A captain is the most important figure in a cricket team than any other sport. Unlike Football, the captain is not there just for the namesake but also to shoulder the responsibilities for a team in crunch situations.
Anyone can come up with their own definition of the best captain and the qualities required to maintain that high-level position. A great captain will be judged by his strategies, tactics, decision-making skills, identifying the right players for the right role and most importantly being accountable for the consequences in tough times.
ODI is a format which has been in the limelight for its future in the competitions of different T20 leagues posing heavy schedules across the calendar year. Before the chapter of T20 cricket came to the fore, ODI cricket had already produced glorious moments for posterity to cherish. What happened in the 2019 World Cup final was just a cherry on the cake.
Australia’s Ricky Ponting holds the record of standing in most ODI matches (230) and winning the most games (165) as the captain in the format. MS Dhoni is the most decorated captain in the history of Indian cricket in ODIs, having led the team in 200 matches, 110 wins, one World Cup (2011) and one Champions Trophy (2013).
A total of 26 Indian players have taken the responsibility of donning the captain’s armband since Ajit Wadekar became the first captain of the ODI team in 1974. Only three players have a 100% winning record in the 50-over format.
3 Indian ODI Captains Who Never Lost A Match In Their Career
3. Anil Kumble
Kumble got his first opportunity to lead India in an ODI game against England in 2002, this was much before he led the national side in 14 Tests. Kumble was leading India against England in Sourav Ganguly’s absence.
The Chennai game was the third ODI of the six-match series and the series was tied at 1-1. Ajit Agarkar’s 4/34 and Kumble picking a couple of wickets helped India to bowl out England for 217 in 48 overs. Openers Virender Sehwag (51) and Sachin Tendulkar (68) struck half-centuries to set the tone for the chase. Wicketkeeper Ajay Ratra was not out on 29 as India chased the moderate score with 20 balls to spare.
It remains the only ODI match for Kumble’s captaincy before he filled the shoes of Test captaincy in 2007.