A list of all the successful captains of India in the 21st century
Mahendra Singh Dhoni recently bid farewell to International Cricket. People have called it the end of an era after his announcement. For many of the 90s kid, he was the only cricketer of the Tendulkar-Ganguly-Sehwag-Dravid-Kumble era who was still playing for India. MS Dhoni will always be remembered for his match-finishing ability and captainship. While we say bid farewell to the legend of the game, let’s look at top 5 Indian captains of the 21st century and their different captainship style.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni put an end to the senior-junior culture in the dressing room of Indian cricket. He is credited to effectively manage a dressing room filled with legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble and others along. MS Dhoni apart from many other cricketing successes is known for backing the young bloods to perform to their full potential.
The ever cool-calm-composed and calculated mind of Dhoni had a very different approach to the games. He is known for making experiments and most of the time they worked. Mahi ensured a successful transition of the Indian team that witnessed retirements of many senior players and young players coming into the scene. Players like Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja, Ashwin were groomed under his captaincy who went on to become successful players.
The beginning of the 21st Century saw the rise of the Ganguly era which changed the way we played cricket, especially in foreign lands. Indian cricket was in turmoil due to the spot-fixing scandal when he was made the captain. He sowed the seeds to kick-start an era in which India became a dominant team in the World Cricket. He invested in shaping up young talents that contained some of the future stars such as Virendra Sehwag, MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh.
Dada was an aggressive captain who backed his young players and gave them the freedom they needed at the early stages of their career to perform according to the requirements of the team.
He set the benchmark to be aggressive and fearless on the field. Dada had a dashing unique ability to get under the skin of the opponents. Some of such instances are waving his shirt on Lord’s balcony or making the Australian captain Steve Waugh wait at the toss during the 2001 Border Gavaskar series. Dada’s approach definitely proved to be beneficial in the long-term interests of the Indian team.
Virat Kohli has always stressed on the high fitness levels and fielding skills leading the way from front., India made Yo-Yo fitness test compulsory under his tenure as a selection criterion which helped Indian cricket team in setting a new fitness benchmark.
Kohli‘s captaincy style is very different from Dhoni’s. Virat Kohli is an aggressive and outspoken captain, unlike MS Dhoni’s cool personality. Virat has learned the art of getting under the skin of opposition players. He is always energetic in the field encouraging his teammates to conquer the game.
Although, Kohli has been guilty of constant changing and chopping the final playing eleven but his decisions have yielded good results so far.
Indian cricket needed a stabilizer after the controversy of Ganguly-Chappell and we found the perfect man in the form of Rahul Dravid. His textbook captaincy and calm composure was an ideal one for the Indian team at that time. Although, he is an under-rated captain, but his tenure helped India have a composed methodical approach that led India to many wins. It was his tenure in which India broke the record for most consecutive victories while chasing through a record 17 match run.
Anil Kumble in his very small tenure as captain was stubborn who stood rock solid behind the team in crisis situations. Jumbo always put the interests of the team ahead of his individual goals. He was one of the most honest and selfless captains in Indian cricket.
Kumble is praised for his mature handling of the ugly incidents off the field that were taking place with cricket as India took a backseat in the entire process.
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