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Thursday, August 18, 2022

From Ajit Wadekar to Shikhar Dhawan: A list of India’s ODI captains since 1974

Shikhar Dhawan is going to be India's 24th ODI captain when he leads Men in Blue against Sri Lanka in July

Ajit Wadekar, Shikhar Dhawan, India's ODI captainsSince 1974 India have played 993 ODIs, resulting in 516 victories, 427 defeats, 9 ties and 41 no results.

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) announced India Men’s squad for the upcoming three-match ODI series and three-match T20I series against Sri Lanka. Shikhar Dhawan will lead the side as skipper of the Indian team. Dhawan, who has played 142 ODIs, 65 T20Is, and 34 Tests for India, will be leading the side for the first time. Here’s the complete list of India’s ODI skippers since India played their first ODI game in 1974 under Ajit Wadekar’s captaincy.

1. Ajit Wadekar

ajit wadekar

The stylish left-hand batsman, Wadekar was India’s first-ever ODI captain. India under his leadership played their maiden ODI on July 13th in 1974 against England at Leeds. He scored 67 in that match and the Mumbaikar featured in only one more ODI in his career when they played England at The Oval couple of days later. However, Wadekar captained the Indian Test team in 16 matches. At 77, he died in 2018.

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2. Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan

One of the four spinners of India’s most famous spin quartet (Bhagwat Chandrasekhar, Venkataraghavan Bishan Singh Bedi, and Erapalli Prasanna)in the 1970s, S Venkataraghavan took over the rein from Ajit Wadekar and India got its first bowling captain. He played 15 ODIs and led India in 7 ODIs from 1975-79. India lost six matches and won only one in his captaincy. The off-spinner led India in the first-ever World Cup in 1975.

3. Bishan Singh Bedi

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Another spinner from the famous spin quartet that took over the Indian team’s captaincy was Bishan Singh Bedi in 1975. The left-arm spinner, who had a slow and measured run-up, flexible fingers as well as wrist and plenty of loop, was appointed as a captain and India managed only one win and lost three under his rein.

4. Sunil Gavaskar

Sunil Gavaskar

Cricket maestro Sunil Gavaskar also led the Indian team in ODIs from 1980 to 1985. Gavaskar led India in 38 matches, out of which, India won 14 and suffered defeat in 21 games. Winning the World Championship of Cricket in Australia in 1985 remained a glorious success in his 38-match tremulous captaincy tenure. He was part of the 1983 World Cup-winning team.

5. Gundappa Viswanath

He was one of India’s finest batsmen throughout the 1970s. In the absence of Sunil Gavaskar, Viswanath led the ship only for one match which India lost. Viswanath is Gavaskar’s brother-in-law.

6. Kapil Dev

Kapil Dev

The dynamic Kapil Dev became the Indian team’s captain in 1982 and served the nation until 1992. He is still one of India’s most loved captains who won the first World Cup for India in 1983. The tall young man from Haryana had stamina in line with that of a marathon runner and the ability to bowl at a speed of 140 kmph. The all-rounder led India in 74 ODIs and had an impressive winning 54.16 percent (39 matches) as a captain. India lost 33 matches under him.

7. Syed Kirmani

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The wicketkeeper-batsman Kirmani was a part of India’s world cup winning team in 1983 and he only led India in one match in the same year. He’s been India’s most successful Test wicketkeeper (198 dismissals) until MS Dhoni surpassed him.

8. Ravi Shastri

Head coach of the Indian cricket team Ravi Shastri during a play on day two of the third cricket test between India and Australia in Melbourne, Australia

The current coach of the Indian cricket team, Ravi Shastri captained India in 11 ODI matches out of which India won only 4 and lost 7. Shastri represented India in 80 Tests and 150 ODIs in his career spanning 12 years.

9. Dilip Vengsarkar

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Another captain from Mumbai was Dilip Vengsarkar in 1987. As per BCCI’s two-captain policy, both Shastri and Vengsarkar were appointed as captains in the span of two years. The stylish batsman led India in 18 ODIs where the team won 8 and lost 10.

10 Krishnamachari Srikkanth


The swashbuckling opener Srikkanth was given an opportunity to lead India after Vengsarkar failed as captain in 1989. His stint as captain ran only for one year. In that period, India played 13 matches under his rule in which we suffered defeat in 8 matches. Srikkanth was the highest scorer in the 1983 World Cup final on both sides. His 38 was worth it as India scored 183 and won the game by 43 runs.

