Following India’s victory in the first Test at Chennai, MS Dhoni equaled Sourav Ganguly’s record of most Test wins as Indian captain –21. We take a closer look at some of India’s successful leaders over the years, and their individual performances during their stint as captain of the side.
MS Dhoni:The present Indian skipper has led the Test side in 44 matches, out of which India have won 21, lost 12 while 11 games have ended in a stalemate. Dhoni enjoys a winning percentage of 47.72. While overall, the figures are good, the stats are pretty misleading. Out of the 21 Test wins, only five have come away from home and out of the 12 losses, eight were registered against England and Australia. Dhoni’s overall batting figures in Tests as leader are rather impressive. He has scored 2685 runs averaging 44.75 with five hundreds. His average in Tests overseas during the same period is a paltry 33, which means there is a significant scope for improvement. Also, all his tons as captain have come in the sub-continent. He is yet to register a century as Test skipper away from home.
Sourav Ganguly: The elegant left-hander andrugged leader was in the hot seat for 49 matches. Under him, India won 21 Tests and lost 13 games while drawing 15. As captain, Ganguly enjoyed a winning percentage of 42.85. Under Ganguly, India won 11 Tests abroad, which makes him India’s most successful captain away from home as of present. There is a catch here though; as many as six of these 11 wins came against minnows Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. Also, Ganguly’s average as skipper was much poorer compared to his average purely as a player. While leading, he averaged under 38 with five hundreds scoring 2561 runs. On the other hand, as a non-captain, he averaged over 45 with 11 tons. Ganguly’s overseas average though was significantly better than Dhoni’s current figures. He averaged 43.41 away from home. Three of Ganguly’s hundreds as captain came away from home.
Mohammad Azharuddin: The man who led India for most of the 90’s, Azhar was India’s skipper for 47 Tests during which India won 14 and lost an equal number of games. India also drew 19 games under Azhar’s leadership, which led to significantly lower winning percentage of 29.78. India had an extremely shameful overseas track record under Azhar. Thirteen of the 14 wins came in India and one in Sri Lanka. Under Azhar, India lost comprehensively in Australia, South Africa, New Zealand, West Indies, and even Zimbabwe. As a batsman, Azhar enjoyed reasonable success during this phase. He scored 2856 runs with nine hundreds and an average of nearly 44. Five of his hundreds came overseas – two in England, two in New Zealand and one in Australia.
Rahul Dravid: Having led India in 25 Tests, Dravid guided India to eight wins and six losses. Eleven of the games were drawn, giving Dravid a winning percentage of 32. Five of Dravid’s eight Test wins came abroad, including one each against South Africa and England. Batting wise, he scored 1736 runs averaging 44.51 with four tons. All of Dravid’s hundreds as captain came away from home –two in Pakistan, one in West Indies and one in Bangladesh.
--By A Cricket Analyst