India National Cricket Team

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Association Board of Control for Cricket in India
Test captain Virat Kohli
One Day captain Rohit Sharma
T20I captain Rohit Sharma
Coach Rahul Dravid
Test status acquired 1931
ICC status Full Member (1926)
ICC region Asia

The India men’s national cricket team, also known as Team India or the Men in Blue, represents India in men’s International Cricket. It is governed by the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and is a Full Member of the International Cricket Council (ICC) with Test, One Day International (ODI) and Twenty20 International (T20I) status.

Cricket was introduced to India by British sailors in the 18th century, and the first cricket club was established in 1792. India’s national cricket team did not play its first Test match until 25 June 1932 at Lord’s, becoming the sixth team to be granted test cricket status. From 1932 India had to wait until 1952, almost 20 years for its first Test victory. In its first fifty years of international cricket, India didn’t gain much success, winning only 35 of the first 196 Test matches it played. The team, however, gained strength in the 1970s with the emergence of players like Sunil Gavaskar, Viswanath, Kapil Dev, and the Indian spin quartet.


History

Early History (1700s–1918)

The British brought cricket to India in the early 1700s, with the first cricket match played in 1721. In 1848, the Parsi community in Bombay formed the Oriental Cricket Club, the first cricket club to be established by Indians. After slow beginnings, the Europeans eventually invited the Parsis to play a match in 1877. By 1912, the Parsis, Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims of Bombay played a quadrangular tournament with the Europeans every year.

In the early 1900s, some Indians went on to play for the England cricket team. Some of these, such as Ranjitsinhji and KS Duleepsinhji were greatly appreciated by the British and their names went on to be used for the Ranji Trophy and Duleep Trophy – two major first-class tournaments in India. In 1911, an Indian team, captained by Bhupinder Singh of Patiala, went on their first official tour of the British Isles, but only played English county teams and not the England cricket team.

Test Match Status (1918–1970)

India recorded their first Test victory, in their 24th match, against England at Madras in 1952. Later in the same year, they won their first Test series, which was against Pakistan. They continued their improvement throughout the early 1950s with a series win against New Zealand in 1956.

The key to India’s bowling in the 1970s were the Indian spin quartet – Bishen Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, BS Chandrasekhar and Srinivas Venkataraghavan. This period also saw the emergence of two of India’s best ever batsmen, Sunil Gavaskar and Gundappa Viswanath. Indian pitches have had the tendency to support spin and the spin quartet exploited this to create collapses in opposing batting line-ups. These players were responsible for the back-to-back series wins in 1971 in the West Indies and in England, under the captaincy of Ajit Wadekar. Gavaskar scored 774 runs in the West Indian series while Dilip Sardesai’s 112 played a big part in their one Test win.

One-Day Cricket and ICC Cricket World Cup Success (1970–1985)

During the 1980s, India developed a more attack-minded batting line-up with stroke makers such as the wristy Mohammed Azharuddin, Dilip Vengsarkar and all-rounders Kapil Dev and Ravi Shastri. India won the Cricket World Cup in 1983, defeating the favourites and the two-time defending champions West Indies in the final at Lord’s, owing to a strong bowling performance. In spite of this, the team performed poorly in the Test arena, including 28 consecutive Test matches without a victory. In 1984, India won the Asia Cup and in 1985, won the World Championship of Cricket in Australia.

21st Century

Success Under Ganguly

The Indian team underwent major improvements under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly and guidance of John Wright, India’s first foreign coach. India maintained their unbeaten home record against Australia in Test series after victory in 2001. The series was famous for the Kolkata Test match, in which India became only the third team in the history of Test cricket to win a Test match after following on. Australian captain Steve Waugh labelled India as the “Final Frontier” because of his side’s inability to win a Test series in India. Victory in 2001 against the Australians marked the beginning of a dream run for India under their captain Sourav Ganguly, winning Test matches in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, West Indies and England.