11. Mohammad Azharuddin

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Mohammad Azharuddin took over as K Srikkanth’s successor and was handed the captaincy in 1989. He is regarded as one of the best captains of the Indian cricket team, leading India to victory in 90 ODIs. Not only the successful captain but prolific batsman Azhar led India for ten years (1990-99). Azhar’s great run came to a crashing end when he was accused of match-fixing in 2000 and was banned for life by BCCI.

12. Sachin Tendulkar

All eyes were on Sachin Tendulkar when match-fixing rocked the Indian cricket. Tendulkar was evolving as a run machine for India during that period and the BCCI decided to hand the captaincy to the rising star. But captaincy was not Sachin’s cup of tea. As a result, he once decided to give up cricket. He lost the form in batting as well. Tendulkar led India in 73 ODIs and India lost 43 and won only 23 matches.

13. Ajay Jadeja

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Ajay Jadeja, the most fascinating batsman of the 90s era, wore the captain’s armband for 13 matches from 1998-99. With a winning percentage of 61.53, Jadeja clinched victory in eight of matches and suffered loss in just five.

14. Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly

The current BCCI president, Sourav Ganguly is widely considered among one of the finest Indian captains of all time. He was appointed as an Indian skipper in the year 2000 after Sachin Tendulkar resigned from the role. Ganguly led India to 76 ODI wins in 146 matches. He also captained India 49 Tests out of which India won 21. Some of his most notable ODI achievements include leading the ‘Men in Blue’ to the final of the 2003 World Cup and leading the team to a NatWest tri-series win in England in 2002.

15. Rahul Dravid


Sourav Ganguly’s deputy for years and a solid batsman Rahul Dravid succeeded Dada. The Wall led India in 79 ODIs and managed to win in 42 games. After taking over as India’s full-time captain from Ganguly, Dravid captained the team in 62 ODIs. In that period, India had series wins in West Indies, Bangladesh, and most memorably, England. He was the first Indian captain to win his first four series in charge.

16. Anil Kumble

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One of the most successful spinners for India, Anil Kumble was another stop-gap man for India. He led India victorious in one match in which he captained men in blue.

17. Virender Sehwag

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Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag is the only captain in ODI history to score a double ton while leading India against the West Indies in 2011. Sehwag’s 149-ball 219, the then highest individual score in ODI cricket, helped the Men in Blue post their best-ever ODI total of 418. He led India in 12 ODIs out of which India won 7 and lost 5.

18. MS Dhoni

India’s most successful captain in limited-overs formats, MS Dhoni transformed the way Indian cricket was being played. Once deemed one of the most destructive finishers in limited-overs cricket, Dhoni led Team India to several glories. Made captain for the first time in 2007, the cricketer from Jharkhand led a young Indian side to victory in the inaugural edition of T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy. Considered as best captain of India, MS Dhoni-led Blue Army in 200 matches out of which India won 110.

19. Suresh Raina


Suresh Raina’s captaincy debut came on the 2010 tour of Zimbabwe. The southpaw was appointed as a skipper only for two series between 2010-14. Under his captaincy, India bagged six wins and suffered five losses.

20. Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir was made the Indian ODI team’s captain in 2010 when they were to play against New Zealand. The Delhi cricketer not only did score 329 runs but also walked away with two Man of the Match awards and the Man of the Series award. All of this in a series in which he made his captaincy debut and won the series 5-0. So his captaincy record in international cricket reads 6 ODIs, 6 wins.

21. Virat Kohli

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Virat Kohli became the Indian team’s captain in all three formats in 2017 and has become the third captain to lead India in 200 international matches. Kohli has come a long way in establishing his credentials as one of the best leaders in world cricket at present. He has so far captained India in 60 Tests, 45 T20Is, and 95 ODIs. His win percentagw is over 72.

22. Ajinkya Rahane

In the absence of Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane was given the responsibility to handle the Indian side for three games. All three have been won under his short-stint.

23. Rohit Sharma

Jos Buttler on Rohit Sharma, Rohit Sharma batting, Buttler impressed with Rohit batting, Rohish Sharma and Jos Buttler

Rohit has led the Men in Blue in Kohli’s absence but has been brilliant whenever he has been asked to take over the responsibility. India has won 8 of the 10 ODIs under his leadership including a win in the Asia Cup in Dubai in 2018. His record as captain in T20I cricket is even more outstanding. India has won 15 of the 19 matches under Rohit’s captaincy in the format.

First published on: 11-06-2021 at 04:52:25 pm
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