All Time XI Of Test Captains
Test captaincy is all about perseverance and tactics. If you don’t have enough patience and you don’t know the game inside out, you probably wouldn’t be able to finish as a great Test captain. While the game of cricket has seen a lot of great Test captains over the years who were tactical geniuses, most …
Test captaincy is all about perseverance and tactics. If you don’t have enough patience and you don’t know the game inside out, you probably wouldn’t be able to finish as a great Test captain.
While the game of cricket has seen a lot of great Test captains over the years who were tactical geniuses, most of them made a difference with their playing skills as well and not just with their captaincy.
Here is an all time XI of Test captains –
Openers (Graeme Smith, Michael Vaughan):
Graeme Smith holds the world record of captaining in the most number of Test matches. The former South African captain is the only captain in the history of the game who has played more than 100 Test matches as captain.
South Africa, under Smith, didn’t just dominate at home, but they won away from home as well on a consistent basis.
It was under Michael Vaughan that England ended Australia’s dominance in the Ashes in 2005. It was one of the most famous Ashes series of all time where Vaughan’s charismatic captaincy drove England to a 2-1 series victory.
Middle order (Ricky Ponting, Kumar Sangakkara, Rahul Dravid):
Ricky Ponting captained Australia in 77 Test matches and lost just 16 out of them. His winning percentage of 62.33 is the second highest among all the captains who have captained in at least 25 Test matches.
Kumar Sangakkara captained a very experienced Sri Lankan Test side which was incredibly tough to beat at home. The left-hander led from the front most of the time, scoring heaps of runs batting at no. 3.
Rahul Dravid guided India to a Test series win in England in 2007. It was India’s first Test series win in England in more than two decades. Under Dravid’s captaincy, India also won a Test series in West Indies after a gap of 35 years.
All-rounders (Steve Waugh, Hansie Cronje, Imran Khan)
Steve Waugh is arguably the greatest Test captain of all time. The Australian team, under the captaincy of Waugh, won more than 70% Test matches that they played between 1999 and 2004.
Hansie Cronje was a mighty fine Test captain as well, but he was accused to be involved in match fixing towards the end of his career which took the gloss off his leadership abilities. Cronje’s overall winning percentage as the South African Test captain was more than 50.
Pakistan played a lot of draws in Imran Khan’s captaincy and that’s why his winning percentage in Test cricket is not as high as some of the other captains, but the grit and the determination that Imran showed as a captain was commendable.
Bowlers (Shaun Pollock, Wasim Akram, Anil Kumble):
Shaun Pollock was already doing the dual role for South Africa with both bat and ball and then to have the extra burden of captaincy was difficult for him. But, he handled it pretty well at the end, winning 14 out of the 26 Test matches under his captaincy.
Wasim Akram captained Pakistan in only 25 Test matches, but he did a decent job maintaining a winning percentage of 48. Pakistan played an aggressive brand of cricket under Akram which was why there were not too many draws in his captaincy.
Anil Kumble, although he captained India for a very short of period of time, was still being able to make a huge impact as captain. The way Kumble kept the Indian team’s morale high on the tour of Australia in 2007-08, it was praised by one and all.