Cricket is probably the biggest sport in India and is considered as a religion. Indian cricket has witnessed many greats who have played the game like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, etc. The game has evolved over the years from the longest format to ODI cricket and finally to T20 cricket. Only a few Indian players have been fortunate enough to lead their country in all three formats. Here are the four players who have led India at some point in Tests, ODIs as well as T20Is.
Four players who have lead team India in all three formats
4. Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag has arguably been one of the most dangerous Indian openers in the history of Indian cricket. He had the ability to change the game on its head no matter which formats he plays, be it Tests, ODIs or T20s. By the time he became one of the important players in the Indian batting line-up, he also got to captain the Indian team.
He has captained India in 4 Tests – 1 against Sri Lanka at home and 3 Tests away to New Zealand, Bangladesh and Australia when the regular skipper MS Dhoni was not playing. He won 2 out of the four Tests, losing 1 and drawing 1.
As far as ODI cricket is concerned, Sehwag captained India in 12 games, winning 7 and losing 5 and had a decent win percentage of 58.33. In the shortest format of the game, Virender Sehwag was the captain of India’s first-ever T20 international which they ended up losing against South Africa. Although he never got enough chances of captaining his country, Sehwag will always be remembered as one of the best-attacking batsmen India ever produced.
3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably one of the best captains India has ever produced. He is the only India captain to have won all the three ICC white-ball events, the ICC Champions Trophy, The ICC T20 World Cup as well as the ODI World Cup. He also has taken team India to the pinnacle of the ICC Test rankings. He was known for his calm demeanour in crucial moments and his out of the box thinking which kept him a step ahead of the opposition.
Dhoni has captained India in 60 Tests out of which he managed to win 27, lose 18 and draw 15. He managed the seniors in the team during his time really well and was able to create the right balance in the team.
It was the ODI cricket where MS Dhoni was at his absolute best as captain, winning 110 of the 200 ODIs that he captained at an impressive win percentage of 59.52 which is the best among the other three formats. He gave many match-winners like Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma a platform to showcase their talent and was able to bring the best out of them. In the shortest format, Dhoni captained India in 72 games and won 41 out of them, forming yet another impressive win percentage of 59.28.
2. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli was given the baton of Test captaincy back in 2014 when India toured Australia for the all-important Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Although India lost the first Test, Kohli smashed centuries in both innings and showed the fighting brand of cricket that India was going to play under him. He has captained India in 61 Tests till now and, by winning 36 of them, has become the most successful Indian captain ever in red-ball cricket. Backing the pacers to do well, he has given the Indian team a different dimension altogether.
As far as ODI cricket is concerned, Virat Kohli has captained India in three ICC events, the 2017 Champions Trophy, where India made it to the final, and the 2019 Cricket World Cup, where India crashed out in the semifinals and world test championship final. He has captained a total of 95 ODIs, winning 65 out of them and bagging an astonishing win percentage of 68.24. In T20 cricket, Virat has captained India in 45 games, winning 29 out of them. He is likely to lead India to next year’s men’s T20 World Cup.
1. Ajinkya Rahane
Ajinkya Rahane has mostly played Test cricket as a deputy to Virat Kohli and has only captained in five Tests for India in Kohli’s absence. But he has a 100 per cent record, beating Australia in 2017 and Afghanistan in 2018. He led India in the final three Tests of this summer’s Border-Gavaskar Trophy and scripted a historic Test series win.
He also has captained India in 3 ODIs and 2 T20Is back in the 2015 tour to Zimbabwe, India managed to win all three ODIs, giving Rahane a 100 per cent record as a skipper. But they lost 1 out of the 2 T20Is, keeping Rahane’s win percentage in T20 cricket down to 50.