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Top 5 Captains In IPL History

BCCI Honorary Secretary Sourav Ganguly presents the winner's trophy to Rohit Sharma
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The role of a captain has grown in importance in T20 cricket over the years with the increased emphasis on tactics, match-ups and data analysis to give teams a cutting edge over their opposition with the ball and in the field. From Ricky Ponting to MS Dhoni to Eoin Morgan, the Indian Premier League has seen some of the greatest captains in world cricket to have ever played the game, so here are our top five captains in the history of the IPL…and guess what, it doesn’t feature a certain Virat Kohli!

5. STEVE SMITH

It may come as a surprise to see Smith on this list, but the Australian’s record is hard to argue with – as Smith has the 2nd best win % as captain for those who have led their team at least 20 times in the IPL. The Australian has won 25 out of his 43 games as captain for the Pune Warriors, Rising Pune Supergiants and Rajasthan Royals, and in 2017 his Pune side were only one run away from winning the IPL final against Mumbai.

4. SHANE WARNE

 

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Shane Warne is widely regarded as one of the best captains Australia never had, and the king of spin showcased his excellent leadership for the Rajasthan Royals in the IPL. Against all odds, Warne took a Rajasthan side that were written off before the tournament to the title in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008 and won an incredible 55% of his games as captain with a team on a much smaller budget.

3. GAUTAM GAMBHIR

Gautam Gambhir captained KKR in all 108 games he played for the franchise, and his fierce competitive spirit and aggression helped the Knight Riders win two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. KKR finished in the playoff spots five times in seven seasons under Gambhir and the longest IPL win streak of 10 consecutive victories also came under his leadership in the 2014 and 2015 seasons. Gambhir has also scored the most runs as a captain in IPL history and his astute reading of the game and aggressive field placements played an instrumental part in KKR’s success during that golden run.

2. MS DHONI

 

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MS Dhoni has worked miracles throughout his 13-year spell in charge of the Chennai Super Kings and has taken the Men in Yellow to an astonishing eight finals and three IPL titles as captain. Dhoni’s CSK also have a near-perfect record of finishing in the playoff spots – with only one season from 11 outside the top four. Captain Cool’s control over the spinners in white ball cricket is unparalleled as a skipper and his ability to make the most out of an ageing side and mediocre bowling attack in the latest auction cycle has been nothing short of phenomenal.

1. ROHIT SHARMA

 

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The only skipper who can rival Captain Cool in the IPL is Rohit Sharma – who changed the fortunes of the Mumbai Indians after taking over the captaincy from Ricky Ponting in 2013. Rohit has the best win percentage as captain in IPL history at 60%, and under his leadership, Mumbai have won five IPL titles in only eight seasons and arguably become the greatest franchise T20 cricket has ever seen. As captain, Rohit’s calm, unemotional style and incredible tactical awareness has worked wonders for Mumbai over the years and the 34-year-old will also be looking to replicate that success in the blue of India when he takes over the reins from Virat Kohli after the T20 World Cup.

 

[Image Credit: ANI]

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