Which teams have had more than six captains in a calendar year?
India will have at least seven this year. A look at some other teams that had half a dozen
Shikhar Dhawan will be the seventh captain to lead India this year when they take on West Indies on July 22 for the first of three ODIs in Port-of-Spain. Over the last two decades, there have been several instances of teams forced to chop and change their leadership groups because of packed calendars, poor form, and sometimes even administrative turmoil. Here are five men's international teams that have used a large roster of captains during a calendar year.
Seven captains: India in 2022
India had to go with a stand-in captain, KL Rahul, for their first assignment this year after Virat Kohli was ruled out of the Johannesburg Test with back spasms. They went on to lose the series 1-2 and Kohli stepped down from the Test captaincy, handing over the reins to Rohit Sharma in all three formats. However, Rahul had to sub for Rohit, who was injured, in the ODIs in South Africa.
Rohit returned for home series against West Indies and Sri Lanka - winning all 11 matches he led in between February and March - but after the IPL, India had to look for another captain when both Rohit and Rahul were out of commission. Rishabh Pant got his first chance at the top, in a home T20I series, which India drew 2-2 with South Africa.
They had near-simultaneous assignments next - a T20I series in Ireland, where Hardik Pandya led, and the rescheduled fifth Test of their 2021 tour of England, where Jasprit Bumrah captained in place of the injured Rohit.
Rohit was back for the limited-overs series against England, but has been rested for India's tour of West Indies, where Dhawan is to lead. It will be his second stint at the helm of the white-ball side, having led a young team on their tour of Sri Lanka last July.
Seven captains: Sri Lanka, 2017
India's leadership shuffle is only the second time that an international men's team has had seven captains in a calendar year. The first instance was Sri Lanka, five years ago, during a particularly chaotic period for the side.
Their year began with a tour in South Africa. Angelo Mathews, their regular captain, led for two Tests and two T20Is before a hamstring injury ruled him out of the game for five months. Dinesh Chandimal captained for one T20I and secured a 2-1 series win, but was replaced by Upul Tharanga for the ODIs that followed, where Sri Lanka lost all five games.
Sri Lanka persisted with Tharanga in limited overs, while Rangana Herath captained them in three Tests that year. When Tharanga was suspended for Sri Lanka's slow over rate during the Champions Trophy in England, Mathews returned to lead the side, but he stepped down from all three formats after Sri Lanka lost a home ODI series 2-3 to Zimbabwe. Chandimal was appointed the new Test captain and Tharanga in limited overs, but Lasith Malinga and Chamara Kapugedera also led in one-off ODIs.
In October, Thisara Perera became Sri Lanka's seventh captain for the year after several first-choice players were not considered for a T20I series against Pakistan in the UAE because of their reluctance to play the third match, which was to be held in Lahore.
Six captains: Zimbabwe, 2001
Zimbabwe had some leadership turmoil when they were at their peak in the game. Heath Streak led them for the first six months of 2001, a period that included an ODI series victory against New Zealand and a historic Test win against India.
But he quit the role after disagreements with the board over pay and quotas. Because of the controversial circumstances of Streak's sudden resignation, Guy Whittall initially refused to lead the team for a home tri-series against India and West Indies. Grant Flower stepped in for their opening match, but Streak returned to the captaincy for the second, and Whittall eventually became the third captain in three matches for Zimbabwe.
Streak was reappointed the captain in July, but he resigned again three months later to focus on his bowling. Legspinner Brian Murphy replaced him for a tri-series in Sharjah, while Alistair Campbell and Stuart Carlisle also captained the side through to the end of the year.
Six captains: England, 2011
England began the year with an innings victory to wrap up a historic away Ashes win 3-2 under the leadership of Andrew Strauss. Paul Collingwood, who had led England to the T20 World Cup title the year before, led them in the two T20Is against Australia that followed, before Strauss came back for the ODIs.
Strauss gave up the ODI captaincy altogether after England failed to reach the semi-finals of the World Cup later in the year, choosing to focus on his Test career instead. The England selectors used this as an opportunity to usher in a new era of split captaincy, which is now the norm for many teams. Strauss remained in charge of the Test team, while Alastair Cook and Stuart Broad were made the ODI and T20I captains respectively.
When Cook was rested for an ODI against Ireland, Dublin-born Eoin Morgan became England's fifth captain of the year. And Graeme Swann got a chance to lead in three T20Is as a replacement to the injured Broad and Morgan.
Six captains: Australia, 2021
In January last year, Australia conceded the Border-Gavaskar Trophy at home to an India side missing many of their first-choice players. It turned out to be Tim Paine's final series as captain - he resigned on the eve of the Ashes later in the year, when sexually explicit messages he had sent to a colleague came to surface in the media. Pat Cummins made a seamless transition into the Test captaincy, leading a 4-0 rout of England, but he missed one of the Tests after being identified as a close contact of a Covid case. That gave Steven Smith an opportunity to captain Australia after a gap of three years, and he led them to a 275-run victory in the Adelaide Test.
On the white-ball side, a knee injury to regular captain Aaron Finch in July meant keeper-batter Alex Carey led them to a 2-1 ODI series win in West Indies. In August, Matthew Wade got a chance as captain when many first-choice players were rested for a T20I series in Bangladesh. Finch eventually returned to take Australia to their maiden T20 World Cup title, in the UAE in October-November.