T20 World Cup 2021: Ranking top 8 captains ahead of the tournament

In this frenetic format of the game, at times the captain runs the ship of the team.

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Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The matches of the T20 format are a mix of entertainment, thrill, and excitement which keeps the fans on the edge of their seats more often than not. The evolution and popularity of it have also increased the demands of the game. Previously fielding wasn’t a prominent aspect of the game but with the emergence of T20, a run saved is probably a run scored.

The format has introduced us to explosive batting, incredible fielding, and even calculative bowling. If the batters are bringing in some innovative shots then the bowlers have stepped in with more variations under their sleeves. And watching the fielders grab a stunner of a catch is probably a usual scene now. In the T20 format where a ball not scored off seems to be a little achievement in itself, captaincy is a demanding task too.

Leading the side and bringing up the best performances from the players is a tough job. Especially in T20Is where often crunch moments arrive, the skipper has to be calculative yet take the necessary risk as losing patience would mean losing the battle. Unlike in Tests or ODIs, one cannot allow the storm to pass as every decision and call has to be taken super quick. In this frenetic format of the game, at times the captain runs the ship of the team.

 Ranking the top 8 best captains in T20I cricket

8. Mahmudullah

(Photo Source: Dhaka Tribune)

The Bangladesh side has played 22 matches and won 12 since January 2019. Mahmudullah has led the Bangladesh side in 22 of their matches wherein the team has won 10 of the games and faced defeat in 12 matches. Under the captaincy of Mahmudullah, Bangladesh has a winning percentage of 45.45. His performances for Bangladesh have helped the side to go toe-to-toe with other international teams.

In 97 T20Is, Mahmudullah has scored 1650 runs and has also scalped 32 wickets. He has played an instrumental role in the rise of Bangladesh cricket. He became the first Bangladesh player to hit a World Cup century when he scored 103 against England and took Bangladesh to the quarterfinal of ICC Cricket World Cup 2015. He then hit a century in the next match to become the second Bangladesh player to hit consecutive ODI centuries.

The spirits would be high for the Bangladesh team as they recently defeated the Australian side 4-1 in the T20I series. The team exuded some great character to outplay the visitors. This was the team’s first-ever bilateral series victory over the mighty Australians. Along with some other key names on the side, Mahmudullah has been one of the pillars of the national side.

7. Temba Bavuma

Temba Bavuma
Temba Bavuma. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Gone are the days when South Africa was considered one of the powerhouses in cricket. Lately, the team has struggled to make a lasting impact across the formats. South Africa has played 32 T20I matches since January 2019 and has won 15 matches. After Faf du Plessis hung up his boots as the South African captain in 2020, Quinton de Kock took the responsibility. But further, the split captaincy was brought on fore and Temba Bavuma took the reins of leading the side in white-ball cricket.

Over the past few years, the South African team has witnessed frequent changes in their captains. Temba Bavuma has so far led the side in eight matches from which the team has registered six victories. That takes his winning percentage in the T20Is to 75%. However, Bavuma has to take the charge with the willow to provide stability to the team’s batting lineup.

South Africa did win the T20I series against West Indies recently but their middle order collapsed in most of the games. The proteas also registered a T20I series win against Ireland 3-0. However, Bavuma who is still very new to the job has to muster the team by leading from the front.

6. Kieron Pollard

Kieron Pollard of West Indies
Kieron Pollard of West Indies. (Photo by RANDY BROOKS/AFP via Getty Images)

Kieron Pollard arguably is one of the most impactful players when it comes to the T20I format. Whether it is about some quality stroke play, crucial overs, or jaw-dropping fielding efforts, he is a perfect package that one could probably buy for the T20 format. Pollard took the mantle of the ODI and T20I captaincy from Jason Holder and Carlos Braithwaite respectively. One has also witnessed his captaincy glimpse whilst IPL on many occasions.

Well, talking about the numbers, the Windies side has won just 13 T20I matches from the 37 games that they have played since January 2019. Pollard has led the side in the shortest format in 26 games wherein the team has lost 12 of them and secured victory in 9 games. However, five matches of the team were abandoned. As a skipper of the side in the T20 format, the all-rounder has a winning percentage of 42.85.

Pollard has a lot of experience under his sleeves and there is no doubt that it would go down to help the team in the crunch moments. Their recent series against the Proteas was of fluctuating fortunes but the team looked pretty decent in the series. Ahead of the high-octane event of the World Cup, Pollard’s contributions to the side as a player and captain will be pivotal. The West Indies side which is renowned to have belief and depth in their batting lineup owing to some key names, will ride on the shoulders of Pollard heading into the tournament for making a mark.

5. Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch
Aaron Finch. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The Australian team was struck with the ball-tampering scandal in 2018 which had surprised the entire cricketing fraternity. As the side was in search of someone who can lead the side in those tough times, Aaron Finch became their trusted man. Finch has chipped in 2473 runs in 76 T20I matches which includes two centuries and 15 half-centuries. He led the Men in Yellow to form a side that challenged every opposition.

