The role of a captain in a game of cricket is a huge one as he has to take decisions in every moment of the game. Although strategies are made in the dressing room, but once the team gets on the field, the entire fate of the match depends on the decisions of the captain.
In addition to captaincy, the leader cannot let his own form drop. Rather he has to be the one to lead the team from the front.
In limited overs game, mainly in T20, the pendulum of the match can swing from one side to the other after each ball is bowled. This is where the captain’s role become more critical.
In the IPL, where the leader has to manage a group of players hailing from different countries, his merit is even more tested.
Steve Waugh has rightly described the importance of captain. The great Australian had once said, “The captain has to pull together ten different individuals with contrasting personalities and personality traits and get them all going in the same direction by treating them equally but differently.”
Here is the list of 5 successful captains in IPL who have led their team to a minimum of 30 matches and are ranked according to their winning percentage.
5. Shane Warne (M – 55, W – 30, L – 24, T – 1, W% – 55.45)
Warnie is sometimes referred to as the “best captain Australia never had”. Although he won 10 of the 11 ODI games as a captain of the national team, he never captained the national test side.
But he showed his captaincy skills when he led a young Rajasthan Royals team to championship in the inaugural season of IPL in 2008.
Apart from that, he was the one to find the likes of Ravindra Jadeja, who later became a mainstay in the Indian team.
He also led the side with his bowling as he became the second highest wicket-taker (along with S Sreesanth) with 19 wickets in the 2008 edition.
4. Gautam Gambhir (M – 107, W – 61, L – 45, T – 1, W% – 57.47)
Gauti started his captaincy when he replaced Virender Sehwag in 2009 while playing for Delhi Daredevils, and led the team to the semi-finals. But his captaincy skills came to the forefront when he led Kolkata Knight Riders to two IPL titles 2012 and 2014.
In 2012, he also became the second highest scorer behind Royal Challengers Bangalore’s Chris Gayle, as he scored 590 runs with a strike rate of 143.55.
He is the fourth highest run-getter in the history of IPL with over 3600 runs.
3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni (M – 143, W – 83, L – 59, W% – 58.45)
Mahi has carried his success from the national team to his IPL franchise as he had led Chennai Super Kings to 8 consecutive knockout phases, and has lifted the trophy twice in 2010 and 2011 and finished as runners-up four times.
He also made the core of Indian national team as he nurtured the talent of players like Suresh Raina, Ravindra Jadeja and Ravichandran Ashwin.
Apart from captaining in a record 143 matches, he has also continued his great form as a star finisher. In the 2011 winning season, 392 runs came from his bat at an average of 43.55 and he had a strike rate close to 160.
2. Rohit Sharma (M – 58, W – 34, L – 24, W% – 58.62)
The fate of Mumbai Indians changed when the leadership of the team changed hands from Ricky Ponting to Rohit Sharma.
Mumbai Indians has won three IPL trophies till now, which is the highest by any team, under the leadership of Rohit Sharma in 2013, 2015 and 2017.
Apart from that ‘The Hit-man’ was Mumbai’s highest and sixth highest run-getter in 2013 season with 538 runs, which shows his effectiveness with the bat. He is also the third highest run-scorer in the history of IPL after Virat Kohli and Suresh Raina.
1. Sachin Tendulkar (M – 51, W – 30, L – 21, W% – 58.82)
The Master Blaster did not have a memorable captaincy stint with the national team but with a win percentage of 58.82 while captaining Mumbai Indians, he becomes the most successful captain going by the percentage of victories.
He was the leading run-scorer in the 2010 edition with 618 runs at an average of 47.53 and led his team to the finals where they lost to CSK by 22 runs.
After leading Mumbai to the playoffs in 2011, Tendulkar gave up the role as a captain and became the mentor of the team.