The Indian Premier League (IPL) is ready to return for its thirteenth edition starting March 29. The cash-rich tournament is recognized as the “best T20 league in the world” due to the participation of star cricketers worldwide and for its high octane competition.
Over the years, several captains have assumed the responsibility of taking their team to the commercial end of the competition. Some have been able to reach the franchise’s expectations, and others have failed miserably succumbing to the pressure.
Top 10 captains in the twelve years of IPL history:
10. David Warner
The innovative season of David Warner of the IPL as captain was in 2016, where he led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to their first title. Warner impressed with his captaincy skills, which transcended his batting form in the 2016 season, scoring the second-highest amount after Virat Kohli’s over 900 counts.
Warner has an imperious record of 26 wins in the 47 games he has captained on his side, with a winning percentage of 55.31. With question marks about Kane Williamson’s fitness, Warner is ready to lead the Sunrisers again after the infamous “Sandpaper Gate.”
9. Steve Smith
Another victim of Sandpaper Gate, who lost his captaincy in the cricket franchise, Steve Smith, has a record of 67.85% win in the tournament. Smith was the captain of Rising Pune Supergiants in the 2017 edition and sided with the final of the tournament.
With his 49 (51) in test conditions, Smith almost sided with him at the finish line, but he fell heartbreakingly close, losing to the Mumbai Indians for only one run.
Although, Smith only captained the side in 29 games in the IPL cricket, but ended up on the winning side 18 times, with only nine losses to his name.
Once again, Rajasthan Royals will bet on the former Australian captain this season, with the powerful English contingent aside and a formidable group of young Indians at his disposal.
8. Sachin Tendulkar
The batting master, Sachin Tendulkar, managed to erase his oblivion of captaincy at the international level with his period as captain of Mumbai Indians.
In the 51 games as captain, Tendulkar managed to attract the Mumbai Indians on the winning side 30 times, with a 58.82 win rate, before passing the Rohit Sharma captaincy baton.
7. Virender Sehwag
Former Delhi captain Daredevils and Kings XI Punjab, Virender Sehwag led his team 53 times, of which his team won 28 times.
Although he could not side with him in the semifinals, except for the memorable 2012 season, where they led the group, Sehwag has a winning percentage of 53.77.
The magician of Spin, Shane Warne, gave life to the inaugural edition of the IPL by juggling through his double role as captain and coach for the Royals of Rajasthan. The Royals, called the ones below among the other teams full of stars, managed to win the first IPL trophy in 2008, against all odds.
In all 55 games, Warne captained the Jaipur-based franchise, Royals managed to be on the winning side 30 times. The Royals have not yet won their second title since the inaugural edition of IPL.
5. Adam Gilchrist
Deccan Chargers captain Adam Gilchrist brought home the IPL title during the 2009 season held in South Africa. Gilchrist, who later captained the Kings XI Punjab later in his IPL career, has a moderate winning percentage of 47.29.
In the 74 games he led his franchise, Gilchrist finished on the winning side in 35 games and 39 defeats to his name.
4. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is the only player who has appeared for a single franchise throughout his IPL career. Delivered to the captaincy at a relatively young age, Kohli has captained the Royal Challengers Bangalore in 110 games.
However, the RCB captain has proven defeat most of the time, with a total of 49 wins and 55 losses, and a 47.16% win. In addition, RCB is the only team after KXIP and Delhi Capitals that has not won the IPL trophy, despite being part of all the editions since its inception.
After playing for the capitals of Delhi during the initial years, Gautam Gambhir found his mojo as captain while leading the Knights of Calcutta. He was also very respected by the owners.
The cricket fraternity witnessed Gambhir’s captaincy skills when the Knight Riders won the 2012 and 2014 edition of the tournament.
In addition, Gambhir has a prestigious record of leading his team 129 times and taking him home in 71 of those games. Gambhir’s winning percentage of 55.42 makes him one of the best IPL leaders in history.
Rohit Sharma only brought laurels to the Mumbai Indians after being named captain of the team. The Wankhede-based franchise won three titles under its captaincy: in 2015, 2017 and 2019.
After spending the first years under Deccan Chargers, Sharma took over as IM captain of the legendary Tendulkar. Rohit’s record tells a lot about his leadership skills. Many affirmed his step as captain of MI acted as a catalyst for his success internationally.
Hitman captained his team to victory 60 times out of 104 games, with a staggering 58.65% win. This easily makes it one of the best IPL captains of all time.
1. MS Dhoni
The Indian Premier League (IPL) has possibly never seen a better captain than the “Thala” MS Dhoni. The Indian wicketkeeper-batsman talisman has many international trophies in his name. But the experienced activist also has three IPL trophies in his silverware cabinet.
MS Dhoni Chennai Super Kings won 2010, 2011 and emotional 2018 editions, where CSK returned after a two-year hiatus. MSD also led the Rising Pune Supergiants during CSK’s absence from the IPL.