Across all three formats, India have always been blessed with legendary captains with sharp cricketing brains. Right from the days of the great Tiger Pataudi, the country has always had a strong personality leading the team.
Kapil Dev won the 1983 World Cup, while Mohammad Azharuddin established India as a force to be reckoned with. Sourav Ganguly instilled the belief in the Indian team that helped them win overseas as well, before MS Dhoni won everything there is to win in the game of cricket.
Recently, Virat Kohli's India have put up fights in all conditions, and were perched at the top of the ICC Test team rankings for almost four years. In this article, we take a look at a unique record.
Here are 3 legendary Indian cricketers who led the team in exactly one game in one of the three formats - Tests, ODIs, and T20Is. Interestingly, all three games were won by India.
#3 Ravi Shastri - Tests
Ravi Shastri captained the Indian team in one Test in 1988 against West Indies at Chennai. The all-rounder didn't have a great game individually, scoring only 43 runs and picking up 1 wicket, but his team managed to win the game.
After winning the toss and electing to bat, India put up a first-innings total of 382, before bowling West Indies out for 184 and 160 after extending their lead. Kapil Dev scored a stroke-filled hundred in the first innings, while VW Raman's solid 83 allowed India to truly put the pressure on West Indies.
But the star of the show was undoubtedly debutant Narendra Hirwani, who picked up 16 wickets in the match (8 in each innings). The 4-match series was drawn 1-1, with this being the final Test.
Shastri captained the country in 11 ODIs as well, winning 4 and losing 7.
#2 Anil Kumble - ODIs
Anil Kumble holds the distinction of captaining India in exactly 1 ODI against England in 2002, again at Chennai. The legendary leg-spinner scalped two wickets in the game as India coasted to a 4-wicket win with 20 balls remaining.
After being put in the field by Nasser Hussain, Ajit Agarkar's 4-wicket haul restricted England to a below-par total of 217. Riding on the back of Sachin Tendulkar's attacking 68 and Virender Sehwag's fluent fifty, India managed to get across the line despite Matthew Hoggard's 3-for.
Kumble has led India in 14 Test matches as well, and has 3 wins, 5 losses and 6 draws to his name.
#1 Virender Sehwag - T20Is
Virender Sehwag holds the honour of being India's captain in their first-ever T20I game. When the format was still in its early stages in 2006, India and South Africa squared off at Johannesburg in a solitary T20 game.
The Nawab of Najafgarh scored 34 runs in the game, as the Men in Blue pulled off a narrow victory. After electing to bat, the Proteas managed a below-par total of 126 in their allotted overs, as almost all the Indian bowlers chipped in with a wicket or two. Albie Morkel top-scored with 27, but watchful thirties from Dinesh Karthik and Dinesh Mongia helped India to a win with just 1 ball remaining in the chase.
MS Dhoni, who scored a duck in this game, was soon made the T20I captain and Sehwag didn't lead the team again in the format. The Delhi batsman has skippered the side in 4 Tests (2 wins and a loss ) and 12 ODIs (7 wins and 5 losses).