Who is the Captain of Indian Cricket Team

Rohit Sharma the Captain of Indian Cricket Team

In summary, Rohit Sharma is one of India’s most accomplished modern era batsmen and currently captains the Indian team across all three formats - Tests, ODIs and T20Is. He is known for his attacking batting style, match-winning abilities and leadership skills.

Test Captains

CK Nayudu - India’s First Test Captain

CK Nayudu was the captain of the Indian cricket team that played its first ever Test match in 1932 against England at Lord’s. Though India lost the match, Nayudu’s appointment as captain was historic as he became India’s first ever Test captain. He was known for his aggressive and fearless style of batting. Under his captaincy, India made its mark in Test cricket as a competitive team.

Total Test Captains and Virat Kohli’s Success

In total, India has had 36 Test captains since 1932. Virat Kohli has been the most successful Indian Test captain to date. He captained India in 68 Test matches and led the team to victory in 40 of those matches. This gave him an impressive win percentage of 58.82% as captain. Under Kohli’s leadership, India climbed to the number 1 ranking in Test cricket and performed admirably overseas. His aggressive and passionate captaincy style was pivotal to India’s success during his tenure.

Other Successful Captains

Apart from Kohli and Nayudu, India has had many other successful Test captains over the years. MS Dhoni led India to 27 Test wins and managed a fine record overseas. Sourav Ganguly is credited with transforming India into a world-beating team, especially in Tests overseas. Mohammad Azharuddin led India to 14 Test wins in 47 matches during the 1990s. The legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev captained India to 9 Test wins and India’s first World Cup title in 1983. Each of these captains played a crucial role in shaping India’s journey in Test cricket.

ODI Captains

Ajit Wadekar

Ajit Wadekar was the first ODI captain of India in 1974. He led India to its first ever ODI series win against England. Wadekar was known for his tactical acumen and ability to get the best out of the players. Under his captaincy, India won its first ever Test series in England and the West Indies.

Wadekar played 37 Tests and 2 ODIs for India between 1966 to 1974. He was an attacking left-handed batsman and part time spinner. After retirement, Wadekar also served as the coach and manager of the Indian team.

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni has led India in most ODIs (200) and is the most successful captain with 110 wins. He captained India between 2007 to 2017 and led the team to many memorable victories.

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, ICC Cricket World Cup in 2011 and the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. He is known for his sharp cricketing acumen, street smart captaincy and ability to remain calm under pressure.

Dhoni has scored over 10,000 runs in ODIs and led India to the number one ranking in Tests and ODIs. He is regarded as one of the greatest finishers of the game with an average of over 50 and strike rate of 87.

Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli took over as captain from Dhoni in 2017. Under his captaincy, India registered a record number of consecutive ODI series wins. Kohli has led India to over 65 wins from 95 matches with a winning percentage of over 70%.

Kohli’s aggressive and fitness oriented approach helped India become a formidable ODI unit. He led India to semifinals of the 2019 World Cup. Kohli has already scored over 12,000 ODI runs at an average of close to 60.

He is the fastest to reach 10,000 ODI runs and score 40 ODI centuries. Kohli is expected to break many more batting records and his captaincy career is still in its early stages.

Other Successful Captains

Mohammad Azharuddin led India in 174 ODIs between 1990 to 1999 with 90 wins. He led India to victories in Canada Cup (1991), Hero Cup (1993) and in England.

Kapil Dev captained India to its first World Cup win in 1983. He led India to victories against formidable West Indies and Pakistan teams in Sharjah Cup 1985 and 1986.

Sourav Ganguly’s tenure between 2000 to 2005 was known for its aggression and winning abroad. India defeated Pakistan in Pakistan for first time under him in 2004. Ganguly laid the foundation for India’s future success.

T20I Captains of the Indian Cricket Team

Virender Sehwag - The First Indian T20I Captain

The advent of Twenty20 cricket in the early 2000s led to the formation of the ICC World T20 tournament in 2007. The inaugural edition was held in South Africa and this marked India’s debut in the shortest format of the game.

Virender Sehwag had the honor of becoming India’s first ever T20I captain when he led the side against South Africa in December 2006. Although India lost that match by 6 wickets, Sehwag’s attacking style of play was seen as ideal for the new format. He captained India in its first ever T20 World Cup campaign in 2007.

