When we talk about the success of any team, we often praise the skipper and the main XI for their performances. We often forget about the people working behind the scenes, including the head coach and support staff. If we talk about the Indian team, the current head coach Rahul Dravid was appointed as the 24th coach in their history.
Indian Cricket Team received Test status on 25th June 1932. They were the sixth side to receive Test status after England, Australia, West Indies, South Africa, and New Zealand. In the beginning, the Indian team used to play cricket without any coaches or support staff. For a long time, they used to have the manager handling the proceeding behind the scenes.
In this post, we will take a look at all the managers and head coaches India have had since 1971.
India National Cricket Team Coaches: Complete list
|Team India’s head coach
|1971 – 1974
|1980 – 1981
|PR Man Singh
|1983 – 1987
|1988 – 1989 & 2007
|Bishen Singh Bedi
|1990 – 1991
|Abbas Ali Baig
|1991 – 1992
|1992 – 1996
|1996 – 1997
|1997 – 1999
|2000 – 2005
|2005 – 2007
|2007, 2015, 2017 – 2021
|2007 – 2008
|2008 – 2011
|2011 – 2015
|Sanjay Bangar (Interim)
|2016 – 2017
Keki Tarapore: The First Coach of the Indian Cricket Team
The Karnataka cricketer Keki Tarapore was the first-ever manager of the Indian cricket team. He only played only a single Ranji Trophy game in his career but he still was a very respected figure among the Indian cricket team. Keki Tarapore became the manager of the Indian cricket team in 1971 and he was the first man to hold the position.
PR Man Singh: India won the 1983 World Cup under his tutelage
PR Man Singh was the manager of the Indian cricket team that won the first-ever ICC trophy to India. India won the 1983 World Cup under the leadership of Kapil Dev. PR Man Singh remained the manager of the Indian cricket team from 1983 to 1987. Under his tutelage, India created history and began a revolution in Indian cricket.
As we entered the 1990s, the Indian cricket team scraped the policy of appointing managers and coaches on a tour-to-tour basis. It was a time of change and the managers/coaches started to get longer contracts. Meanwhile, Chandu Borde and Bishan Singh Bedi served as the managers of the Indian team. At the same time, The likes of Ajit Wadekar, Sandeep Patil, and Madan Lal served as the head coaches on extended contracts.
Ajit Wadekar: Coach for the Indian team in the 1996 World Cup
The former legendary batter Ajit Wadekar was appointed the head coach of the Indian cricket team in 1992. He remained at the helm from 1992 to 1996 and took India to the 1996 World Cup under the leadership of Mohammed Azharuddin. Wadekar is one of only a few names who have captained the Indian cricket team, served as a head coach, and also the chairman of the national selection committee.
Kapil Dev: controversy-filled coaching stint of the World Cup-winning skipper
After India crashed out without reaching the knockout stages in two back-to-back world cups in 1996 and 1999, the BCCI appointed the legendary all-rounder Kapil Dev as the head coach. His coaching tenure began with a home series victory over New Zealand. However, they lost the next series against Australia on their soil before losing to South Africa at home.
Meanwhile, Sourav Ganguly took the captaincy from Sachin Tendulkar before the series against South Africa. India won the series 3-2 but the fixing scandal involving Hansi Cronje shook the cricketing world. Meanwhile, Manoj Prabhakar accused Kapil Dev of offering him a bribe in 1994. The pressure was mounting and the world-cup-winning skipper had to resign.
John Wright: The first foreign coach
The BCCI took a different road by bringing the first foreign John Wright in 2000. The Kiwi formed a formidable partnership with the vibrant skipper Sourav Ganguly and it was the beginning of the rise of Indian cricket. India notched up many famous victories under John Wright, including the famous Kolkata Test.
India also reached the final of the ICC 2003 World Cup before winning the Test and ODI series on Pakistani soil. John Wright left the position in 2005 after turning India into a force to reckon with.
Greg Chappell: An era of controversy
Following the exit of John Wright, the BCCI appointed the legendary Australian batter Greg Chappell as their 2nd foreign coach. However, his stint was filled with controversy as he publically fell out with the skipper Sourav Ganguly and the latter was sacked as the captain and was dropped from the team as well.
Rahul Dravid was appointed as the new skipper of the Indian cricket team. However, India’s early exit from the 2007 World Cup served as the final nail in the coffin and Greg Chappell was sacked in 2007.
Following his sacking, Lalchand Rajput had a brief stint as the manager, while Ravi Shastri also had a short stint as an interim coach. Under Lalchand’s tenure, India won the T20 World Cup in 2007.
Gary Kirsten: The first foreign coach to win the World Cup
The BCCI appointed the former South African cricketer Gary Kirsten as India’s head coach with MS Dhoni as the skipper. The duo took India to great heights as they became the number-one team in Tests. However, their biggest success came in 2011 as India won the ODI World Cup 2011 at home, ending India’s 28-year-old wait for the championship.
After Gary Kirsten, Duncan Fletcher was appointed as the new coach of Team India. He served India from 2011 to 2015 and India won the ICC Champions Trophy 2013 under his tutelage. However, India had a poor record in Tests outside Asia during that period. The legendary leg-spinner was India’s next head coach but then skipper Virat Kohli could not get along with the disciplinarian.
Ravi Shastri – The BOLD Character
Ravi Shastri formed a formidable coach-captain duo with Virat Kohli. They took India to greater heights, especially in Test cricket. Under his stint, India remained the number one Test team for a whopping 42 months from 2016 to 2020. India won two Test series down under during that time and also reached the final of the ICC World Test Championship. However, India failed to bring any major ICC trophy under Ravi Shastri and it could be considered only a blemish on his glorious era.
The legendary batter Rahul Dravid proved his coaching credentials after winning the U19 World Cup 2018 with the young guys. He also headed the National Cricket Academy and nurtured the upcoming players. Hence, the BCCI led by Sourav Ganguly entrusted Rahul Dravid to take the Indian team in the right direction with Rohit Sharma as the skipper.
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