IPL 2018: 5 most successful captains in the history of Indian Premier League

Ever since its inception in 2008, the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been home to almost every top cricketer in the world, who in turn, have produced cricket of the highest quality and skill. Considering the level of competition, winning the world’s premier T20 league is no mean feat and the IPL captains have a major role to play, both off-field and on-field.

Winning a tournament like the IPL is only possible if the captain of the side is capable enough of getting together a group of players who coming from different nationalities and cultures, unite them and have them all fighting for a common goal.

In the last 10 years of the world’s premier domestic T20 league, we have witnessed the growth and rise of some incredible leaders who took their franchises to new heights because of their astute captaincy skills and a handy knack of getting the best out of their players.

Five most successful IPL captains in the history of Indian Premier League:

Note: Players who have led their teams in a minimum of 55 IPL matches have only been considered.

1. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

While his lazy elegance with the bat has earned him many plaudits and fans over the years, it is Rohit Sharma’s charismatic captaincy which has seen the rise and rise of Mumbai Indians as an IPL superpower in the last five years.

Rohit, a former IPL winner with the now defunct Deccan Chargers, took the mantle of Mumbai Indians’ captaincy midway through the 2013 season and took them to their maiden IPL title win in the same year. Two more title-winning campaigns followed in 2015 and 2017, making him the only captain to have won the Indian Premier League thrice.

In terms of numbers, Rohit has led Mumbai Indians in 75 IPL matches, winning 45 of those and losing just 29. His winning percentage stands at a staggering 60.66% which also makes him one of the most successful IPL captains in the history of the tournament, based on the parameters in use here.

2. MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiants)

Let alone the IPL, MS Dhoni is easily among the most successful and inspirational captains that the world has ever seen – and his cabinet of trophies, which includes the 50 overs World Cup, T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy and two Indian Premier League titles, is witness to this fact.

Having started his IPL journey with the Chennai Super Kings as their skipper in 2008, Dhoni also led the newly-formed Rising Pune Supergiants in the 2016 edition of the tournament and has an incredibly good track record as one of the leading IPL captains. His flamboyance and laid back style of leadership was instrumental in CSK’s two triumphant campaigns and them making it to to the play-off stages in every season till 2015.

Dhoni has captained his side in as many as 143 IPL matches – most by any player – winning 83 and losing 59. His win ratio of 58.45% puts him second on this list of most successful IPL captains.

3. Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders)

Yet another obvious name on this list. Alongside Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni, Gambhir is the only other man to have led his team to multiple IPL titles during his stint at the helm. Quite frankly, the often angry and the ever-so-aggressive Gambhir has been quite phenomenal as a captain, leaving even the most veteran of IPL captains insecure.

Gambhir was appointed the captain of a new-look Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) side in 2011 and there was no looking back for the either. Under his bold captaincy, a struggling KKR side soared to new heights and were crowned as Indian Premier League champions in 2012 and 2014. His 35 half-centuries are also proof that the left-handed opener always leads his team from the front.

In comparison to other successful IPL captains, Gambhir has led his two teams (Delhi Daredevils and Kolkata Knight Riders) in a combined total of 123 IPL games. With a winning percentage of 57.31%, he has managed 70 victories as an IPL captain.

4. Shane Warne (Rajasthan Royals)

Shane Warne was one of the most interactive cricketers to have ever played for Australia and is often referred to as “the best Captain Australia never had”. Warnie, as he is fondly called, was given the responsibility of leading a rather thin-looking Rajasthan Royals side in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008.

The wrist spinner, who was the most experienced player in the Rajasthan Royals camp, had a young team to deal with and he did his job with perfection. Taking the idea of ‘the whole is greater than the sum of its parts’ to a different level, Warne inspired a bunch of Indian youngsters like Ravindra Jadeja and Yusuf Pathan and led the Rajasthan Royals to their first and only IPL title win.

The legendary leg-spinner led the franchise from 2008 to 2011. During this time, he featured in 55 matches as skipper, winning 30 and losing 24. With a win percentage of 55.45%, Shane Warne also makes it to this list of most successful IPL captains.

5. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Virat Kohli was born to play the game of cricket and lead a group of men. The incumbent Indian skipper was first appointed as the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore in the year 2011 and has led his side from the front ever since.

Other than being his team’s most reliable batsman at the top of the order. Kohli has also established himself as an astute captain in the last few years and single-handedly took them on the brink of glory in the 2016 edition, only to falter in the big final against the Sunrisers Hyderabad. Come IPL 11 and captain Kohli will be itching to lead RCB to their maiden Indian Premier League triumph this year.

Coming to his numbers as an IPL skipper, Kohli has led RCB in 82 matches so far. Out of these, he has won 38 matches and lost 39. His win percentage of 49.36 as an IPL captain puts him fifth in this list.

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READ: IPL 2018: KKR captain Dinesh Karthik speaks about team prospects.