Ranking top 5 captains in IPL History

Who's the best - MS Dhoni or Rohit Sharma?

MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma

MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma
MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The Indian Premier League is one of the most thrilling and exciting cricket tournaments across the globe. It has the highest viewership amongst all professional sports leagues in India. Cricket is considered as a religion in India which adds to the already high popularity of the franchise-based league. IPL 2020 is just around the corner and all the teams are all prepared with their captains decided.

The League, being played in the T20 format, the role of the captain becomes all the more important with those nail-biting finishes. Throughout the 12 editions of the tournament, only 6 captains have managed to take their team to the pinnacle. Some of them have managed to lift the trophy on multiple occasions while others had to remain content with a solitary triumph.

Being the captain of an IPL team takes a lot of determination, perseverance, and resoluteness. Here we rank the top-5 captains in IPL history based on their achievements.

5. Shane Warne

Shane Warne IPL
Shane Warne IPL. (Photo Source: CHRIS RATCLIFFE/AFP/Getty Images)

The spin legend from Australia got his name registered in the chronicles of history when he led Rajasthan Royals to victory in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League. He led the Royals for the first four seasons of the franchise-based competition. In fact, he is responsible for unearthing many players who went on to represent their teams at the International level.

In his 55 matches as the captain, Warne tasted victory in 30 matches with a win percentage of 54.54. He is considered as one of the legendary captains of the IPL. His importance as a captain in the tournament can be evidenced by the fact that his team started going downhill after his retirement in 2011. In fact, the solitary triumph of the Rajasthan based franchise came under the leadership of Warne.

Warne’s optimum utilization of the given resources was responsible for their success in their initial year. He left an indelible impact on the league with his exciting brand of captaincy. Thus, despite having led his team to victory in a single season only, the leg-spinner from the land Down Under made the list.

4. David Warner

David Warner
David Warner. (Photo: IANS)

The swashbuckling opener from Australia has a great record while captaining teams in the Indian Premier League. He has plied his trade for Delhi Daredevils (Now Delhi Capitals) and Sunrisers Hyderabad in the IPL and has captained both of them for at least a season. He was made the captain of Delhi Daredevils in 2013, however, he couldn’t do much as they finished at the bottom of the points table.

He was not retained by his former franchise for the next season and made a move to Sunrisers Hyderabad in 2014. He was made the captain of his new franchise in 2015 and he paid rich dividends as he led them to the trophy in the very next season. In fact, even in 2017, SRH managed to qualify for the playoffs under his leadership.

In his 47 matches as captain, Warner won 25 matches for his team with a winning percentage of 57. Though he is not a regular captain in IPL anymore, yet his envious record as a skipper in IPL made sure that his name is present in the list of greatest captains in IPL history.

3. Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir
Gautam Gambhir. (Photo Source: Twitter)

The stylish left-handed batsman from Delhi is 3rd on the list of most successful captains in IPL history. He brought a significant change in KKR’s fortunes after they bought in him the auction just ahead of the 4th edition of the IPL. His addition to the KKR squad created a lot of controversies as they had left out the veteran former Indian captain and the local hero Sourav Ganguly and replaced him with Gambhir.

However, the hero of the 2007 World T20 and the 2011 World Cup finals answered the apprehensions of all the fans in style as he led KKR to its first playoffs since the inaugural edition in his very first year as the captain. Since then there was no looking back as under his leadership, Kolkata won the titles in 2012 and 2014 defeating Chennai Super Kings and Kings XI Punjab in the finals respectively.

After leaving Kolkata Knight Riders, he also led Delhi Daredevils (Now Delhi Capitals) for a short while though he couldn’t replicate the success at his home franchise. In 129 matches as the captain, he managed to lead his team to victory in 71 matches with a winning percentage of 55.03. Clearly enough, Gambhir’s captaincy records in the cash-rich Indian league guarantee him a place in this list.

2. Mahendra Singh Dhoni

MS Dhoni
Chennai Super Kings’ MS Dhoni. (Photo by IANS)

There is no doubt in the fact that Captain Cool would have definitely made this list. His exploits in the Indian Premier League need no introduction. Under his captaincy, the Chennai Super Kings have at least qualified for the Playoffs/Semi-Finals every season. Along with this, he also led them to the title in 2010, 2011 and 2018. In fact, MS Dhoni is the only player under whose leadership, an IPL team has managed to defend its title.

During the suspension of CSK from the tournament, he led the new franchise ‘Rising Pune Supergiants’ for a while as well though he didn’t meet with much success. He has led his teams in 174 matches in which they won 104 of them with a winning percentage of 60.11. Also, he is the only captain from the inaugural edition of the tournament to captain a team for the 2020 season.

It is also well established that Dhoni is the most experienced IPL Captain. His calmness on the field is unmatched. Also, his International record as a captain is a great reminder of the fact that Dhoni is an indispensable part of any team for which he may be playing.

1. Rohit Sharma

Rohit Sharma of Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma of Mumbai Indians. (Photo by IANS)

The Mumbai Batsman has been by far the most successful captain in IPL history. Starting his IPL campaign for Deccan Chargers in 2008, he was bought by Mumbai Indians ahead of the 2011 edition and was made captain of the team in 2013. He immediately repaid the faith in the team administration by leading them to the title in his first year as the skipper.

Following the victory in 2013, he led them to subsequent titles in 2015, 2017 and 2019 as well. Under his leadership, Mumbai Indians also won the now-defunct Champions League T20 competition in 2013. The Hitman has led the Mumbai-based franchise in 104 matches out of which they have won 60 matches with a winning percentage of 58.65.

Rohit is one of the most experienced captains in IPL History. Under his leadership, apart from the title victories in 2013, 2015, 2017 and 2019, his team also qualified for the Playoffs in 2014. It would be safe to say that he is the most successful captain in IPL history.