“Being the captain is a great privilege and a responsibility to lead a group with different cultures.”
It’s quite tough to lead a side in any profession at any level. The word captain, is something that most of the players specially at the junior level wants to be but very few does earn the success. Whether in sports or in my old school days where you are given the bunch of students to carry forward in the absence of the teacher, there is some similarity. I can probably throw some light to the latter one.
Captaincy of Indian Cricket:
Definitely, it’s just like a sand molecule in front of the subject that I am going to talk about. As a class-monitor, my main job was to keep everyone quiet during the breaks or the periods between back-to-back classes. But, one has to keep an eye on those bright students who I don’t know why, but wants to talk study always or some of the naughty ones who just looked for free air any time in the day and then at last you throw yourself under the bus by having a fight with some of the close friends on a decision.
In the Indian Cricket history, the 1983 World Cup win, the biggest turning point, encouraged the whole country to take the game seriously. The way former captain, Kapil Dev had handled his side in that world cup to become world champions, it speaks highly about his temperament. The words “We made 183, they have to make them” were just truly describing about his belief on his lads.
How Sourav Ganguly has taken India before the World Cricket:
Since his retirement, India were looking for someone who could hold the team in hand fist. The time when Prince of Calcutta, Sourav Ganguly, was made the captain of Indian team, it was in doldrums thanks to some of the match-fixing scandals going through the country’s sports.
The hardest job back then was to lead the side because he required to build a bunch of players with a right planning to bring Indian Cricket on the World map as a hard competitor. He just showed the world that he wasn’t there only to compete but to dominate.
Without his contribution, we could not find the dynamic opener Virender Sehwag before whom, Cricket knew that openers had only the job of making the new ball to an old one. Ganguly knew that the Delhi boy had the ability and the best part of his leading side is that he first chooses his players and back them for so many times and usually all of them turned into gold whether it’s Sehwag, Harbhajan, Zaheer or Yuvraj etc.
One more thing that he made connected with the Indian Cricket was the hard-feisty character. The ruthless nature of looking into the eyes of the opponents; when you are playing with a team like Australia, it’s not only about combat but about mind games too; those eleven after crossing the rope are not friends but are competitors.
“Before Sourav, India were a nice team; Ganguly made them a tough team.” Said Former English Captain Naseer Hussain, whose side tolerated defeat in the famous 2005 NatWest Champions Trophy. “You don’t want 11 nice guys, you want a tough team, you want feisty characters.”
The famous incident of waving the shirt at the Lord’s balcony was the result of Flintoff’s doing the same in Wankhede. “Flintoff celebrated it by removing his shirt; So, I was like let’s do it here at Lord’s.”
Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy records
- ODI : 146 matches, 76 won, 65 losses, 53.90% of winning.
- TEST : 49matches, 21 won, 13 losses, 42.5% of winning
- 2005- Champions Trophy Winner
- 2003- World Cup runners up
He won the Ram Mohan Roy Award in 2004 for his outstanding leadership.
Ms Dhoni; the World Cup Winning Captain leads in his own way:
“A Good Captain is like general in war.” – Joy Bhattacharya.
A young Ranchi boy, Ms Dhoni, was handed the leadership cap when Ganguly stepped down. He executed all those responsibilities that he had been thrown. Going to South Africa with a new young team with the big match winners being absent, he did a fabulous job that too in a format which was new back then taking some bold decisions, specially giving the ball to the final over to Joginder Sharma did raise some eyebrows. Till now, no one has been able to read him.
“Dhoni is like…you are the selector…you are obviously selecting…Give me what you have and I will do my magic…I’ll give you a good result.” Set out Journalist Joy Bhattacharya presenting the wk. batsman as Alfresco Chef.
It wasn’t easy to led a side that was well covered with both youth and experience. So, he has to gather all the advices but at the same time reminded everyone that he was the boss. Playing a World Cup and that too on the home-soil added an extra pressure on his shoulders. Most of his decisions throughout the tournament was under a bit of scanner. The duo of him and Garry Kirsten ticked all the boxes to lift the biggest glory after 28-years.
