With the rise in popularity of T20 cricket in the world, it has become the dream of every upcoming player to play in the Indian Premier League. The ones who impress the selectors with their performances in the IPL soon find themselves in the Indian team and players like Shivam Dube, Deepak Chahar, Yuzvendra Chahal and Rishabh Pant are the best examples of it.
Though they had good numbers in domestic cricket, their fantastic IPL performances earned them a national call-up. After playing for the national team, the player tries to cement his spot in the team and once he becomes a match-winner; the fans expect him to take over the reins of the team.
Whenever one speaks about the Indian T20I captains, the fans remember the names of MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli only. However, apart from those three, the following three players have also led India in T20Is.
Before MS Dhoni became the Indian captain in 2007, the Men in Blue had made their T20I debut against South Africa. Since no one had a good experience of playing T20 cricket, the selectors crowned the aggressive batsman Virender Sehwag as the team’s skipper.
Sehwag led the team very well on his T20I captaincy debut as India crushed the rainbow nation in the solitary T20 match. He is one of the only two Indian T20I captains who have a 100 per cent win record. However, unfortunately, Sehwag never received a second chance to captain the Indian T20I team.
Coincidentally, he played his last T20I match against South Africa on 2nd October 2012. In 19 T20Is, the aggressive opener smashed 394 runs at an impressive strike rate of 145.4.
The other Indian captain to have hundred per cent win record in the shortest format of the game is Suresh Raina. The Uttar Pradesh-based player had made his captaincy debut against Zimbabwe in 2010. As Zimbabwe did not have much-experienced players, the Indian side fielded a second-string team for the series. Raina led the team to a 2-0 win the T20I series.
Next, he skippered India in a T20I match against West Indies. Regular captain MS Dhoni was rested for the Caribbean tour while senior players Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir were out with injury.
Hence, the selectors assigned the skipper’s role to Raina for the solitary T20I. Though he did not shine in the batting department, the Chennai Super Kings star captained the side aggressively and guided the Indian team to a 16-run win. Since he played the role of a captain in the matches which received lesser interest from the audience, very few fans may remember his captaincy stint.
The right-handed Indian opener, Ajinkya Rahane was a regular in the Indian T20I team from 2011 to 2015. He used to play with an aggressive approach in the shorter formats hence; the selectors backed him in the T20I team. After cementing his spot in the team, Rahane received a chance to lead the Indian team against Zimbabwe in 2015.
India won the first match quite comfortable but Zimbabwe shocked the world by upsetting the Asian giants in the second match. The African nation edged India in a close contest as the fans questioned the selectors’ decision to send a second-string team.
Ajinkya Rahane never returned to captaincy since that defeat and he soon lost his place in the team. He is the Indian Test vice-captain at the moment while he has also played the leader’s role for Rajasthan Royals in the IPL.
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