Sehwag captained India in a total of 4 T20Is, winning 1 and losing 3. While his tenure was short, he will always be remembered as India’s original T20I skipper.

MS Dhoni - Most Successful Indian T20I Captain

When it comes to T20I captaincy for India, the name that instantly comes to mind is Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He is by far the most successful skipper in this format for India.

Dhoni took over the T20I captaincy from Sehwag in 2007 and led the team in 72 matches, the most by any Indian captain. Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007 which propelled the rise of T20 cricket in the country.

His calm and composed leadership style was perfect for the fast-paced demands of T20 cricket. Dhoni had the ability to get the best out of the players and backed them to play aggressively. He made some astute tactical moves on the field that helped India win many close matches.

Out of his 72 games as T20I captain, Dhoni led India to 41 wins and 28 losses. This gives him a win percentage of 56.94% which is very impressive in this format. He retired from T20I cricket in 2017 after a decade of fantastic leadership.

Virat Kohli - Building on Dhoni’s Legacy

When MS Dhoni decided to step down as T20I captain in early 2017, the mantle was passed on to the then test skipper Virat Kohli. This marked the start of a new era in Indian T20I cricket.

Virat Kohli took charge of the T20I side with the 2017 T20I series against England. As a dynamic, energetic and passionate leader, he strived to take the team to the next level.

As captain, Kohli emphasized fitness, aggressive fielding and playing an attacking brand of cricket. Thanks to his strategic moves and motivation, the Indian T20I team transformed into a world-beating unit.

Under Kohli’s captaincy from 2017 to 2021, India played 50 T20Is and won 30 of them. This includes series wins against England, West Indies, Australia, New Zealand and South Africa.

The only major trophy that eluded Kohli was the T20 World Cup. Overall, he built on the foundation laid by Dhoni and helped improve India’s record in T20Is.

Rohit Sharma - All Eyes on the 2024 T20 World Cup

After Virat Kohli stepped down as India’s T20I captain following the 2021 T20 World Cup, Rohit Sharma took over the leadership duties. As one of India’s most successful white-ball batters and IPL winning captain, this marked a new chapter for Indian T20I cricket.

Rohit has an excellent tactical brain along with a calm demeanor needed to lead India in high pressure games. Since taking over the captaincy in November 2021, he has led India in 13 T20Is so far.

Under Rohit’s captaincy, India has won 11 out of 13 games. This gives him a stunning win percentage of 84.62% which is the highest for an Indian T20I skipper.

With less than two years left for the 2024 T20 World Cup, Rohit’s biggest goal will be to lead India to glory in that tournament. India has not won an ICC tournament since the 2013 Champions Trophy and Rohit along with head coach Rahul Dravid will be keen to end that drought in 2024.

If India goes on to win the next T20 World Cup under Rohit, it will be a fantastic achievement and complete his takeover as India’s limited overs captain across formats. He has made an excellent start to his T20I captaincy stint and the future looks bright under his leadership.

World Cup Captains

India has won 2 World Cups - 1983 under Kapil Dev and 2011 under MS Dhoni.

India has won the Cricket World Cup twice in its history, first in 1983 and then in 2011.

The 1983 World Cup was held in England and was won by an unheralded Indian team led by the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev. At a time when the West Indies dominated world cricket, Kapil Dev marshalled his troops brilliantly as India defeated the mighty West Indies in the final at Lord’s to lift their maiden World Cup trophy. Kapil Dev’s inspirational leadership was crucial to India’s famous underdog victory.

28 years later, India won their second World Cup in 2011 at home under the captaincy of MS Dhoni. Dhoni had taken over the captaincy in 2007 and led a new generation of Indian cricketers to the pinnacle of the game. The final against Sri Lanka was a tense affair but Dhoni marshalled his resources well during a tricky run chase and then fittingly hit the winning runs to seal the World Cup triumph at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai. It was India’s first World Cup win on home soil.

Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli have led India in World Cup finals but couldn’t win the trophy.

While Kapil and Dhoni stand out as India’s only World Cup winning captains, two other Indian skippers have had the misfortune of being on the losing side in World Cup finals.

Sourav Ganguly captained India during the 2003 World Cup in South Africa where India made an inspiring run to the final. However, Australia proved too strong in the Johannesburg final as India lost by 125 runs.

