I'm convinced that things will go much better if the players smile and have some fun on the field, rather than act like wound up spring - Jonty Rhodes

England and the Britishers brought cricket to India. But Indian cricketers are treated nothing less than Gods and cricket worshipped as a religion. Needless to say that Indian national cricket team captains shoulder a huge responsibility and carry the burden of winning every time they step out onto the field.

The captain or the skipper, as they are often referred to as, is the appointed leader of the team. Typically, this person has additional roles and responsibilities apart from playing their natural game. Just like any other sport, the captain of Indian cricket team is someone who is relatively more experienced than the other players, is part of the regular Indian cricket team matches, and is responsible for the team selection as well. Also, it is the captain who decides the batting order during a match and also assigns overs to bowlers. The decisions, however, are mostly taken in conjunction with other senior players' advice but the captain has the final say. The captain is expected to be analytical and someone who will not succumb to the pressure of playing big matches.

Also read about the role of the coach in supporting the captain.

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First class cricket
Test match cricket is the ultimate indicator of success for the captain of Indian cricket team | Image Source: Pixabay.xom | Image Courtesy: PDPics

Indian cricketers are hailed for their skills all over their world. The BCCI (Board of Control for Cricket in India) doesn't leave any stone unturned when it comes to nurturing talent and giving opportunities to new potential. The ICC Cricket World Cup, for example, is a big platform for a lot of budding players in India to make their debut. Here's a look at the most charismatic and successful Indian cricketers in the history of the game.

1. Sachin Tendulkar

Hailed as the Bradman of the modern cricket era, Sachin was not only one of the greatest batsmen in the history of the game, but also a true sportsman. He rose to fame with his famous straight drive that produced some of the greatest knocks of his own career and won many matches for India.

2. Rahul Dravid

Rahul Dravid became famous as The Wall of Indian cricket, known for his solid defense and finish. He was a master batsman on any kind of pitch and could win a game for India even from jaws of defeat.

3. Sunil Gavaskar

He was the first Indian batsman to score 10,000+ runs in test cricket. And that too at a time when the game saw some of the most fearsome and greatest bowling attacks of all time. He also rose to fame by giving a tough competition to Sir Donald Bradman by setting more record than any other player in a single era of cricket.

4. Sourav Ganguly

Popularly known as the Prince of Calcutta, Sourav Ganguly's biggest contribution to Indian cricket was bringing in a positive attitude of play to an otherwise defeated team. Dada was a sound captain, one who could stare the opponent in the eye with his positive, and smart thinking.

5. Anil Kumble

A former engineer, Kumble used his intelligence very wisely on the cricket filed. And statistics would show you that he was the greatest match winner in Indian cricket team matches. Amazingly effective on bouncy tracks, Kumble was one of the few leg spinners who achieved success without hardly turning the ball.

List of Indian National Cricket Team Captains

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is the current captain of the Indian cricket team (men's) and hailed as one of the best Indian cricket captains in history | Image Source: Pixabay.com

India officially became a member of the International Cricket Council - ICC (formerly the Imperial Cricket Conference) on May 31, 1926. And since then, it has produced some of the greatest Indian national cricket team captains. It is almost like an aspiration for most Indian cricketers to lead India in Indian cricket team matches - be it the World Cup or any other domestic or international test/ODI/T20 series.

Indian National Cricket Team Captains - Men's Cricket

Test Match Captains

Indian test cricket has had more than 30 captains till date -

  1. CK Nayudu
  2. Maharajkumar of Vizianagram
  3. The Nawab of Pataudi
  4. Lala Amarnath
  5. Vijay Hazare
  6. Vinoo Mankad
  7. Ghulam Ahmed
  8. Polly Umrigar
  9. Hemu Adhikari
  10. Datta Gaekwad
  11. Pankaj Roy
  12. Gulabrai Ramchand
  13. Nari Contractor
  14. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi
  15. Chandoo Borde
  16. Ajit Wadekar
  17. Srinivas Venkataraghavan
  18. Sunil Gavaskar
  19. Bishen Singh Bedi
  20. Gundappa Vishwanath
  21. Kapil Dev
  22. Dilip Vengsarkar
  23. Ravi Shastri
  24. Krishnamachari Srikanth
  25. Mohammed Azharuddin
  26. Sachin Tendulkar
  27. Sourav Ganguly
  28. Rahul Dravid
  29. Virender Sehwag
  30. Anil Kumble
  31. MS Dhoni
  32. Virat Kohli
  33. Ajinkya Rahane

More often than not, the test captain would also lead the team in other formats of the game like ODI or T20. But there could also be different captains for different formats.

