Every cricketer, when he starts playing cricket, dreams of leading his country at the international level, but not everyone gets the opportunity to do so.
There have been many cricketers in the history of the game who, despite having a brilliant cricketing brain, never captained their respective national sides. It could be because of various different reasons.
Here are the 5 potential captains who never led India in international cricket –
#1 Yuvraj Singh:
Yuvraj Singh was actually one of the top contenders to be the next Indian captain after Rahul Dravid, but the selectors made a surprise move when they appointed MS Dhoni as the vice-captain of the Indian ODI team on India’s tour to England in 2007.
Dhoni, thereafter, was appointed the captain of India’s T20I team as well for the T20 World Cup and rest, as they say, is history as Dhoni went on to become India’s most successful captain ever.
#2 Harbhajan Singh:
Harbhajan Singh captained Mumbai Indians in quite a few games and he proved to be a very decent captain.
Mumbai, in fact, won their first ever title under Harbhajan as they beat Royal Challengers Bangalore in the final of the Champions League 2011 to lift the title.
Harbhajan, however, was never named India’s captain even on a temporary basis. The closest he came to captaining India was on India’s tour to West Indies in 2011 where he was Suresh Raina’s deputy in the absence of MS Dhoni, Virender Sehwag and Gautam Gambhir.
#3 Zaheer Khan:
Zaheer Khan is also someone who was a very thoughtful cricketer and that always showed in his bowling. The southpaw used to set-up the batsman for a certain mode of dismissal before eventually bamboozling him with the wicket-taking delivery.
Zaheer showed his leadership potential in the IPL when he captained Delhi Daredevils (now Capitals) for a couple of years, but he was never considered to be a candidate for India’s captaincy when he was playing international cricket.
#4 VVS Laxman:
VVS Laxman is also someone who makes a lot of sense when he talks about cricket and he also captained the Deccan Chargers in the IPL for a brief period of time, but when he played for India, India already had the services of some great captains.
When Sourav Ganguly left the captaincy, Rahul Dravid took over for a couple of years and then the baton was passed on Dhoni who led the team for a long time. So, Laxman was never in the race for India’s captaincy.
#5 Navjot Singh Sidhu:
Navjot Singh Sidhu is not taken very seriously because of his carefree nature, but he was a seriously good cricketer. Sidhu averaged more than 40 for India in Test match cricket, scoring 9 hundreds and 15 fifties.
Sidhu was one of the very few Indian batsmen in the 90s who was consistent with the bat in different conditions and he had a decent knowledge of the game as well. However, he also never captained India at the international level.