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Stats Corner: Comparing India's captains


India's best leader?

By Gaurang
March 21 2005

Stats Corner takes a look at captains who've led India in tests in the past, and compares the records of some of the most successful and least successful men to have led an Indian team out onto a field.

India's current captain Sourav Ganguly is set to equal Sunil Gavaskar's and Mohammad Azharuddin's joint record of 47 Tests at the helm, the most Tests ever captained by an Indian. Whatever the outcome of the game in Bangalore, he will finish standing head and shoulders above those two players, at least in statistical terms.

Statistics should not be the ultimate judge of the greatness of a captain, given that they provide very little information about team compositions, experience and other intangibles, but they do provide context to discussions about merits of different leaders. So let's review some facts and crunch some numbers looking at India's past leaders.


  • India’s first captain: Col. C.K. Nayudu in 1932
     
  • India’s latest captain Rahul Dravid in 2003
     
  • Number of men to have captained India: 28 out of 250 players who have represented her in Tests
     
  • India’s first captain to win a match: Vijay Hazare versus England in Madras 1952
     
  • India’s first captain to win a series: Lala Amarnath versus Pakistan 1952-53
     
  • India’s first captain to win a series overseas: M.A.K. Pataudi v. New Zealand 1967-68
     
  • India’s first captain to win three series in a row: Ajit Wadekar 1970-71 v. West Indies to 1972-73 v. England
     
  • India’s first captain to not have a losing record: Ajit Wadekar 4 wins and 4 losses
     
  • India’s first captain to have a winning record: Sunil Gavaskar 9 wins and 8 losses
     
  • India’s first captain to Win the World Cup: Kapil Dev (this is not related to Tests, but it is a significant milestone nonetheless)
     
  • India’s first captain to win more than 10 Tests: Mohammad Azharuddin with 14 wins
     
  • India’s first captain to whitewash a series: Mohammad Azharuddin 3-0 v. England in 1992-93
     
  • India’s first captain to win more than 3 Test matches overseas: Sourav Ganguly with 9 wins so far
     
  • India’s first captain to win Tests in more than 2 countries overseas: Sourav Ganguly with wins in 7 countries so far, only remaining countries are South Africa and New Zealand
     
  • Indian Test captain with the highest winning percentage: Sourav Ganguly 41.30%
     
  • Indian Test captain with most wins: Sourav Ganguly with 19 so far
     
  • First overseas series wins versus various countries:
     
    • Australia: Nobody (only three have drawn series: Gavaskar, Kapil Dev and Ganguly)
    • Bangladesh: Sourav Ganguly 2004
    • England: Ajit Wadekar 1971
    • New Zealand: M.A.K. Pataudi 1967-68
    • Pakistan: Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid 2004
    • South Africa: Nobody
    • Sri Lanka: Mohammad Azharuddin 1992-93
    • West Indies: Ajit Wadekar 1970-71
    • Zimbabwe: Nobody


Table of List of Indian Captains who led her in at least 10 matches and their performance:
(The number before the name indicates their position in the chronology of Indian Captains).

 

 

Captain
Period of captaincy
Matches played
Matches won
Matches lost
Matches drawn
Tosses won
4 Amarnath, L 28/11/1947 12/12/1952
15
2 (13.33%)
6 (40.00%)
7 (46.67%)
4 (26.67%)
5 Hazare, V S 02/11/1951 28/03/1953
14
1 (7.14%)
5 (35.71%)
8 (57.14%)
8 (57.14%)
13 Contractor, N J 02/12/1960 07/03/1962
12
2 (16.67%)
2 (16.67%)
8 (66.67%)
7 (58.33%)
14 Pataudi Jr 23/03/1962 23/01/1975
40
9 (22.50%)
19 (47.50%)
12 (30.00%)
20 (50.00%)
16 Wadekar, A L 18/02/1971 04/07/1974
16
4 (25.00%)
4 (25.00%)
8 (50.00%)
7 (43.75%)
18 Gavaskar, S M 24/01/1976 31/01/1985
47
9 (19.15%)
8 (17.02%)
30 (63.83%)
22 (46.81%)
19 Bedi, B S 05/02/1976 14/11/1978
22
6 (27.27%)
11 (50.00%)
5 (22.73%)
13 (59.09%)
21 Kapil Dev 23/02/1983 13/03/1987
34
4 (11.76%)
7 (20.59%)
22 (64.71%)
15 (44.12%)
22 Vengsarkar, D B 25/11/1987 28/04/1989
10
2 (20.00%)
5 (50.00%)
3 (30.00%)
4 (40.00%)
25 Azharuddin, M 02/02/1990 24/02/1999
47
14 (29.79%)
14 (29.79%)
19 (40.43%)
29 (61.70%)
26 Tendulkar, S R 10/10/1996 02/03/2000
25
4 (16.00%)
9 (36.00%)
12 (48.00%)
15 (60.00%)
27 Ganguly, S C 10/11/2000 16/03/2005
46
19 (41.30%)
12 (26.09%)
15 (32.61%)
20 (43.48%)

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