As a batter, he has some impressive numbers in the shortest format. Since January 2019, the Australian team has played 32 T20I matches and won 15.  But talking about his captaincy, Finch has led Australia in 49 T20I matches so far. The team has triumphed in 23 of the matches whereas faced defeat in 24 matches. Under him, the team currently has a winning percentage of 48.93% in T20Is.

The Australian team recently had to face a disappointing defeat against Bangladesh. The Aussies lost the series 1-4 and were brought under major scrutiny for their performances. Though the team on the Bangladesh tour missed out on many key names, but ahead of the World Cup, Finch will have a massive task to seal the holes in the team. Aaron Finch thus ranks fifth in the list.

4. Babar Azam

Babar Azam
Babar Azam. (Photo Source: Twitter)

Pakistan was quite a dominating side in the T20Is from the year 2007-2010. They won the 2009 T20 World Cup and had some big names on their side as well. Pakistan was the runners-up of the 2007 World Cup and also reached the semis of the 2010 T20 World Cup which exuded the consistency of the team. However, since the year 2010, the performances of the team were highly affected after the retirement of some key players.

Pakistan then found the layout of success in the form of Babar Azam. If numbers are to be pitted, there are no two thoughts that he rules the proceedings. In 61 T20I games, Babar Azam has scored 2204 runs at a healthy average of 46.89. He has led Pakistan to six wins in the 2019-2020 season. Since January 2019, the side has played a total of 38 T20I matches and won 17.

The Pakistan batter has captained the side in 28 T20I matches wherein they have won 15 and lost 8 of them. He possesses the winning percentage of 65.21 in T20Is. The batting exploits of Babar Azam are known to all. He has so far been decent with leading the side. There have been talks on whether the role of captaincy is affecting his job, but Babar Azam would be all raring to walk the field and display his fiefdom by successfully leading the Men in Green.

3. Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson
Kane Williamson. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

You think of calmness walking onto the field and you probably picture Kane Williamson. He has got a certain aura around him that makes him one of the most loved and respected cricketers. Quietly chiming in the scenario and doing the job right is how one would go on to define the New Zealand captain. When the on-lookers watched him put arms around Ross Taylor and walk off the field with a victory in the WTC, everybody probably stopped what they were up to and took a moment to savor his smile.

When he emerged into the scenes, many people doubted his abilities in the shortest format. But Williamson shushed all the noise by his performances. In the 67 T20Is, he has smashed 1805 runs. Since January 2019, New Zealand has played 31 T20I matches and won 17 of them. Williamson has skippered the team in a total of 39 T20I matches from which the Kiwis have secured a win in 23 games. Under him, the side has the winning percentage of 48.95% in T20Is.

Often, more than numbers, the impact one has on the 22 yards unfolds the player’s greatness. Williamson binds the team together with a lot of composure. His ability to stay calm has helped to uplift the team as they are now seen as one of the strongest contenders across formats. Williamson- the batter is important for the team but Williamson- the captain is the soul of the Kiwis and is one of the reasons for their recent successes.

2. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli. (Photo Source: BCCI)

Taking up the role of captaining the Indian side is furthermore challenging, considering the way the sport rules the imaginations in the country. Virat Kohli however has stacked firmly against all the odds and has cast the spell of his repertoire. One doesn’t need to put any thinking hats on the fact that he is one of the most complete batsmen of the modern era. With the plethora of passion he brings on the ground, Kohli has garnered the audacity of Indian cricket.

Kohli has displayed his domination across the formats. In 89 T20I matches, he has scored 3159 runs at an average of 52.65. Kohli has captained the Indian side in 45 T20I matches from which the team has won 27 of the matches, lost 14, two matches resulted in a tie whereas two of them were abandoned. The Indian team has a winning percentage of 65.11% in T20Is under Virat Kohli.

India has played 35 T20I matches and won 20 of them since January 2019. Kohli has been a valuable contributor to the team’s victory over the passage of time. The Indian skipper is aggressive on the field. He knows how to give it back to the opposition and also takes a step further to praise them at times. Stitching the Indian team together Virat has done a pretty commendable job and thus sits second on the list.

1. Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan England
Eoin Morgan of England. (Photo by Stu Forster/Getty Images for ECB)

Post the 2015 World Cup, the England national team was struggling with an identity crisis. The team had to find ways to lift their morale and Eoin Morgan stood up to gather the side all over again. The England side won their first-ever ODI World Cup under Morgan in 2019. In 107 T20Is, Morgan has scored 2360 runs. From January 2019, England has played 32 T20I matches and has secured victory in 21 of them.

Morgan has captained the England team in 64 T20I matches wherein the team has won 37 games. Under his leadership, the side has a winning percentage of 60.31 in T20Is. After former Indian captain MS Dhoni, Morgan is placed second on the list of leading the side in most matches in the T20I cricket. Dhoni has captained the Indian side in 72 T20Is whereas as previously mentioned, Morgan has skippered England in 64 T20Is.

Morgan has good numbers when it comes to his captaincy and it naturally reflects the way he has taken the team forward. When one watches him on the field, he is always involved in the game, talking to the bowlers and discussing stuff. He has high responsibility of holding the fort of England just like the way he has been doing for quite a period of time now. Under him, England has risen as a formidable side and thus Morgan is the best T20I captain in the world right now.

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