Kohli, Dhoni, Ganguly – India's top three Test captains

After beating West Indies by 257 runs in the Jamaica Test on Monday, Virat Kohli became the most successful Indian Test skipper; here's a look at the elite list of captains and their records.

Virat Kohli, M.S. Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly are the top three Test captains for Team India.   -  GETTY IMAGES

 

Back in the day, the Indian cricket team never had it easy on overseas tours. Winning one Test match or levelling a series meant a lot of hard work.

But the pattern started changing from the early 2000.

When Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy, the meek and mild Indian players toughened up. Led by an aggressive captain, they looked eye-to-eye and equally participated in the verbal banters.

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The change in the body language had an impact on the results. At the end of his captaincy career, Ganguly ended up winning 21 Test matches out of 49; 10 wins at home, 11 away.

M.S. Dhoni did not enjoy a great overseas record — six wins in 30 Tests — but he ruled the roost at home. Overall, under the legendary wicketkeeper-batsman, India recorded 27 wins out of 60 Test matches.

Here's the top five

CaptainsTestsWonLossDrawn Win %
Virat Kohli 48 28  10  1058.33
M.S Dhoni 60 27  18  1545.00
Sourav Ganguy 49 21  13  1542.86
Mohammad Azharuddin 47 14  14  1929.79
MAK Pataudi 40   9  19  1222.50

 

Till Sunday, Dhoni and Kohli were tied at 27 Test wins.

India’s 2-0 whitewash over West Indies — courtesy the 318-run victory in Antigua and the 257-run win at Sabina Park in Jamaica — pushed Virat Kohli to the top with 28 wins in 48 Tests.

Kohli had already surpassed Ganguly's record of most overseas wins (11) after India won the first Test in Antigua. Kohli now has 13 overseas Test victories.

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Triumphs in West Indies, Sri Lanka and Australia remain the high points of Kohli’s captaincy career so far. The victory against the islanders in 2015-16 came after 22 years.  Down Under in 2018-19, Kohli led India to its maiden series win in 71 years.

Kohli will be leading India for the first time in New Zealand for a two-Test series next year. It will be his next target; series wins in England and South Africa will be in the priority list as well.

Overall, former South Africa international Graeme Smith remains the most successful skipper in the world with 53 Test wins, followed by ex-Australia captain Ricky Ponting, who recorded 48 Test wins in his captaincy tenure.