The 2013 saw the transition of Indian Cricket. Just like Dada made Viru open, he also promoted Rohit Sharma in the Champions Trophy to open the innings and the records of the Mumbaikar speaks about his golden decision. If the 2013 Champions Trophy win wasn’t enough along with two World Cups, tell you what, he has secured victory in 3-IPL seasons for the Chennai Super Kings till 2020.
In 2018, a lot was written that CSK was a Dad’s army and how do those tired legs pull off something they are known for. Have they been able to overcome after the 2-year’s break? The way, Mahi handled the pressure and expectations of the fans, one could realize why he is called the best in the business. “He made Sudip Tyagi, Manpreet Gony good enough to play for India.” Figures out Mr. Bhattacharya. “Surprisingly, once they left CSK, they did not remain the same player.”
Ms Dhoni’s captaincy records
ODI : 200 matches, 110 wins, 74 losses, 5ties, 59.52% winning
TEST : 60 matches, 27 win, 18 losses, 15 draws, 45% winning
T-20 : 72 matches, 41 won, 28 losses, 1 tied, 56.94% winning.
- Winning Captain of 2011 World Cup, 2007 T-20 WC, 2013 Champions Trophy.
- Under his captaincy, India maintained No. 1 position for 3-years.
- He is the third captain to win 100 games after Ricky Ponting & Allan Border.
Virat Kohli has Picked Indian Cricket to new Test Heights:
Now, it’s surely going to be the hardest job for a new skipper to fill the huge shoes of Ms Dhoni and straightaway the best batsman of the current world, Virat Kohli felt the same pressure, specially when in India, you have more bad days than good days wearing the captain’s cap. One thing, the whole universe realized when they got to enjoy Kohli’s captaincy was that he was carrying the hard character of Ganguly i.e., we are here to fight both mentally and physically.
Carrying his famous captain’s legacy was hard and it’s pretty bright that he hasn’t touched the same feat in the white ball format but in red ball Cricket, hardly someone outclasses him. He was totally spot on about giving his weight behind his bowlers specially pacers who will win his matches outside Asia. Under his captaincy, Bumrah, Umesh, Shami, Ishant has touched the highest peak in their career.
His hard and toughness has made such a huge impact on the Aussies that before the 2017 series, Former Australian seamer Jason Gillespie warned his team saying “Do not sledge Virat Kohli.” The level of fitness culture that he has taken the whole team, no one even thinks of that in the last 10-years. “India’s fitness, change in culture and winning mentality is down to Virat Kohli.” Spells out Ex- English Captain Naseer Hussian.
Winning the first test series on the Australian soil is surely be the highest glory of his Cricketing career till now. Even though he hasn’t won any ICC trophy in the limited overs game, his semifinal reach in the WC-2019 or being the runners-up in the Champions Trophy 2017 isn’t a bad record to have. “To able to handle the pressure of a billion people and still going on to score day after day is something that stands out.” Praises World Cup winning captain Michael Clarke.
Virat Kohli’s captaincy records
- TEST : 60 matches, 36 wins, 14 lost, 10 draw, Home wins- 23, Away wins- 13
- ODI : 95 matches, 65 won, 27 lost
- T-20 : 45 matches, 27 won, 14 lost.
- He holds the record for most test matches as captain for India.
- He is the mot successful Indian Test Captain with 36 wins.
- The only captain to win t-20 series in all SENA countries. (5-0 in NZ, 2-1 in South Africa, England, Australia).
My main goal to elaborate the article is to figure out that every leader has their own skill to lead the side. For a skipper, it’s never to easy to handle the side especially with the pressure of pubic, media and most importantly with the rise of social platforms. There is always some debate raised whenever someone makes a mistake. Ask Rishabh Pant and he will paint the best picture of it.
So, let’s salute and respect all the captains for their hard job to make us proud.