Rating the Indian Cricket team captains since 2000 to 2017

In cricket, unlike other sports, the captain plays a huge role. He is responsible for taking almost all the decisions both on and off the pitch. He is the one who orchestrates a win and also the one who takes the fall for defeats.
Over the years, the India team has been captained by some of the best players. Some of them turned out to be great leaders, others, not so much. Here, we have rated all the captains who have donned the role for the Indian team since 2000.
Note: We have only taken into consideration the full-time captains in all formats and not the stand-in captains



Sourav Ganguly (2000-2006) – 8.5/10

In the 90s, India, shamed by match-fixing scandals and poor performances overseas, were in shambles. At the turn of the millennium, a young Sourav Ganguly was handed the captaincy, and the rest, as they say, is history.
One of the first things he did as a captain was to make the entire team bond in the dressing room, something that later proved to be one of the pillars of his success. And yet, his biggest drawback was, perhaps, his temperament. He would display extreme emotion – he took off his shirt once and whirled it over his head after a precious victory – but that never deterred him from giving his best for the country.
As many pointed out, Ganguly was instrumental in giving several precious young talents a chance at the top level, most of whom turned out to be match-winners. It was his ability to instil confidence in the players that made him one of the most respected captains ever.
He made Team India a force to reckon with, in, as well as outside, the sub-continent. He took on the mighty Aussies and tamed them, he led India to the 2003 World Cup final – in the context of Indian cricket, his contributions were phenomenal.

Summary MatchesWinsLossesDrawn/No resultWin %
Test 4921131542.6
ODI1477666551.7


 

Rahul Dravid (2003-2007) – 7.5/10

It was Sunil Gavaskar who had said, “Nobody talks about Rahul Dravid as a captain.” True, he may be regarded as one of the best batsmen India have ever produced, but Dravid is seldom remembered for his insightful captaincy.
Under Dravid, India built a superb Test record. They won two Test series abroad, in the West Indies in 2006 and in England in 2007. With these two wins, Dravid became the only India captain other than Ajit Wadekar to achieve this feat. Interestingly, both these wins had something to do with his trust in bowlers who could swing the ball and take wickets. Dravid was also the first Indian captain to lead the team to a Test match win against South Africa on South African soil.
In ODIs as well India had a better win % than they had under Ganguly. And when it comes to giving young players an opportunity, the likes of Gautam Gambhir, Suresh Raina, and Dinesh Karthik among others all debuted under Dravid. Yes, the 2007 World Cup debacle was a big black mark on Dravid’s tenure but the changes envisaged under him had laid the foundations for the Dhoni era.
Summary MatchesWinsLossesDrawn/No resultWin%
Test 25861132
ODI794233456

 

Anil Kumble (2007-2008) – 6/10

Anil Kumble was appointed the captain after he had played for 17 years at the top most level. In retrospect, there was no other option really. Dravid had relinquished his captaincy and MS Dhoni was too young to step in as the Test captain. Sachin Tendulkar did not want it either and so, voila, Kumble was named the captain.
He led India 14 times in Test matches, winning three of them and losing five. A 1-0 series win against Pakistan marked the beginning of his tenure while the victory against Australia in Perth was also a memorable one. But apart from that, there was nothing much to write about.
There were times when he was a good captain, leading his side from the front on the pitch and protecting them off the pitch, especially during the entire Monkeygate controversy. And there were time times when he failed to come out of his shell and take risks, thus, letting himself down.
It would not take a great deal to recognise that Kumble the bowler was way more successful than Kumble the captain.
Summary MatchesWinsLossesDrawn / No resultWin%
Test 1435621.5
ODI1100100

 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007-2016) – 9/10

Unsurprisingly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni receives the highest rating among all the captains who have donned the armband since the turn of the 21st century.
Through the years, Dhoni has displayed enormous resilience and determination. Under his leadership, the team went on to win the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, the ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 and climbed to the top of the Test rankings as well.
It was not only the achievements but the calmness and perseverance of the man that made him stand out. He led from the front and took responsibility for the team’s defeats while being humble enough to praise his teammates for the victories.
Dhoni has contributed so much to Indian cricket that several cricketers including Ganguly and Tendulkar have hailed him as the best captain India have ever had. He did have his share of failures and was criticised for his seemingly defensive tactics in a few Test matches but all in all, he has only made the team better.
Summary MatchesWinsLossesDrawn / No resultWin%
Test 6027181545
ODI199110741559.6

 

Virat Kohli (2013-) – 7/10

While he is still in his early days as an ODI captain, with his success in the longer format, Virat Kohli has certainly shown the world how good a captain he can be.
There is no doubt in his abilities as a batsman but just how good he is at the moment as a captain? The statistics, of course, show that he is amongst the best. 16 wins from 26 Tests with just three defeats make him unarguably the most successful captain India have ever seen. The more pertinent aspect, however, is his success abroad.
Kohli is known to be aggressive and fiercely competitive and is a captain who leads by example – someone who carries the burden of the team on his shoulders and still manages to excel.
Of late, however, following the whole Kumble saga, his credentials as a leader have come under the scanner. But there is nothing that a few positive results cannot overturn. Via sportskeeda
Summary MatchesWinsLossesDrawn/No resultWin%
Test 26163561.5
ODI26196176