The England series is also known for India’s highest ODI run-chase of 325 runs at Lord’s, which came in the Natwest ODI Series final against England. In the same year, India were joint-winners of the ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka and then went to the 2003 Cricket World Cup in South Africa, where they reached the final, only to be beaten by Australia. The 2003–04 season also saw India play out a Test series in Australia, where they drew 1–1 with the world champions, and then win a Test and ODI series in Pakistan.

In December 2006, India played and won its first Twenty20 international in South Africa, becoming the most recent Test team to play Twenty20 cricket. The beginning of 2007 had seen a revival in the Indian team’s ODI fortunes before the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Series victories against the West Indies and Sri Lanka, marked by the comeback of Ganguly and strong form by Tendulkar, as well as the emergence of young players like Robin Uthappa persuaded many pundits to tip India as a contender to win the 2007 Cricket World Cup. However, defeats to Bangladesh and Sri Lanka saw India fail to reach the second round.

Success Under Dhoni

In April 2009, India secured their first Test series win in New Zealand in 41 years. After beating Sri Lanka 2–0 in December 2009, India became the No. 1 Test team in the world. They retained the ranking by drawing series against South Africa and Sri Lanka. In October 2010, India whitewashed Australia 2–0 in the home test series, giving them back-to-back series wins against them. Later that year, India managed to draw the Test series in South Africa at 1–1.

On 2 April 2011, India won the 2011 Cricket World Cup by defeating Sri Lanka in the final, thus becoming the third team after West Indies and Australia to win the World Cup twice. India also became the first team to win the World Cup on home soil.

World-wide Limited Overs Success and Success Under Kohli

India began to dominate at home in Test matches under new captain Virat Kohli after they comprehensively beat South Africa in 2015. This series was the beginning of an unbeaten streak of 19 Test matches. This series also saw the emergence of Ravichandran Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja as two of the best spinners and all-rounders.

This was followed by limited-overs victories over Australia and Sri Lanka away from home. India was knocked out of the 2015 World Cup in the semi-final to eventual winners Australia. India began 2016 by winning the 2016 Asia Cup, remaining unbeaten throughout the tournament. India were favorites to win the 2016 ICC World Twenty20, which was being held at home, but lost in the semi-final to eventual champions West Indies.

India played its first T201 series of 2020 against Sri Lanka and won easily by a margin of 2–0, next they played three ODIS against Australia and won by 2–0. After Australia, India played its first away series against New Zealand and won a T20I series in New Zealand for the first time by 5–0.


Governing Body

The Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is the governing body for the Indian cricket team and first-class cricket in India. The Board has been operating since 1929 and represents India at the International Cricket Council (ICC). It is amongst the richest sporting organisations in the world. It sold media rights for India’s matches from 2006 to 2010 for US$612,000,000. It manages the Indian team’s sponsorships, its future tours and team selection.

The International Cricket Council determines India’s upcoming matches through its future tours program. However, the BCCI, with its influential financial position in the cricketing world, has often challenged the ICC’s program and called for more series between India, Australia and England which are more likely to earn more revenue as opposed to tours with Bangladesh or Zimbabwe. In the past, the BCCI has also come into conflict with the ICC regarding sponsorships and the legitimacy of the ICC Champions Trophy.


Sponsorship

The current sponsor of the team is BYJU’s. OPPO’s sponsorship was to run from 2017 until 2022, but was handed over to BYJU’s on 5 September 2019. Previously, the Indian team was sponsored by Star India from 2014 to 2017, Sahara India Pariwar from 2002 to 2013 and ITC Limited (with Wills and ITC Hotels brands) from 1993 to 2002.


