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The substitute skippers

Harish Kotian | October 16, 2003 13:14 IST
Last Updated: October 17, 2003 17:24 IST

Rahul Dravid is not the first player in Indian cricket history to stand in for his skipper for a Test match. Here are four previous instances in which a player became captain for a single Test match, but never got a chance to lead India thereafter:

Ravi Shastri

Ravi Shastri boasts of a record that no other Indian captain has -- a cent per cent win record.

Chosen captain in place of Dilip Vengsarkar, Shastri took over the team for the fourth Test against the West Indies in January 1988 and emerged triumphant. That was his first and last Test as captain.

The match marked the debut of leg-spinner Narendra Hirwani, who took 16 wickets to equal the world record for best bowling on Test debut.

Batting first, India scored 382 with a century (109) from Kapil Dev.

Hirwani then stole the show as he took eight wickets for 61 runs to bundle the mighty Windies out for 184.

Shastri then declared India's second innings closed at 217 for eight, setting Vivian Richards' side a target of 416.

Hirwani then repeated his showing with another eight-wicket haul (8-75) as the West Indies were bowled out for 160, losing the match by 255 runs.

Shastri scored 43 runs in the match and also picked up the prized wicket of Desmond Haynes in the first innings.

Chandrakant Borde

Fondly called Chandu, Borde captained India in place of the Nawab of Pataudi, Junior, against Australia in December 1967 at the Adelaide Oval.

Unlike in Shastri's case, however, it did not turn out to be a dream for Borde as India lost the match by 146 runs.

Batting first, Australia amassed 335. Abid Ali was the star bowler picking up six for 55.

India replied strongly with 307. Wicket-keeper Farokh Engineer was the top-scorer with 89, Rusi Surti scored 70, and captain Borde made 69.

Australia, who had a meagre lead of 28, then scored 369 in their second innings. Bobby Simpson scored 103, while Robert Cowper made 108.

Chasing a target of 398, India were bowled out for 251 in their second innings. Fast bowler David Renneberg destroyed the Indian batting with a spell of five for 39.

Borde scored 12 in the second innings, taking his match tally to 81.

Pankaj Roy

Roy captained India in the second Test against England at Lord's, London, in June 1959, replacing Dattajirao Gaekwad.

India lost the match to go down 2-0 in the five-Test series, which they eventually lost 5-0.

Batting first, Indian were bowled out for 168, with Nari Contractor being the highest scorer with 81.

England then scored 226 in their first innings, taking a lead of 58 runs.

India's batting failed again in the second innings, managing just 165.

Needing 108 runs to win, England eased to an eight-wicket win.

The captaincy seemed too much of a weight on Roy's shoulders as he managed just 15 and 0.

Hemchandra Adhikari

Hemu Adhikari, who played for India between 1947-48 and 1958-59, captained India in the fifth Test against the West Indies at Delhi's Ferozeshah Kotla Ground in February 1959.

Interestingly, there were four different captains in the five-Test series. Pahlan 'Polly' Umrigar was skipper in the first Test, Ghulam Ahmed in the second and the third Tests, and Mulvantrai Himmatlal 'Vinoo' Mankad in the fourth.

Adhikari took over a depleted Indian side which was already 3-0 down after four Tests.

Opting to bat first, India scored 415, with key contributions from Chandu Borde (109), Nari Contractor (92), Umrigar (76) and skipper Adhikari (63).

The West Indies, however, replied with a much bigger effort, scoring 644 for eight declared. John Holt was the top scorer with 123, while O'Neil Smith (100) and Joseph Solomon (100) also scored centuries.

Trailing by 229, India battled to a draw as they played out the rest of the time scoring 275 in their second innings.

Borde scored 96, narrowly missing out on his second century in the match. Adhikari scored 40 in the second innings. He also picked up three wickets with his leg breaks in the Windies first innings.

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