Unsurprisingly, Mahendra Singh Dhoni receives the highest rating among all the captains who have donned the armband since the turn of the 21st century.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni (2007-2016) – 9/10
Through the years, Dhoni has displayed enormous resilience and determination. Under his leadership, the team went on to win the inaugural edition of the ICC T20 World Cup in 2007, the ICC ODI World Cup in 2011 and climbed to the top of the Test rankings as well.
It was not only the achievements but the calmness and perseverance of the man that made him stand out. He led from the front and took responsibility for the team’s defeats while being humble enough to praise his teammates for the victories.
Dhoni has contributed so much to Indian cricket that several cricketers including Ganguly and Tendulkar have hailed him as the best captain India have ever had. He did have his share of failures and was criticised for his seemingly defensive tactics in a few Test matches but all in all, he has only made the team better.
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Virat Kohli* (2013-) – 7/10
While he is still in his early days as an ODI captain, with his success in the longer format, Virat Kohli has certainly shown the world how good a captain he can be.
There is no doubt in his abilities as a batsman but just how good he is at the moment as a captain? The statistics, of course, show that he is amongst the best. 16 wins from 26 Tests with just three defeats make him unarguably the most successful captain India have ever seen. The more pertinent aspect, however, is his success abroad.
Kohli is known to be aggressive and fiercely competitive and is a captain who leads by example – someone who carries the burden of the team on his shoulders and still manages to excel.