Captaincy in cricket can be a cruel and tough job at times, even for some legends of the game who have led their country to illustrious victories in their career. Though every skipper strives for their team to learn from defeats, recovering from a loss is never easy. In cricket, more than the defeat, the manner in which a team goes down can have a huge impact on the confidence of the squad.
Losing a game by 10 wickets can result in some very difficult questions to answer for the captain of the defeated unit. The Indian team has been defeated by 10 wickets in five ODIs, with the first such loss coming in 1981. The latest Indian skipper to enter this unfortunate list is surprisingly the captain with one of the highest win percentages in ODI history, Virat Kohli. The article below contains the list of matches lost by Indian captains by 10 wickets.
#5 Virat Kohli, India vs Australia, 2020
This game is the best example of how even a minor tactical decision in tactics can change the entire complexion of a match. Due to the availability of three world-class openers, Kohli was forced to accommodate all of them in the starting eleven and decided to sacrifice his number 3 position for the team’s welfare. After being put in by the Aussies, India lost Rohit Sharma early but a century partnership between Dhawan and KL Rahul steadied the ship.
KL Rahul did a decent job in his new position but on a placid wicket, he should have gone on to register a century, similar to what Kohli does. Instead he fell for 47 and Kohli did not last long in his new role. Dhawan’s half century and decent contributions from Pant and Jadeja took India to a score of 255.
In reply, the Aussies absolutely pummelled the Indian bowling attack and raced away to a score of to 84/0 in the powerplay. Finch and Warner’s ruthless aggression silenced the crowd and the Indians suffered a rare humiliation on their home soil. Kohli admitted he will rethink his strategy in the next match where a victory for Australia would mean back-to-back ODI series success against India away from home.
#4 Rahul Dravid, India vs South Africa, 2005
This was one of the most controversial ODIs in Indian cricket history as it took place right in the middle of the omission of Sourav Ganguly from the squad. The 4th ODI of the five-match series took place in Kolkata with the Proteas leading 2-1. When the Indian team bus approached Eden Gardens, thousands of people shouted and protested against the head coach Greg Chappell.
All this off-field drama subdued the preparations of the Indian camp and this resulted in a sub-par performance from the Indians. South Africa won the toss and elected to field. The Indian openers Gautam Gambhir and Irfan Pathan were dismissed cheaply. Chappell’s questionable tactics affected the Indian team performance as Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag were moved out of their best position and failed to have any impact on the game.
India made only 188 and Smith struck a terrific century in the second innings to take South Africa home without the loss of a wicket. The interim captain Rahul Dravid suffered a demoralising defeat and this was the beginning of the whole Chappell fiasco which ended with a horrible outing in the 2007 World Cup.
#3 Sourav Ganguly, South Africa vs India, 2000
The start of the century was a very tough time for Indian cricket and its fans as the wounds of spot-fixing were still afresh and the team was undergoing a transition under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy. The proceedings outside the field mentally affected the players and it was evident from performances such as this where they surrendered meekly without a fight.
In the first game of the Coca-Cola Cup at Sharjah, Indian skipper won the toss and decided to bat first. Shaun Pollock stunned the Indian contingent present at the Sharjah by castling Sachin Tendulkar's stumps in the 3rd over. It was the familiar 90s story as India collapsed without the presence of Tendulkar at the crease. Ajay Jadeja was once again the sole saviour as he made an undefeated 43, while India were bundled out for 164.
The Proteas openers Gary Kirsten and Herschelle Gibbs showed no mercy in their approach and humiliated the Indian bowling attack by chasing down the target in just 29.2 overs. Things will get better for Ganguly in the following years as he built the base for an Indian team that will be feared around the world but this was a game he would love to erase from his memory.
#2 Sachin Tendulkar, India tour of West Indies,1997
The last game of the four-match ODI series between India and West Indies at Barbados was an important one for the Indians, as they were looking to level the series. Windies skipper Courtney Walsh won the toss and opted to chase. The opening pair of Tendulkar and Ganguly were dismissed pretty quickly. Rahul Dravid and Azharuddin stitched together a decent partnership but before it could turn into a match-winning one, Dravid got dismissed by Franklyn Rose. Azharuddin failed to convert his start and India were in trouble once again. Ajay Jadeja (68) played one of the best knocks of his career and carried India to a decent total of 199.
Chasing 200, West Indies played cautiously in the first few overs and once they got settled, it looked impossible to dismiss their openers. Stuart Williams played the role of a sheet anchor while a young Shivanarine Chanderpaul beautifully mixed caution with aggression to bring up a fine century. Eventually, India lost the game by 10 wickets and the already under pressure Sachin Tendulkar was forced to answer a lot of questions regarding his team’s unforgivable performance.
#1 Sunil Gavaskar, India vs New Zealand, 1981
In the 10th match of the Benson & Hedges World Series Cup at Melbourne, New Zealand skipper JP Howarth won the toss and elected to bowl, keeping in mind the overcast conditions and the reduced number of overs. India got off to a horrid start as they lost the wickets of opener TE Srinivasan and Bombay stalwart Dilip Vengsarkar in quick succession. Things got worse as skipper Gavaskar was dismissed soon after and the Indian team from the score of 13/3, were forced to play defensively to steady the ship.
In the name of taking quick singles, the Indian batsmen made some horrible mistakes while running between the wickets. Sharp fielding by the Kiwis resulted in the downfall of G Vishwanath, Kapil Dev, and Syed Kirmani. The Indians could only muster 112 in 34 overs and New Zealand won the match without breaking a sweat by 10 wickets. Sunil Gavaskar was endowed with the forgettable achievement of being the first Indian skipper to lose a game by 10 wickets.