It is a challenging task to captain an international cricket team, especially in a nation like India where the stakes involved are high. At times, players could struggle to perform in their primary role under the influence of captaincy pressure. At least, on captaincy debut, nerves are sure to tingle. A few players, though, have overcome this hurdle. In this article, we take a look at five Indian cricketers with the highest scores on their ODI captaincy debut.
5) Ajay Jadeja – 50(52)
Opposition: Kenya || Venue: Bengaluru || Year: 1998
Apart from adding spunk in the batting order, Ajay Jadeja was also known for his cricketing brains. However, he was never appointed as the full-time captain of Team India. Yet, across his career, the Gujarat-born player captained 13 ODI games, maintaining a win percentage of 61.53.
It was at Bengaluru, Jadeja’s famous hunting ground, that the player made his captaincy debut. Kenya was restricted to 223, and India chased the target down, although there were a few hiccups. Batting at No.4, Ajay made a quick-fire fifty and got his captaincy off to a good start.
4) Ravi Shastri – 50(68)
Opposition: Pakistan || Venue: Indore || Year: 1987
Although he served as a vice-captain for some time, Ravi Shastri got only eleven ODI games to captain. The current Indian Head Coach only won four of these encounters and could not make a case for himself at the helm.
Ravi Shastri also happens to be one of the Indian cricketers with the highest scores on their ODI captaincy debut. Against Pakistan at the Nehru Stadium in Indore, the player donned the captaincy hat for the first time in ODI format. He scored a good half-century, comprising five boundaries and a six. The all-rounder also did well with the ball, picking three wickets. However, Team India
3) Ajit Wadekar – 67(82)
Opposition: England || Venue: Leeds || Year: 1974
After finding decent success as a captain in Tests, Ajit Wadekar became the first Indian ODI captain in 1974. However, India lost both games under Wadekar’s captaincy, and he did not get another chance to lead India in ODI’s. In fact, the player retired after the series. He later served as the manager and chief selector of Team India.
The Mumbai man is also one of the Indian cricketers with the highest scores on their ODI captaincy debut. Batting first, India put on a total of 267 on the tough Leeds pitch. It was Wadekar’s 67-run contribution at No.3 that gave India the momentum in the initial overs. However, India lost the game by four wickets.
2) Shikhar Dhawan – 86(95)*
Opposition: Sri Lanka || Venue: Colombo || Year: 2021
Shikhar Dhawan made his captaincy debut recently in the limited-overs tour to Sri Lanka. With one set of cricketers on Test-match duties in England, the experienced Dhawan was tasked with leading a young Indian side in Sri Lanka. The opener is India’s 25th ODI captain and also the oldest Indian to make his captaincy debut.
On his capta incy debut fixture, India had a target of 263 to chase. Dhawan played the perfect anchor and also got to his fifty in the process. With newbies like Prithvi Shaw
1) Sachin Tendulkar – 110(138)
Opposition: Sri Lanka || Venue: Colombo || Year: 1996
Sachin Tendulkar is a batting legend, but somehow failed to adjust to captaincy duties. He had two tenures as India’s ODI skipper, but could not justify his selection on both occasions. In 72 games that he captained India, he was able to lead the nation to just 23 wins.
Although it later affected his batting, Sachin’s first game as captain was memorable. He scored a century, although the batsmen at the other end were struggling. However, India lost the game as Sanath Jayasuriya was in good form and scored a century to help Sri Lanka clinch victory.