Who Are Those Who Have Coached the India Cricket Team?

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Who Are Those Who Have Coached the India Cricket Team?

India Cricket Team Coaches: Know Them All

From John Wright to Rahul Dravid, India has seen many local and foreign coaches participate in national cricket competitions. John Wright was the first-ever foreign coach in Indian National Cricket history serving five years – from 2000 to 2005. Even before the launch of the IPL in 2008, cricket coaches have always been indispensable in the cultivation of the sport in India and many other countries. 

It is almost impossible to discuss the rise and establishment of cricket in India without mentioning the roles these coaches have played. From being able to spot rising talents to managing a team effectively, many have made the job appear easy. There are some pretty exciting names on India’s national cricket team coaches.

This article provides a brief overview of the different coaching experiences in the Indian cricket team and tries to answer the popular question in the cricket space – who is the best coach?

India Cricket Team: Latest Coach Appointment

Retired Indian cricketer Rahul Dravid is set to assume India’s cricket team coach’s highly coveted and demanding role. He has some pedigree from coaching the India under-19 and India A sides from 2016 to 2019. Rahul, who is also the fourth-highest run-getter in Test cricket, oversaw the progress of different youth sides before being given the role of Director of Cricket Operations at the National Cricket Academy.

All of these years at different levels of the game contribute in no small way to his expertise. Not only has he led these teams to success, but his people skills are also one that has been commended by players he has coached and those who have played for opposing teams. He succeeded Ravi Shastri after the T20 World Cup held in 2021, making him India’s 26th head coach.

Below, we take a quick look at India’s coaches through the years.

India’s Early Cricket Team Coaches

In the earlier years, India did not appoint a full-time coach but had a manager that was always with the squad. However, in 1971, Keki Tarapore was finally appointed as India’s manager for the national cricket team. Although holding the job for just over a year, he has been considered India’s first-ever coach. While there’s been a lot of moderation to the league, his coaching style is still referenced in modern games.

In the coming years, several changes were made to the head coach position of the Indian national cricket team. Back then, many former cricketers were appointed coaches of the national team. A good example was PR Man Singh, who took India to their first world cup victory in 1983.

However, it wasn’t until 1992, when long-term contracts became popular, that India’s national cricket teams were given coaches instead of managerial roles on a tour-based appointment. Sandeep Patil, Anshuman Gaekwad, Ajit Wadekar, Madan Lal, and Kapil Dev held the coach positions through the 1990s. These individuals’ long-term contracts had given them more time and free will to deliver at the maximal level.

Coaches At the Start of the 21st Century

At the start of the 21st century, John Wright was appointed as India’s first foreign coach. He was appointed amidst the match-fixing scandals that were going on in Indian cricket. Though several speculations existed around his appointment, there is no denying that he was able to navigate through it and build a formidable team.

He worked to bring normalcy back to India’s national team and forged a solid partnership with the then appointed captain Sourav Ganguly. This partnership proved to be quite fruitful as it took Indian cricket to new heights by nurturing talented youngsters. Some of those youngsters were Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Mohammad Kaif, Ashish Nehra and Yuvraj Singh. This effective coach-captain partnership carried India to the historic 2-1 test series win against Australia, which guided India to the 2003 cricket World Cup final.

The Indian national team has appointed four foreign coaches so far, with only John Wright enjoying a long period as head coach. After John Wright, Greg Chappell was the next coach for India’s national team. However, his time proved to be turbulent, marred with poor performances and an out-of-form captain in Sourav Ganguly, who had to step down. This series of performances resulted in him not spending a longer period in the managerial role.

Afterwards, the national cricket team experienced its best performance in the 21st century with Gary Kirsten as a coach. He carried India to World Cup glory in 2011, ending a 28-year trophy drought, and creating a new era of players, league, and fan base.


India’s national cricket team has had some pretty amazing coaches. With some creating history and others steadying the ship to create new talent, their contributions have made India the cricket force it is today. As a professional bettor who wants to make money from predicting cricket games, understanding the roles coaches play in the success of every game is key.

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