John Wright led India to a famous 2-1 win over Australia at home in 2001    Getty Images
John Wright led India to a famous 2-1 win over Australia at home in 2001 Getty Images

Former New Zealand opener and India head coach John Wright celebrates his 62nd birthday today. Wright, who was born at Darfield, Canterbury, was born in 1954. He played international cricket between 1978 to 1993, amassing 5,334 runs in 89 Tests and 3,891 runs in 149 One-Day-Internationals (ODI). He also skippered New Zealand side from 1987 to 1990. During his international career, Wright became the first New Zealander to score in excess of 5,000 runs in Tests. In terms of coaching, he became a worldwide name for his stint with the Indian team. In 2000, he was appointed as the coach of India, and held the post till 2005. He is widely considered to be the best coach India ever had. ALSO READ: Anil Kumble re-introduces Buddy Programme ahead of India tour of West Indies 2016

Wright made his international debut in Test cricket against England in 1978. Few months on, he would make his ODI debut against the same side. Along with his 9,000+ runs in international cricket, Wright was very successful in domestic cricket.

In 366 First-Class matches, he scored an astonishing 25,073 runs. He also managed 10,240 runs in 349 List A matches. Wright is one of the two players ever to have scored eight runs of a single delivery. Against Australia in 1980, he ran four runs, and collected four more via overthrows to achieve that very unique feat. ALSO READ: India coach Anil Kumble to follow John Wright, Gary Kirsten s low-profile approach

Wright is arguably known the most for his stint as India head coach. Under his guidance, India became a force to reckon. During his tenure, highlights were India’s 2-1 series win at home against Australia, 1-1 series draw against Australia in Australia, reaching the final of ICC World Cup 2003 and winning the NatWest series in England.

His tenure came to an end in 2005, after some mixed performances. He was succeeded by Greg Chappell. Wright, till date, is considered as arguably the best India coach ever. His combination with the then skipper Sourav Ganguly was very successful, with many terming them as one of the best coach-captain duo.