Top 10 captains with most overseas wins in Test cricket

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Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming of New Zealand. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

The challenge in Test cricket grows even further when traveling overseas and playing on unfamiliar, alien conditions that are set up to favor the hosts; no wonder we see the home team win most Test series’. And the teams that won overseas series’ are the ones rated the best.

The stature of a captain in Test cricket is often measured in terms of the number of victories away from home. Playing overseas is always a challenge as the conditions are unfamiliar as compared to playing at home and as a result, teams struggle to win matches overseas.

The trend of losing away is not new in cricket but has existed since the inception of the game. But over the years, there have been captains who fought against the odds and led their teams to victories in foreign conditions and hence are valued amongst the top leaders in the game.

Here are such captains with most number of away victories in Test cricket:

10. Stephen Fleming (New Zealand) – 10 wins:

Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming of New Zealand. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

The left-hander led the New Zealand side for close to a decade from 1997 to 2006 in 42 matches overseas and emerged victorious on 10 occasions. Under him, the side lost 16 times and also drew 16 times. Their biggest win came in the year 1999 when they defeated the English side in their home by 2-1 in a 4-match series.

He is also the most successful captain overall in Tests for the country with 28 wins in 80 matches. He was the pioneer of New Zealand cricket for a long time and was responsible for taking the nation’s cricket to altogether a new level. He is still the leading run-scorer in Test cricket for his country.

Also read- Top 10 Most successful Test captains

9. Michael Clarke (Australia) – 10 wins:

Michael Clarke
(Photo Source: Getty Images)

The stylish right-handed batsman who retired from international cricket last year had a terrific captaincy record in a span of just 5 years from 2011 to 2015. He captained the Australian team in 26 away Tests and managed to win 10 out of those. The side lost 11 and drew 5 Tests under him.

Australians won in Sri Lanka by 1-0 in 2011 when Clarke captained the side for the first time. Later, they won in West Indies twice but the most important one came in South Africa when they defeated the Proteas 2-1 in 2013/14.

8. Misbah-ul-Haq (Pakistan) – 11 wins:

Pakistan’s Misbah-ul-Haq. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP/Getty Images)

The soft-spoken Pakistani batsman has been a great servant to his country over the last decade and has been magnificent with his captaincy as well. He has 11 wins abroad to his name out of 25 matches, 10 losses, and 4 draws since 2011 till date.

Led by him, Pakistan defeated New Zealand 1-0 in 2011 and then had clean sweeps in Zimbabwe, Bangladesh in the tours that followed. They again won in Bangladesh and then in Sri Lanka in 2015. In the series in West Indies, they already have an unassailable lead of 2-0 in the 3-match series.

7. Sourav Ganguly (India) – 11 wins:

Sourav Ganguly. (© Getty Images)

The man who brought revolution in Indian cricket after becoming a captain, Sourav Ganguly led the team to 11 victories overseas in 28 matches to go with 10 defeats and 7 draws. Before his tenure as captain, the Indian side hardly ever tasted victory abroad and it was Ganguly who turned things around.

From the year 2000 to 2005, the team won Test series in Bangladesh, Pakistan, and Zimbabwe. They had major Test match victories in West Indies, England, and Australia. The Leeds Test win in 2002 and the Adelaide Test win in 2003 are one of the most famous victories of all time for the country in Test cricket.

6. Vivian Richards (West Indies) – 12 wins:

Vivian Richards
Former West Indian cricketer Vivian Richards. (Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images)

The stalwart from West Indies had a tremendous run abroad as the side in his leadership won 12 Tests and lost just 6 out of the 26 games. West Indies was a premier force in world cricket in the duration of 1980 to 1991 and Richards played a pioneering role in the dominance of the team.

He is the only Test captain from the Caribbean to not lose a single Test series and had Test wins in Pakistan, New Zealand, India and other countries. West Indies won in England by 4-0 and 3-1 in Australia in 1988. The aggressive nature of the cricketer had influenced the team’s results heavily both at home and away.

Also read- Top 10 Captains with most runs in Tests

5. Allan Border (Australia) – 13 wins:

Allan Border Test
Allan Border, Australia. (Photo by Bob Thomas/Getty Images)

The build up of the dominance of Australian cricket began under the captaincy of Allan Border from the year 1985. Australia had 13 wins and 11 losses overseas in 42 Tests under him. Although there were not too many series wins, but Australia did manage to win one-off Tests here and there.

The most important series win for Australia under him came in the Ashes series in England in the year 1989 when they won a 6-match series by a margin of 4-0 and followed it up with another Ashes win in England by a 4-1 margin in the year 1993.

4. Steve Waugh (Australia) – 16 wins:

Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh. AFP PHOTO/William WEST (Photo by WILLIAM WEST/AFP/Getty Images)

The era of 1999-2003 was ruled by the Australians and they were invincible in most parts of the world. Out of the 25 matches, Waugh led his side to victories 16 times and lost only on 7 occasions and just 2 matches ended in draws.

Under him, they lost away series only in Sri Lanka and India in the years 1999 and 2001 respectively. Apart from these, they had whitewashes in Zimbabwe, New Zealand, the Ashes victory in England and series wins in South Africa and West Indies.

3. Ricky Ponting (Australia) – 18 wins:

Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting of Australia. (Photo by Paul Kane/Getty Images)

The Australian side led by Ricky Ponting from the year 2004 to 2010 won in literally all parts of the cricketing fraternity. He had the most wonderful batting and bowling line ups to lead and with his captaincy skills, they won 18 Tests out of 36 and lost only 10.

He marshaled his side to 8 series wins abroad. They won twice in South Africa and New Zealand and once in Sri Lanka, India, Bangladesh and West Indies. Despite all the series wins, he is infamously remembered for losing 3 Ashes series which included one loss at home in 2010/11.

Also read- Top 10 Captains with most sixes in international cricket

2. Graeme Smith (South Africa) – 22 wins:

Graeme Craig Smith
South African cricketer Graeme Craig Smith. (Photo credit STEPHANE DE SAKUTIN/AFP/Getty Images)

The South African team always possessed talented cricketers but they were put on the world map by Graeme Smith. He was handed over the captaincy at a very young age of 22 and did wonders to his side which won 22 Tests overseas under him in 52 Tests.

He is also the most successful captain ever in Test cricket with 53 wins overall. From 2003 to 2012, Smith led the Protea team in 109 Tests which is the most by any player and had abroad victories in Bangladesh, West Indies, Pakistan, England, Australia and New Zealand. They became the number one Test team in the world under him and retained the pole position for a long time.

1. Clive Lloyd (West Indies) – 23 wins:

Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd. (© Getty Images)

The most successful captain in terms of overseas record till date is the West Indian great Clive Lloyd. He was the captain of the side from the year 1974 to 1985 which was the most feared in the world and won 23 Tests overseas out of 50 and lost only 10 which gave him the best win/loss ratio of all time away from home.

Over a span of 10 years, the West Indies side lost only to Australia under him in 1975/76 but won against all the major sides of the world both home and away and hardly ever lost. The tall fast bowlers and the fearsome batsmen were the pillars of the golden era of the West Indies cricket under Clive Lloyd.

Also read- Top 10 Captains who have led the team in most International matches

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