Captains

  • India’s first captain was CK Nayudu. Who led the team in four matches against England: one in England in 1932 and a series of three matches at home in 1933–34. 
  • Lala Amarnath, India’s fourth captain, led the team in its first Test match after Indian independence. He also captained the side to its first Test victory and first series win, both in a three-match series at home against Pakistan in 1952–53. From 1952 until 1961–62,
  • India had a number of captains such as Vijay Hazare, Polly Umrigar and Nari Contractor.
  • The Nawab of Pataudi, Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi, was the team’s captain for 36 Test matches from 1961–62 to 1969–70, returning for another four matches against West Indies in 1974–75.
  • In 1970–71, Ajit Wadekar took over the captaincy from Pataudi. Under Wadekar’s captaincy, India registered its first Test series win in the West Indies and England. India played its first ODI in 1974, also under his captaincy.
  • India won its first ODI under the captaincy of Srinivasaraghavan Venkataraghavan in the 1975 Cricket World Cup, against East Africa.
  • Between 1975–76 and 1978–79, Bishen Singh Bedi captained the team in 22 Tests and 4 ODIs, winning 6 Tests and one ODI.
  • Sunil Gavaskar took over as Test and ODI captain in 1978–79, leading India in 47 Test matches and 37 ODIs, winning 9 Tests and 14 ODIs.
  • He was succeeded by Kapil Dev in the 1980s, who captained for 34 Test matches, including 4 victories. Kapil Dev led India to victory in 39 of his 74 ODIs in charge, including the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Kapil Dev also captained India’s 2–0 Test series victory in England in 1986.
  • Between 1987–88 and 1989–90, India had three captains in Dilip Vengsarkar, Ravi Shastri and Krishnamachari Srikkanth.
  • India has had six regular Test captains since Mohammad Azharuddin took charge in 1989. Azharuddin led the team in 47 Test matches from 1989–90 to 1998–99, winning 14, and in 174 ODIs, winning 90.
  • Followed by Sachin Tendulkar, who captained the team in 25 Test matches and 73 ODIs in the late 1990s; Tendulkar was relatively unsuccessful as a captain, winning only 4 Test matches and 23 ODIs.
  • Ganguly became the regular captain of the team in both Tests and ODIs in 2000. He remained captain until 2005–06 and became the then most successful Indian captain, winning 21 of his 49 Test matches in charge and 76 of his 146 ODIs. Under his captaincy, India became the joint-winners of the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy with Sri Lanka, and the runners-up of the 2003 Cricket World Cup.
  • Rahul Dravid took over as Test captain in 2005. In 2006, he led India to its first Test series victory in the West Indies in more than 30 years.
  • In September 2007, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was named as the new captain of the ODI and T20I teams, after Dravid stepped down from the post. Soon after taking up the captaincy, Dhoni led the team to the inaugural World Twenty20 title. 
  • Anil Kumble was appointed Test captain in November 2007, but retired from international cricket in November 2008 after captaining in 14 Tests. Dhoni succeeded him as the Test captain, making him the captain in all formats. Under the captaincy of Dhoni, the Indian team held the number one position in the Test rankings for 21 months (from November 2009 to August 2011),
  • Dhoni retired from Test cricket in December 2014, with Virat Kohli being named as the new Test captain. Dhoni resigned as captain of the ODI and T20I teams in January 2017 and Kohli succeeded him at the position.
  • Under Kohli’s captaincy, India was unbeaten in 19 Test matches, starting from a 3–0 series win over New Zealand and ending with a 2–1 series win over Australia. India has an unbeaten streak of winning 9 consecutive Test series as of Dec 2017, starting with a 2–1 series win over Sri Lanka. India also became only the third team after Australia and South Africa to have won their most recent Test series simultaneously against all the other Test playing nations. As per winning percentage in Test matches, Kohli is India’s most successful Test captain, having won more than 61% of Test matches (at least 2 games).
  • In November 2021, Rohit Sharma was appointed as the new T20I captain of the Indian cricket team after Virat Kohli resigned from the role. Kohli led India one last time in T20Is at the T20 World Cup 2021. Under Rohit’s captaincy, India whitewashed New Zealand at home in the T20I series 3-0.
  • In December 2021, Rohit Sharma was appointed as the new ODI captain of the Indian cricket team, replacing Virat Kohli ahead of their away series against South Africa.

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