Indian National Cricket Team Captains - Women's Cricket

Test Match Captains

  1. Shantha Rangaswamy
  2. Nilima Jogalekar
  3. Diana Edulji
  4. Shubhangi Kulkarni
  5. Sandhya Agarwal
  6. Purnima Rau
  7. Pramila Bhatt
  8. Chandrakanta Kaul
  9. Anjum Chopra
  10. Mamatha Maben
  11. Mithali Raj

What keeps the women's cricket team going? Find out here

Responsibilities of the Captain of Indian Cricket Team

Cricket
The role of the captain of Indian cricket team goes way beyond just scoring runs or taking wickets | Image Source: Pixabay.com

Enjoy the game and chase your dreams. Dreams do come true - Sachin Tendulkar

The role of the captain in Indian cricket team matches is of prime importance. The responsibilities maybe broadly divided into two -

1. During the Match

Indian national cricket team captains are responsible for calling the shots during any match - test, ODI or T2o. It all starts with selecting the team and representing the team during the toss. It is the captain's decision to bat or field first, depending on weather and pitch conditions.

Once the match starts, it is the captain who decides where to place the fielders, which bowler to go to during which over, and what the batting order would be. The captain also decides the strategy of the game - whether they should play on offense or defense - depending on the opponent, series standings, and other factors. This is particularly important as it determines the outcome of the match eventually.

In a test match, it is the responsibility of the captain to decide when and whether to declare the team's innings to be closed or to ensue follow on for the opposition.

The captain is also consulted and a consent is obtained before bringing in a runner for an injured batsman from the opponent team.

2. Outside Matches

The Indian national cricket team captains are also concerned with the smooth running of the club. For instance, it is the captain who usually decides when the team should come to net practice and how frequently. The captain also has some discretion in backing young and up-an-coming players to promote new talent.

Most Memorable Indian Cricket Team Matches

Women's cricket in India
The T20 World Cup of 2017 was a game changer for women's cricket in India.

Over the last two decades, the world has witnessed some of the best Indian cricket team matches. When it comes to world class cricket, Indian cricketers always seem to lead the rankings. Here is a look back at some of the most memorable test match wins for India.

1. India vs Australia - Eden Gardens, 2001

By far the most historic win for the Indian cricket team, this match occupies a very special place in the Indian cricket history book. It witnessed one of the greatest comebacks in world cricket, when India who followed on in the first innings by 274 runs turned the tables thanks to the historic 3rd wicket partnership between VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid. Not only did India go on to win the match but also the series, thus initiating an era of aggressive cricket under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly.

2. India vs South Africa - Johannesburg, 2006

India came into this match pretty low on confidence still reeling from the forgettable loss in the ODI series. Thanks to Sourav Ganguly's half century, the visitors put up a below average score of 249, a target that most would have backed South Africa to chase down in no time. But to everyone's surprise, the Proteas were bundled out for a paltry score of 84, thanks to the brilliant bowling performance of S. Sreesanth.

3. India vs England - Nottingham, 2007

Although this test match did not make headline for a great comeback, it sure consolidated India's place in the world test stage as a team to reckon with. After a stellar bowling performance spearheaded by Zaheer Khan, the Indian batting lineup put up a commendable 483 runs and put England under pressure. A repeat of the carnage in the second innings translated into India having to chase only 73 runs which they easily achieved and went on to win the series 1-0.

4. India vs South Africa - Eden Gardens, 2010

It is not often that India loses a test match at home. So it was a matter of pride to win this one when they were quite embarrassingly defeated in the first match of the series in Nagpur. The Turbanator, Harbhajan Singh was the star of this match ensuring that the Proteas were all out for a paltry score 296 while the star-studded Indian batting lineup amassed a score of 643. South Africa lost the match by an innings and 57 runs.

5. India vs South Africa - Durban, 2010

In a similar position as their domestic performance, India came into this match needing a win desperately. The hopes were quickly dashed when they could only manage to put up 205 runs in the first innings. But the tide began to turn when they came out to bowl led by Indian cricketers, Zaheer Khan, S. Sreesanth, and Ishant Sharma. India won the match by 87 runs to level the series.

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Pragnajyoti

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