If playing for the country in Test cricket is a rare privilege, then getting the opportunity to lead is a sacrosanct achievement. With regular skipper Virat Kohli not quite willing to risk his shoulder injury in the series decider against Australia in Dharamsala, Ajinkya Rahane has become only the 33rd player to captain India in the longest format of the game.
The soft-spoken Mumbaikar joined an illustrious list comprising some of India’s greatest ever cricketers. Even though he filled in for Kohli at various stages of the third Test in Ranchi, Rahane officially entered the pantheon of legends when he wore the distinguished dark blue blazer and walked out for the toss.
With the snow-clad Himalayan peaks providing a fitting background, he accomplished the dream of every aspiring player.
In almost 85 years, India have played 512 Tests (including the Dharamsala match) and won 138 of those. MS Dhoni has contributed to the highest number of those victories (27) as captain. Even though Sourav Ganguly is a distant second in the table with 21 triumphs, his win-loss ratio of 1.61 is slightly better than that of the wicket-keeper batsman’s 1.50.
Despite leading India in only 26 Tests thus far, Kohli already has 16 victories to his name at a staggering win-loss ratio of 5.33. Although gruelling overseas tours will be on his agenda from the end of this year, the 28-year-old’s remarkable captaincy record continues to raise hopes.
Among those of yore, Sunil Gavaskar led India in 47 Tests during one of the toughest eras in the game and yet managed to walk away with an impressive win-loss record of 1.12. When Indian cricket was still searching for its identity, Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi formed a menacing spin quartet to notch nine wins.
Even though the table might not reveal the entire picture, Ajit Wadekar’s four Test victories encompass series triumphs in England and West Indies. From CK Nayudu to the latest entrant in Rahane, the legacy lives on.
|Player||Captaincy Span||Matches||Won||Lost||Draw||Tied||Win-Loss Ratio|
|Maharajah of Vizianagram||1936||3||0||2||1||0||0|
|Iftikhar Ali Khan Pataudi||1946||3||0||1||2||0||0|
|Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi||1962-75||40||9||19||12||0||0.47|
|Bishen Singh Bedi||1976-78||22||6||11||5||0||0.54|
(*Note: All Statistics are as of 25th March, 2017)