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Virat Kohli only second Indian captain to win first two games on World Cup debut

Virat Kohli

Bengaluru, June 11: On June 5, Virat Kohli became the seventh Indian captain to lead the country in the ICC Cricket World Cup.

WC special | Schedule | Squads

His side came up with a solid performance against South Africa in Southampton to win by six wickets. Four days later, the Men in Blue produced yet another clinical performance to beat defending champions Australia by 36 runs after totalling a mammoth 352 for five.

With two wins in as many games, Kohli becomes India's second captain in the history of the World Cup to win first two games. Only Kapil Dev, who had won India their first World Cup in 1983, has the same record as the skipper. None of the other five captains have this record, not even Mahendra Singh Dhoni whose captaincy in the WC saw India losing only two games in as many editions (2011 and 2015).

Kapil's India won two in two in 1983

In 1983, India had started off well by beating defending champions West Indies by 34 runs at Old Trafford and they backed it up with a 5-wicket win over debutants Zimbabwe in Leicester. However, India could not make it three out of three as they lost the next to Australia by a whopping 162 runs in Nottingham.

In 1987, Kapil had a worse start as the captain as holders India lost their first game to Australia by a 1 run. India tightened things soon by beating New Zealand by 16 runs in the next game. They in fact won five games in a row after losing that first match.

Dhoni won one, tied one

In 2011, Dhoni led India for the first time in the World Cup and while his side beat Bangladesh by 87 runs in the first match in Dhaka, India could only tie against England in their second match in Bengaluru despite scoring 338. In 2015, though, Dhoni's India won all their games (seven of them) till they lost to Australia in semifinal.

Ganguly won one, lost one

Sourav Ganguly led India in the 2003 World Cup and while India beat the Netherlands by 68 runs in the first match in Paarl, they were hammered by Australia by nine wickets in the second game in Centurion.

Dravid lost one, won one

Rahul Dravid also had a mixed record as the captain in the first two games of a World Cup. While his team was stunned by Bangladesh by five wickets in Port of Spain, it thrashed Bermuda by 257 runs in the second at the same ground.

Azhar lost one, second was abandoned

Mohammad Azharuddin led India in three World Cups and the first one was in 1992 in Australia and New Zealand. India lost the opening game against England in Perth by nine runs while their second game in Mackay was washed out. In 1996, however, India won their first two games against Kenya and the West Indies though it was Azhar's second World Cup. In 1999, he lost the first two games as the captain - against South Africa and Zimbabwe.

Venkataraghavan lost one, won one

Srinivas Venkataraghavan was India's first-ever captain in an ICC Cricket World Cup, in 1975. Under him, India lost the first match to England by 202 runs at Lord's and then defeated East Africa by 10 wickets at Leeds. In 1979, however, he lost both the opening games as captain - against the Windies by 9 wickets at Edgbaston and New Zealand by 8 wickets at Headingley.

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Story first published: Tuesday, June 11, 2019, 12:36 [IST]
Other articles published on Jun 11, 2019
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