contractor

1960-1962

12

2

2

8

0

1

Nawab of Pataudi Jr

1962-1975

40

9

19

12

0

0.473

Chandu Borde

1967-1967

1

0

1

0

0

0

Ajit Wadekar

1971-1974

16

4

4

8

0

1

Srinivas Venkataraghavan

1974-1979

5

0

2

3

0

0

Sunil Gavaskar

1976-1985

47

9

8

30

0

1.125

Bishan Singh Bedi

1976-1978

22

6

11

5

0

0.545

Gundappa Viswanath

1980-1980

2

0

1

1

0

0

Kapil Dev

1983-1987

34

4

7

22

1

0.571

Dilip Vengsarkar

1987-1989

10

2

5

3

0

0.4

Ravi Shastri

1988-1988

1

1

0

0

0

Krishnamachari Srikkanth

1989-1989

4

0

0

4

0

0

Mohammad Azharuddin

1990-1999

47

14

14

19

0

1

Sachin Tendulkar

1996-2000

25

4

9

12

0

0.444

Sourav Ganguly

2000-2005

49

21

13

15

0

1.615

Rahul Dravid

2003-2007

25

8

6

11

0

1.333

Virender Sehwag

2005-2012

4

2

1

1

0

2

Anil Kumble

2007-2008

14

3

5

6

0

0.6

MS Dhoni

2008-2014

58

27

17

14

0

1.588

 

  • CK Nayudu was India’s first Test captain, but he led India in just four matches, of which three resulted in losses.
  • MS Dhoni has led India the most, captaining the country in 58 Tests. Following him are Sourav Ganguly (49), Sunil Gavaskar and Mohammad Azharuddin (47), and Nawab Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi (40).
  • Dhoni is also India’s most successful Test skipper, with 27 of his 58 Tests resulting in an Indian victory. Following him are Ganguly (21) and Azharuddin (14).
  • Pataudi Jr also has the ignominy of suffering the most Test defeats (19), but is closely followed by Dhoni (17), who has a good chance of catching up with him. Azharuddin (14), Ganguly (13), and Bishan Singh Bedi (11) are the other captains with more than 10 defeats to their names.
  • Gavaskar, often criticised for being overly defensive as a captain, has the most draws to his name (30) well clear of Kapil Dev (22), Azharuddin (19), Ganguly (15), Dhoni (14), Pataudi Jr and Sachin Tendulkar (12), and Rahul Dravid (11).
  • India has tied only one Test, under Kapil Dev. However, India have once drawn a Test with the scores level, under Dhoni.
  • Ganguly’s win/loss ratio of 1.615 is the best among all Indian captains.
  • India never won a Test under CK Nayudu, Vizzy, Nawab of Pataudi Sr, Vinoo Mankad, Ghulam Ahmed, Hemu Adhikari, Datta Gaekwad, Pankaj Roy, Chandu Borde, Srinivas Venkatraghavan, Gundappa Viswanath, or Krishnamachari Srikkanth.
  • Adhikari, Roy, Borde, and Ravi Shastri are the only men to have led India only once in Tests.
  • Shastri, however, is the only Indian Test captain with a 100 percent win record — albeit having led in just one Test.

 

(Shiamak Unwalla, a reporter with CricketCountry, is a self-confessed Sci-Fi geek and Cricket fanatic. You can follow him on Twitter @ShiamakUnwalla)