Virat Kohli led India to the final of the 2017 Champions Trophy in England where they took on arch-rivals Pakistan. But Kohli’s team faltered in the high pressure game as Pakistan pulled off a remarkable 180-run victory at The Oval.

Despite the heartbreaks, Ganguly and Kohli deserve credit for leading India to World Cup finals during their tenure as captains.

Rohit Sharma will be leading India in the 2023 World Cup.

The next 50-over World Cup will be held in India in October-November 2023. For the first time, Rohit Sharma will be leading India’s quest for a third World Cup trophy as full-time captain.

Rohit took over the ODI and T20 captaincy from Virat Kohli in late 2021 and has since impressed with his relaxed yet astute leadership style. As a batsman, Rohit already has an outstanding record in World Cups, having scored five centuries.

India will be among the favorites on home soil and Rohit’s tactical acumen will be crucial for the team’s chances. With new stars like batter Suryakumar Yadav in the team, Rohit will be hoping to add to the legacy of Kapil and Dhoni by lifting India’s third ODI World Cup as captain next year.

Women’s Cricket Team Captains in India

Mithali Raj

Mithali Raj is the most capped player and the most successful captain of the India women’s national cricket team. She has led India in 32 Tests, 126 ODIs and 85 T20Is, which is the most by any captain in women’s cricket.

Mithali made her debut for India in 1999 as a 16-year old and was handed the captaincy in 2004. Under her leadership, India reached the finals of the 2005 World Cup and won their first ever Test series in England in 2006. Mithali led by example and is the leading run scorer for India women in all formats. Her calm demeanour and reading of the game helped shape the Indian women’s team into a competitive unit. After stepping down briefly in 2009, she assumed captaincy again and led India to the finals of the 2017 World Cup at home. Her composure and determination took Indian women’s cricket to great heights.

Harmanpreet Kaur

Harmanpreet Kaur is the current captain of India women in ODIs and T20Is. As Mithali retired from T20Is in 2019, Harmanpreet was named captain for the format. An aggressive batter and a lively fielder, Harmanpreet infused energy into the team. Under her captaincy, India reached the T20 World Cup finals in 2020 and won a historic Test match in 2021 versus England.

Harmanpreet came into the limelight after her explosive 171 not out in the 2017 World Cup semi-final against Australia. She has taken on the dual role of finisher and enforcer in the Indian batting line up. Her attacking instincts combined with a calm head has helped India post big totals and chase down targets. While she remains Mithali’s deputy in ODIs, Harmanpreet has slowly grown into the T20I captaincy role. Her electric fielding and fearless batting make her a good leader.

Shantha Rangaswamy

Shantha Rangaswamy has the distinction of being the first ever captain of the India women’s cricket team. She led India in the first ever Test match and ODI played by the Indian women’s team in 1976.

Shantha’s steady captaincy laid the foundation for women’s cricket in India. She batted at No. 3 and scored India’s first ever Test half-century. A dogged opener in ODIs, Shantha scored the first ever ODI fifty for India. Her tight off-spin bowling was also a key asset for the team. As a captain, she emphasized on discipline and all-round development of players. After retiring as a player, Shantha Rangaswamy also served as the chairperson of the women’s selection committee from 2008 to 2012.

From Shantha Rangaswamy in the 1970s to Mithali Raj and Harmanpreet Kaur today, India has been led by strong and determined women captains. They have paved the path for upcoming cricketers and set high standards through their own performances. Women’s cricket in India continues to grow from strength to strength under their leadership.


The captaincy of the Indian cricket team is a prestigious position that has seen many distinguished names over the decades. From CK Nayudu in the inaugural 1932 Test to Rohit Sharma leading the team today, India has been led by courageous and tactically sound leaders. Be it the inspirational Kapil Dev in 1983, the cool-headed Dhoni in 2011, or the passionate Kohli in between, India’s World Cup wins bear testament to the quality of leaders. The stats prove how successful captains like Dhoni, Kohli and Rohit have been across formats. Even in defeat, the fighting spirit of captains like Ganguly and Kohli shined through. On the women’s side, inspirational leaders like Rangaswamy, Raj and Kaur have paved the way. From its humble debut to being a world champion team, the journey of the Indian cricket team has been defined by its captains. They’ve nurtured young talent, backed players’ strengths and led the team by example.

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