5 Indian captains and their go-to man
These Indian players have blind trust in their skippers.
Updated - Mar 13, 2020 7:00 pm
Even though England gave birth to the game of cricket, it is India, which has been one of the biggest ambassadors of the game in the past few years. The team has a huge fanbase and the game is worshipped like a religion, here. Apart from fans, the nation has also produced some all-time cricketing greats, including some scintillating batsmen, a few blistering bowlers & a couple of extremely smart captains.
Another aspect where the team has been quite rich is in producing Duos. From the deadly Kapil-Gavaskar dyad of the early 80s to the Dhoni-Kohli doublet of the modern-day cricket, India has always given the game of cricket, a bunch of pairs, who have, at least once, ruled the cricketing fraternity. At one point of time or another, even most of the captains have had players who have played the role of the backbone of the team and have bailed them out of trouble, every time the going got tough.
Here, we’ll have a look at some of those players, who have been proved out to be a go-to man for their captains.
1. Sunil Gavaskar – Kapil Dev
Sunil Gavaskar has been one of the greatest batsmen India has ever produced. The veteran cricketer, during his days, was one of the best players of pace bowling. Howbeit, one aspect of the game where Gavaskar couldn’t make a mark was captaincy. He never got a chance to fearlessly lead the team as the unsteady performance led to regular change in the captaincy.
In test cricket, Gavaskar led India on 47 occasions, however, his defensive style of captaincy resulted in most of these tests ending in a draw. The Mumbai-born could win only 7 of those 47 test games, had to suffer defeat in 9 and witnessed a draw in the remaining 30 games.
Credit for the majority of these victories also goes to the great Kapil Dev, who was India’s main player, of that time. During those days, Kapil was one of the best pacers going around in world cricket and was the go-to man of the team. The Chandigarh-born, was the highest wicket-taker from India during the seasons 1980-1989, with a total of 272 dismissals on his back.
2. Saurav Ganguly – Sachin Tendulkar
One of the best aspects of Saurav Ganguly‘s captaincy career was the team he built. Although, at that time, the Indian team without a shadow of a doubt, consisted of a bunch of some extremely talented youngsters, however, what worked as an icing on the cake was the atmosphere created by Ganguly.
The Bengal-born saw the rise of players like Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni etc, who eventually became legends of the game. Although, still, every time the Men In Blue found themselves were scuffling, the man who hailed them out of trouble was Sachin Tendulkar.
The Mumbai cricketer, who had ruled the world of cricket in the previous decade as well, continued doing so at that time too. The Ganguly-led team made it to the finals of the 2003 World Cup, a major thanks of which goes to Sachin, who scored 673 runs in the tourney, which is still a world record.
3. Rahul Dravid – Yuvraj Singh
Rahul Dravid‘s captaincy in ODIs is very underrated. Despite being regarded as a legend of red-ball cricket, the 46-year old isn’t very highly rated in ODIs, especially when it comes to captaincy. One of the main reasons behind this is the early elimination of India from the Cricket World Cup 2007, which also remains one of the darkest spots of Dravid’s cricketing career.
Nevertheless, if you look at the other side of the coin, you’ll realise that Dravid fetched off a win in 42 out of the 79 games he captained. The ace batsman had a win percentage of 53.16 % which is better than Saurav Ganguly (52.05) & Sachin Tendulkar (31.51).
Another good thing which happened during The Wall’s tenure was the rise of Yuvraj Singh. The Southpaw was one of the hottest properties of the cricketing fraternity, at that moment and used to play like a one-man army. The brute force scored around 3k runs in ODIs from 2005-2007 and changed the definition of chasing. In the process, Yuvi went on to become the Man of the tournament of the next two successful ICC campaigns of the Indian team.
4. MS Dhoni – Virat Kohli
During the initial days of captaincy, MS Dhoni didn’t need to worry about many things as he had the support of veteran cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Yuvraj Singh etc. Although most of these batsmen were on a downhill, they still had enough fuel left, to give nightmares to any bowling attack of the world, at that time.
However, as the time passed by, Dhoni’s kitty started to get weaker as the fuel of most of these batsmen was exhausted. By the years 2012 & 2013, the Indian team was in urgent need of a revamp. As a result, the Ranchi-born had to see through the transition period of the team, wherein, he led a unit of inexperienced youngsters. Nonetheless, in those tough times, one guy who stood with MS every time the going got tough was Virat Kohli.
During the latter stages of MS Dhoni’s tenure as a captain, Virat Kohli played the role of the spine of the Indian team. The 30-year-old continued the legacy of his skipper and went on to become one of the greatest white-ball chasers of all time. Every time the team found itself in a crunch situation, it was Virat Kohli who bailed the team out of trouble.
5. Virat Kohli – Jasprit Bumrah
Jasprit Bumrah is arguably the best pacer India has ever produced. Ever since he made his international debut for India, the lad has become one of the most integral parts of the team and has given a run for their money to some of the best batsmen of this world.
Widely known as the “king of yorkers”, Bumrah has been on a terrific run since his entrance in international cricket and is likely to end up as one of the all-time greats with the cricket ball. Even though he had made his debut under MS Dhoni’s leadership, the guy’s progress has increased by leaps and bounds under Virat Kohli’s captaincy.
From 2017 i.e. since the time Virat Kohli was made the in-charge of all three formats, Bumrah has played 81 international games and has struck a total of 153 wickets. One of the highlights of this short-but-glorious career has been the Gujarat-born cricketer’s masterclass with the ball during the slog overs. Every time the games lurches towards a showdown, it is Jasprit Bumrah, with the ball, who becomes the go-to man for Virat Kohli and clinches off a victory for his team from the jaws of defeat.