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Is King Kohli India’s best captain ever?

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1.34K   //    17 Mar 2018, 22:58 IST

3rd Momentum ODI: South Africa v India
Kohli inculcated the habit of winning away for India in the limited overs format

A lot of people believe that cricket is the hardest sport to win away from home. This does seem to be true - most cricket teams fare better on their home grounds than when they are away.

The Indian cricket team is no different. When they are battling other teams at home, we usually play a great game.

On the other hand, when the Indian team players have made the journey elsewhere and are traveling overseas, they often don’t perform as well. For the Indian team, this seems to have been the norm - until 2017.

Today, under the leadership of Virat Kohli, the Indian team seems to be setting its own rules. With impressive performances both at home and overseas, India has donned more than a few feathers in its cap over the past few months.

Historically, the Indian team is no stranger to record-setting achievements. In the past, Indian cricket has had stalwarts and legends such as Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid leading their teams to victory.

But is the Indian cricket team doing better now than ever before? Looking at One-Day Internationals, here’s a comparison of the leadership records of the three greatest captains of the 21st century - Ganguly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, and Kohli. 

#1 Sourav Ganguly

revive their spirits and give them the confidence to play a more aggressive game
Ganguly revived team spirits and give the confidence to play a more aggressive game

His approach:

Ganguly took on the captaincy of the Indian team during a time of crisis in 2000 when the match-fixing scandal had hit cricket in a big way.


The timing of this decision proved invaluable - at a time when the team was lacking motivation, he was able to revive their spirits and give them the confidence to play a more aggressive game.

No longer did the team play under the shadow of losing the top order, as was common in the 1990s - instead, they doggedly played on and gave some incredible performances.

Ganguly also recognized and honed the talents in his team, building a strong future with the likes of Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan.

Ganguly ODI Captainship Performance in Home and Away
Ganguly - ODI Captainship Performance in Home and Away

The stats:

With Ganguly at the helm, the Indian team played an even and consistent game, though they won a few more games away (53%) than at home (50%).

Impressive overall, as the team actually played a lot more away matches during Ganguly's tenure. Over 146 matches played in all, Ganguly had a win percentage of 52%.

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