Test cricket can be really demanding for any player, but, if you are an Indian captain, then you are always facing a pressure cooker situation due to the expectations of a billion people. On top of that, a captain has to do justice to his primary job in the team, which is either bowling or batting.
Striking a balance between these two can be a daunting task and it seldom happens. While Sourav Ganguly was an exceptional captain, the same cannot be said about his Test batting. It's not easy to take the pressure both as a captain and as a batsman.
On that note, let's take a look at 5 players with most runs as Indian captain in Test cricket to understand how well they reacted to pressure cooker situations:
#5 Sourav Ganguly, 2561 runs
The man who laid the foundation of the modern day aggressive Indian cricketer, Sourav Ganguly instilled fearlessness into the Indian cricket. He was famous for identifying raw talent and providing them with the right amount of opportunities to display their talent in front of the cricketing world.
During Ganguly's tenure, India played particularly well outside India. Though his batting suffered due to captaincy pressure, India achieved great heights as a team during his captaincy stint.
Ganguly captained India in 49 Test matches, during which he scored 2561 runs at an average of 37.66, which included five centuries and 13 fifties.
#4 Mohd. Azharuddin, 2856 runs
Azhar was an enigma, who had the ability to demolish best of the bowlers on one day, but, on another day he could look an ordinary batsman. His batting was a treat to the eyes- those flicks from outside off stump, cover drives with a completely closed grip and fierce square cuts were very soothing to the eyes.
Azhar captained India for a long time and his team achieved great success in India, but, their overseas record was dismal. Azhar the captain had moderate success as a batsman, he scored 2856 runs from 46 Test matches as an Indian captain at an average of 43.94 with nine centuries and nine fifties.
#3 Sunil Gavaskar, 3449 runs
Sunil Gavaskar was the first Indian batsman who made a name for himself all over the cricketing world. Coming from the land of spinners, his exploits against quality fast bowling got him a lot of accolades. At one point in time, he held the record for the highest run-getter in Test cricket and also for the maximum number of centuries in Test cricket.
Gavaskar captained India in 47 Test matches, during which he scored 3449 runs at an average of 50.72 with 11 centuries and 14 fifties.
#2 MS Dhoni, 3454 runs
Another Indian captain whose team had an excellent record in India while being dismal abroad. As a batsman, Dhoni mirrored his team's record, more often than not he was found wanting in alien conditions.
Dhoni captained India in 60 Test matches, during which he scored 3454 runs at an average of 40.64 with five centuries and 24 fifties.
#1 Virat Kohli, 4410 runs and counting
Kohli has been a great batsman for India who is taking the world by storm with his exceptional batting display in almost every condition across the world. His intensity and hunger for runs make him stand out amongst other mortals. Though Kohli has struggled as a captain in the overseas conditions, it takes nothing away from his performance as a batsman.
Kohli has performed exceptionally well as a batsman during his tenure as an Indian captain. He has scored runs in South Africa, England, and Australia in the year 2018, which says a lot about his ability as a batsman. Kohli's conversion rate is excellent which is indicated by the fact that he has scored 25 centuries and just 19 fifties.
Kohli has captained India in 44 Test matches, during which he has scored 4410 runs at an exceptional average of 63.91 with 18 centuries and nine fifties.