The Best and the Worst Captains IPL Has Ever Seen

How many teams play in the IPL? Well, the answer is eight! These include Mumbai Indians, Chennai Super Kings, Kolkata Knight Riders, Sunrisers Hyderabad, Rajasthan Royals, Punjab Kings, Delhi Capitals and Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the 2011 edition featured 10 teams with the inclusion of Pune Warriors India and Kochi Tuskers Kerala. If reports are something to go by, the 2022 edition of the tournament could again see 10 teams battling it out for the trophy.

At different points in time, different teams were led by different captains. Not all were equally successful. MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli, here’s your peek into the best and worst captains in IPL. Interestingly, the best captains are also the worst captains. Since they have captained their respective sides in a staggering number of matches, the law of averages caught up.

1. MS Dhoni:

MS Dhoni has captained Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune SuperGiants in a total of 188 matches in a 13-year IPL career. Having tasted victory in 110 matches, MS is the only captain to win over 100 IPL matches. Add to it the three titles and the highest win percentage (58.82) among all captains; he comes across as the most successful captain ever. But with 77 defeats, the most for any captain, he’s the most unsuccessful skipper in the IPL history. Strange but true!

2. Rohit Sharma:

He comes across as the captain with maximum title victories (05), two in a row. In 161 outings, Rohit led his team to 68 wins, accounting for the highest win percentage, 60.34. Before Rohit took over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting in 2013, the team was struggling, despite some big names in the squad. MI clinched its first title the same year and went on to repeat the feat in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020. He marshals his resources well and is skilled in strategy.

3. Gautam Gambhir:

The former Indian opener makes his way to the list of successful captains with two title wins in 212 and 2014. Gambhir captained KKR from 2011 to 2017 in 129 matches. The team was successful on 61 occasions while suffering defeat 46 times. In later years, his stint as the Delhi Capitals skipper wasn’t as fruitful. Yet he has an impressive win percentage of 55.42. Gambhir led by example, scoring 3,035 runs, the highest by any KKR batsman. He averaged 31.61.

4. Virat Kohli:

Inarguably the best batsman on the international circuit across formats, Virat’s IPL success rate is below average. No matter how many teams play in the IPL, he is yet to win his first title. Since 2013, Virat has captained Royal Challengers Bangalore in 125 games, won 55 and lost 63 with a win percentage of 46.69. He is perhaps the only captain on the list to have lost more matches than won. Under him, RCB has made it to the finals once and to the playoffs twice.

5. David Warner:

The Australian opener has captained Sunrisers Hyderabad and Delhi Daredevils at different points in time. Under Warner, SRH has gone from strength to strength lifting the coveted trophy in 2016 and qualifying for all playoffs thereafter. In 63 games as a captain, his side won 34 and lost 28. His win percentage of 54.76 also reflects how well he has done his job.

In a big tournament like the IPL, captains have to lead their sides to victory while coping with several odds. Some captains did that remarkably well, and some failed miserably.

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