Being India’s cricket captain has always meant more than just being a sports leader. A position that epitomizes clout, influences brand image and larger than life appeal, has drawn a lot of drama in the past. As India look forward to a leadership change with the prospect of replacing Rohit Sharma alongside Virat Kohli in T20Is after the upcoming World Cup, here’s a look at some of the most complicated, tense and difficult relationships between leaders in the Indian dressing room. put.
Virat Kohli-Rohit Sharma: The social media war
After retirement, Sachin Tendulkar named two young batting stars – Rohit Sharma and Virat Kohli – to carry on his legacy. Even the great man was not disappointed. However, as is often the case, the two standout batsmen in the side also became contenders for the leadership. They have also faced their share of troubles with each other.
While Kohli has been India’s captain across all formats, Sharma continues to attract the attention of the national selectors with his tactical prowess. As Kohli made the Indian Test team proud, Sharma found his calling in the IPL as the captain of Mumbai Indians. Sharma’s leadership received rave reviews as he led MI to five IPL titles, while Kohli failed to win one in nine seasons as captain.
It is said that a few years back there was a rift between the two. There were indirect messages on social media from friends and families of both players suggesting a rift, even as the players themselves denied there was a problem.
All the while, Kohli continued to flourish as a captain. His highly aggressive game further fueled his desire to make India a major Test nation. His batting stocks soared while Sharma took longer to crack the Test code. But the success of the championship in IPL and ICC events remained elusive for Kohli. Not everyone in the change room was calm with his frequent team changes, especially in Test cricket.
Sharma’s easy leadership was to see in 2018 in the titles won for India in Kohli’s absence. After the success of the Asia Cup, Sharma indicated his intentions. He said, ‘Whenever the opportunity comes, I will be ready.
There seems to be a synergy between the two, with Sharma now part of the team management, reportedly after mediation by the BCCI and head coach Ravi Shastri. In the last twelve months, Sharma has begun to understand the heartbeat of Test cricket. Incidentally, this is also the time when Kohli has lost all his consistency with the bat. He recently announced that he will end his T20 regime as the captain of India after the upcoming World Cup. Sharma’s time has finally come, and if the selectors hand him the ODI rule too, it could mark another chapter for the quite complicated relationship between the two supremely talented performers.
Sourav Ganguly-Rahul Dravid: Chappell Years
Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid played a lot of regional age-group cricket against each other and began their tour of India in the same 1996 Test match at Lord’s, where both excelled. After the sociable youthful days, he had several tense moments in the latter part of his India career.
When Ganguly first became India’s full-time captain in 2000, he voted for Dravid to be his deputy. With Dravid and coach John Wright, India halted Steve Waugh’s legendary side’s triumphant campaign at home in 2001, won a Test match in the West Indies, won a Test series in England and Australia, won a Test series in Pakistan in 2004 . Reaching the final of the 2003 ODI World Cup. But towards the end of 2004, Ganguly’s batting form began to leave him, until late 2005 when he eventually lost the captaincy to Dravid.
The events leading up to this change of guard made for a full-scale soap opera. It was started by head coach Greg Chappell suggesting to Ganguly early in his tenure that he should step down as captain to focus on his batting. Ganguly made the coach’s suggestion public. Things got to such an extent that Chappell wrote a letter to the BCCI accusing Ganguly of dividing the team to save his place and the captaincy. Soon, Ganguly was sacked as the captain. Dravid did not say anything publicly, but Ganguly always felt cheated.
Drama continued in the 2006 Test series in Pakistan when captain Dravid, Ganguly and Chappell were captured by cameras featuring animated mid-pitch discussions in training. Chappell reportedly wanted Ganguly to open against Shoaib Akhtar and Co. Ganguly was seen giving the piece of his mind to Dravid, watching Chappell. Chappell’s years of Indian cricket were ended by divisions within the side. Ganguly felt that Chappell had wronged him and accused Dravid of “not having the courage to stop the coach”.
Years later, Ganguly and Dravid have now joined the BCCI again. Dravid is in charge of the supply line of Indian cricket at the National Cricket Academy, while Ganguly is the board president. They can probably laugh at those tumultuous years now.
Mohammad Azharuddin-Sachin Tendulkar: The Dark Years
Their strained relationship in the late 1990s wasn’t really about leadership feuds, but something more sinister. Appointed captain in 1996 at the age of 23, Tendulkar was expected to extend his batting talents to captaincy and emulate India’s only young captain – Tiger Pataudi who took over at the age of 21 and went abroad to India. presided over the first series victory of and promoted the famous spin. Quartet
Tendulkar was already on his way to becoming the greatest batsman of all time, but it was only after Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly and VVS Laxman took charge. Considering his determination not to keep pace with others and his determination to excel, the youngster seemed to impress the captain. He was also facing the unbearable pressure of expectations as a batsman in the cricketing world. Tendulkar took over from Azharuddin to lead a team with many players who had developed under Azhar’s leadership after India’s exit following a controversial semi-final loss in Kolkata in the 1996 World Cup. After his first 17 Test stint as captain, the selectors surprisingly brought back Azharuddin as captain in 1998–97 so that Tendulkar could concentrate on batting. There was an atmosphere of mistrust in the atmosphere of the Indian team amid allegations of corruption in the game. Azhar was not selected to play in Australia during the 1999-2000 tour, meanwhile, there was a controversy. The CBI cricket match-fixing investigation report released in October 2000 led to an internal BCCI investigation. This resulted in the ban of four India players, with Azharuddin and Ajay Sharma serving life bans for corruption in the game. Azhar’s ban, however, was lifted by the Andhra High Court a few years back. This turmoil led Tendulkar to resign as captain for a second, and at last, time and Sourav Ganguly was appointed as the first overseas coach of the Indian cricket team along with John Wright in late 2000.
Sunil Gavaskar- Kapil Dev: Out of XI
Two all-time greats, one of the finest opening batsmen Test cricket has seen and the other one of independent India’s leading fast bowlers and top all-rounders of their generation. One technically gifted batsman who enhanced the image of Indian cricket with his batting and professionalism- Gavaskar- and another whose athleticism and brilliance in batting and bowling-Kapil mesmerized millions of fans. Many saw his contrast in personality which epitomized the style of West Zone players and the more carefree approach by their North Zone counterparts. India’s captaincy changed hands several times between the two players, ending up as India’s most caps in Tests. Kapil captained 34 of the 131 Tests he played in 1983 and 1985–1987. Interestingly, his last Test as captain was in March, 1987, a sensational game at Bangalore on a rank turner against Pakistan, which India lost. It was also Gavaskar’s farewell game. As an Indian player, eight years senior to Kapil, Gavaskar was the captain for nine years (1976 to 85). He led back-to-back tours of Pakistan in 1982 and 1984, which included eight Tests, but it was a young Kapil who led the country to glory in the 1983 World Cup.
What is seen as the friction between Gavaskar and Kapil, and certainly one of the biggest controversies in Indian cricket, happened in 1984, when the young all-rounder was seen playing a careless shot to get dismissed in the Delhi Test. Which was won by England. Chain. They would go on to win the series. Then the unimaginable happened. Kapil was dropped for the next Test in Kolkata, angering the Eden Garden fans who were holding posters of No Kapil, No Test. Gavaskar, however, clarified that though he was in the selection meeting, he did not have the vote and did not call for Kapil’s ouster. He has said that it was a selector who wanted Kapil to be dropped as a punishment for being dismissed in the Delhi Test. Gavaskar has said that his relationship with Kapil was based on respect, dismissing any claim of him having a bad relationship with any Indian cricket legend. The latter has also said more than once that he has no dispute with Gavaskar.