Special Sub-Topic: Indian Test Cricket Captains 
|I scored a century on my debut and was always considered the "stormy petrel" of Indian cricket. I was sent back to India during a tour of England after an outburst against my captain. I captained India against the great Don and after I retired, made a name as a commentator and an administrator too. Two of my sons also played for the country.|
Lala Amarnath. Lala Amarnath was the first Indian to score a century on Test debut. He did it against England in 1936 and the spat was with Maharaja of Vizianagaram. His son Surinder Amarnath also scored a century on his Test Debut. Mohinder Amarnath, the second son of Lala, was the most successful of all Amarnaths. Incidentally, the sons of Vijay Manjrekar (Sanjay Manjrekar) and Vinoo Mankad (Ashok Mankad) also went on to play for India.
|A Wisden cricketer of the year in 1933, I am India's first Test captain and was famous for hitting big sixes. Oh, I also played first class cricket for 47 years, scored my career best score at the age of 51 and also played a first class game at the age of 68!|
C K Nayudu. The Maharajah of Porbander was the original captain of the first Indian Test squad that went to England in 1932. Circumstances led to the more popular C K Nayudu taking over the reins in time for the first Test at Lords'. Nayudu, clearly the first superstar of the game in India, was also the vice-captain of the 1936 tour under the Maharaja of Vizianagaram. Ranjitsinhji and his nephew Duleepsinhji never played for India, while Iftikar Ali Khan Pataudi, who was part of the infamous England team in the "Bodyline" series, later captained India after its independence.
|When I was made the captain at 26, I was the youngest Indian captain. The next season, I led India to a historic series victory over England. I was at my peak both as captain and batsman when I was struck on my skull by a short delivery from Charlie Griffith and that effectively ended my Test career. |
Nari Contractor. One of the tragic figures of Indian cricket, Nari Contractor's Test career was cut short when he was struck by a short delivery from Charlie Griffith during a first class game against Barbados during India's tour of West Indies in 1962. His life was in danger for some time and he needed several operations to take him off the danger list. Polly Umrigar and Chandu Borde also went on to captain India in Tests.
|I am a left-hander and am considered one of India's finest No. 3 batsmen and one its finest slip fielders. Vijay Merchant's casting vote as chairman of selectors gave me the Indian captaincy over MAK Pataudi. Some say I was a lucky captain and got fortunate, but I was a more than capable captain and led the team to two historic series triumphs over West Indies and England in 1971. |
Ajit Wadekar. Ajit Wadekar may not have been a shrewd tactician but there's no doubting his capability. He had a very decent Test record as a player and motivated his team into exceeding its capabilities as it humbled first the mighty West Indies and then England, both in their dens, in 1971. A third successive series triumph over England, this time at home, followed in 1972-73 and Wadekar was at his peak as batsman and captain. Incidentally, that 1971 series in West Indies is now part of Indian cricket folklore as the debut series of Sunil Gavaskar, arguably our greatest batsman.
|I am among the most colorful cricketers India ever had. With more than 1500 first class wickets I am still the leading wicket taker from the country. I was lucky to play during the golden age of spin in India. Unfortunately, my captaincy evoked criticism most of the times, though I still stand by my declaration of the second innings at Kingston in 1976 in protest against intimidatory fast bowling. Oh, by the way, I also remarked quite famously as team coach in 1990, that the Indian team deserved to be dumped into the sea.|
Bishen Bedi. The four named here were considered India's greatest spin bowlers and they bowled India to many a memorable triumph. Prasanna and Chandrasekhar never captained the country, while Venkataraghavan captained India both in Tests and one-day internationals, including the first two World Cups.
|I was the first past the five figure mark in Test runs, first past Don Bradman's record of centuries and held the Indian record for the highest Test score for a fairly long time. Oh, I also scored 36 runs in 60 overs in a World Cup game and am known for dumping my country's greatest all-rounder from a Test team.|
Sunil Gavaskar. A fairly easy one for anyone who knows Indian cricket a bit. Those two last clues were uncalled for really but with Gavaskar you never know. He invited criticism as easily as he did praise. The greatest batsman ever to come from India, he is one the game's all-time greats and would make it to most people's all-time first XI. His record of 10,122 Test runs have been overtaken, but he still ranks with the best.
|I am nicknamed "Colonel" and was one of the most elegant batsmen in the game. I am the first to score three centuries at Lords'. I led India in 10 Tests and was removed in controversial circumstances over a series of festival matches in the USA in 1989. |
Dilip Vengsarkar. One of the most elegant batsmen to grace the game, Vengsarkar got his nickname because of the upright batting stance he had at the crease. At the time of his retirement in 1992, Vengsarkar was second only to Gavaskar in runs and centuries scored in Tests. He has been a selector, administrator and coach after retiremnet and runs the Elf cricket academy in Mumbai.
|I am the Indiana Jones of Indian cricket and perhaps the most dashing batsman India has ever had. Known for my unconventional style of batting, I made my debut at the age of 21 and my game was suited more for limited overs cricket than Tests. I led India in 4 Tests though, and managed a drawn series against Pakistan in their backyard in 1989.|
Kris Srikkanth. Srikkanth was pitchforked into the captaincy after the removal of Vengsarkar. He did a fairly good job of it too, holding Pakistan to a 0-0 draw on their home turf, a feat no Indian team had managed before him. That 1989 series of course, is now famous as Sachin Tendulkar's debut series. Srikkanth was the original "master blaster" of Indian cricket, long before the likes of Sehwag and Yuvraj came on the scene.
|I started my Test career with three centuries against England and ended it with a century too. I have been called a "lucky" captain but I would like to believe I led the team through a turbulent time and built up a strong home record. I am known for my wristy stroke play and my leg side play was reminiscent of Zaheer Abbas. I was also one of the greatest fielders in the game, though unfortunately I have been tainted with allegations of match-fixing.|
Mohd. Azharuddin. Azharuddin was the most successful captain India ever had before Saurav Ganguly. Azharuddin was also one the greatest fielders in the game and held the record for most ODI runs before Sachin Tendulkar broke it. It's sad Azhar had to go out the way he did but his game will forever be remembered by the true connoisseurs of the game for his wristy, lazy elegance.
|I was once the dream boy of Indian cricket. Starting my career as a left-arm spinner, I batted in all positions in the Indian team and once batted on all five days of a Test! I was a deputy captain for a very long time but got a chance to captain India in a Test only once, when I marshalled it to a famous victory over West Indies, in what has become known as "Narendra Hirwani's Test."|
Ravi Shastri. The Test in question of course was the famous Madras Test in 1987/88 when Hirwani burst on the Test scene with 16 wickets but we are talking here of Ravi Shastri. One of the finest cricketing brains never to lead India more often, Shastri played a stellar role in many a Indian win the 80's and 90's. The "Champion of Champions" during the 1985 World Series of Cricket in Australia, Shastri later made a name for himself as a fine commentator.
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