Team India’s Captains and their keywords
A team is a group of individuals performing in coherence to achieve a common goal. This definition was a bit skewed when it came to the Indian Cricket Team in the 90s. Then, the team’s performance wasn’t coherent enough as Indian cricket was about a young and exponentially growing Sachin Tendulkar who often stood amidst the storm when the others crumbled. This consistent act of singlehandedly galvanizing the team led to his Godly status.
But this God needed a team to lift the elusive World Cup trophy as cricket is a team game and not an individual sport. And in 2011, ‘Team India’ won the World Cup, not a bunch of individuals. The journey from a team of 11 individuals to Team India started when the Prince of Kolkata, Sourav Ganguly was entrusted with the responsibility of lending credibility to the tainted game, and more importantly building Team India.
In the past 18 years, Team India saw four colossal personalities wear the captain’s thinking hat for a long time. In hindsight, certain keywords have been attached to the way they led the team, the phase that they were in and the overall attitude that their respective teams showcased.
Captain – Sourav Ganguly, Keyword – Aggression
Here was a captain who wasn’t afraid to give it back to the opposition. He became the skipper when the game had to be cleansed. The shadow of match-fixing was still lurking and it took bright sunshine in the form of a charismatic leader to start the rebuilding phase.
Several young guns like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, and Zaheer Khan were groomed by Dada, as he is fondly called. He gave the team ‘belief’, a word that wasn’t a part of the team when they ventured outside the subcontinent. His aggressive attitude led India to the 2003 World Cup Final and several other memorable victories.