The 14th edition of the Indian Premier League came to an abrupt end because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic in early May this year but there is hope again as the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) plans to hold it in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 to October 15 later this year.
The teams are almost ready as they practice across the five venues that will host the IPL this year along with the sixth being Ahmedabad, which will host all of the playoff matches as well as the final.
The BCCI is planning to host 31 matches in 27 days in the desert nation to ensure that this year’s IPL doesn’t stay unfinished because of the pandemic. However, the availability of players remains a concern for the remaining matches.
With the tournament going back to UAE, a lot will change again with squads missing out on players and conditions changing as well. Last year’s champions Mumbai Indians will again fancy their chances.
As we wait for the season to begin again, we take a look at the captains who have been the most successful so far in the IPL.
ROHIT SHARMA (MUMBAI INDIANS)
Rohit Sharma has won six IPLs overall, out of which five have come as the leader of Mumbai Indians. Rohit’s other title as a player came in 2009 with the now-defunct Deccan Chargers in South Africa.
He has won the title in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020 with Mumbai Indians.
He was handed over the captaincy of MI mid-season from Ricky Ponting in 2013. Since then, Mumbai have become one of the top teams to beat and are one of the favourites going into every season.
Rohit and MI will now aim to be the only captain and team to win the trophy thrice in a row when the tournament gets underway.
MS DHONI (CHENNAI SUPER KINGS)
MS Dhoni and Chennai Super Kings have been one of the best combinations of the IPL.
After a brief separation because of CSK’s ban, they returned together and did so in some style. CSK won the IPL in 2018 with an average age of the squad being well above 30.
After Rohit, Dhoni is the most successful captain in the IPL with three trophies under his belt. CSK have won the title thrice in 2010, 2011 and 2018.
GAUTAM GAMBHIR (KOLKATA KNIGHT RIDERS)
Gautam Gambhir brought the charm back to Kolkata Knight Riders after Sourav Ganguly was not retained in 2011. It was a huge decision by the KKR think tank and drew major criticism but Gambhir’s astute captaincy brought success to the side.
Gambhir led from the front and formed a great opening partnership with Robin Uthappa as KKR won two titles in 2012 and 2014.
KKR are still the only side other than CSK and MI to win the IPL more than once and both have come under Gambhir’s leadership.
DAVID WARNER (SUNRISERS HYDERABAD)
He became the third Australian after Shane Warne and Adam Gilchrist to lead an IPL side to glory.
SHANE WARNE (RAJASTHAN ROYALS) and ADAM GILCHRIST (DECCAN CHARGERS)
Shane Warne’s leadership of Rajasthan Royals was a story straight out of a storybook. He guided a bunch of young stars to lift the trophy for the Jaipur franchise in the inaugural edition of the IPL in 2008.
Adam Gilchrist led the now-defunct Deccan Chargers to their only title a year later in South Africa in 2009.