Most successful captains in the history of IPL.

Indian Premier League (IPL) started in 2008 and till now various captains lead teams to different franchises. Many Indian and foreign players took this leadership role. Some of them got success early whereas some have to wait to get the success. 

Many of the players were made skipper who had no past or engagement as a captain, but did the role very well and sometimes took their team to glory. 

Here we are discussing the best captains who make their makes names as a best skipper of this version: 

1. Mahendra Singh Dhoni:

One of the most successful skipper in the World MS Dhoni has succeeded in this league. He started playing from the start of this league (2008). He has played for two teams – Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rising Pune SuperGiants (RPS). He is the only player who got big by each franchise, which happened in 2008, but CSK made the last move to acquire him by paying the most in that auction.  

He took charge in 226 matches in which he won 133 matches and lost 91 matches. Having a winning percentage of 59.37. 

Under his leadership he took CSK to 5 times (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023) champion in IPL. While his team is considered to be the most consistent as the team manages to qualify most of the times in the playoffs. Not only this he took his team to the 2010 and 2014 Champions League championship as a winner. While in 2008, 2012, 2013, 2015 and 2019 his team ended as a runner-up. 

In 2015, CSK was involved in a spot fixing due to which the team got suspended for 2 years in the IPL. Then RPS was formed in 2016 and made Dhoni their skipper, but due to the poor performance of the team, he was removed from the leadership role and Steve Smith was given the charge in 2017. Then in 2018 CSK made a sound comeback as Dhoni took the team to the winner of the league.

Then he himself dropped down the role of captainship in 2022 and put Ravindra Jadeja in front, but Jadeja failed to capitalize the role well and then as the season crosses the halfway mark, Dhoni once again handles the team command. Therefore in 2023 he made them champion once again. 

2. Rohit Sharma:

Rohit Sharma IPL Trophy

One of the few players in this league who tasted the championship in his first IPL as a skipper. Rohit who earlier played for Deccan Chargers (DC) as he was bought by the franchise in 2008 was later purchased by Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2011. Mumbai picked him after paying US$2 million. 

In his pocket he got 6 IPL trophies (1 Deccan Chargers & 5 Mumbai Indians). He got the leadership of MI in 2013 when Ricky Ponting stepped down from the role. In the very first season of him as a captain in 2013, he took Mumbai to their first IPL trophy. From 2013 to 2020 he got 5 titles for the same franchise and became the only captain who got 5 titles, which was later equalized by MS Dhoni after winning the 2023 championship.

But unfortunately in December 2023 Hardik Pandya became the new captain of the team and he was removed as a skipper from the team. 

3. Gautam Gambhir:

Gautam Gambhir IPL Trophy

Except for Dhoni and Rohit, he is the only skipper who lifted more than one IPL trophy. He started his career in IPL from Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals) in 2008, where he scored 534 runs which was the 2nd highest in that season. 

In 2010 he became the leader of Delhi Daredevils where the team secured 5th spot and grabbed 14 points, due to which they were unable to qualify for the playoffs. Then in 2011 Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) acquired him for $2.4 million (11.4 crore at that time) which was the highest during that time and became the most expensive player. After that he became the captain in the same year and took KKR to the playoffs for the first time as the team finished 4th in the points table.   

In the very next year 2012, he took his team to the final victory after defeating Chennai in the finals by 5 wickets. It was the first time he lifted the trophy. Then again in 2014 he became the champion by defeating Punjab in the finals by 3 wickets. Then he became the 2nd captain who got 2 IPL trophies after Dhoni. After that he took KKR to 2016 and 2017 playoffs but was unable to reach the finals in both times. 

After the 2017 season, he left KKR as the CEO of the team revealed that Gambhir wanted to play for the team from where he started. Then Delhi Daredevils got him for 2.8 crore and make skipper of the team in 2018. But here his captaincy didn’t shine and the team performed poorly under his leadership, due to which he stepped down from the role in between the tournament and made Shreyas Iyer their leader.  

Then in 2021, he was named as the mentor of the new franchise then Lucknow Super Giants (LSG) and under his mentorship he took LSG to playoffs in the 2022 and 2023 season. At the end of 2023, he joined KKR again as a mentor and refreshed the season again with the team.

4. Hardik Pandya:

Hardik Pandya IPL Trophy

As a captain he didn’t carry much experience but under his leadership of 2 years, he made Gujarat Titans (GT) champion in 2022 IPL which was also their inaugural season. After this victory he became the only captain after Shane Warne who made his team champion in the very season of the team. 

In the very next season (2023), he again took his team to the final but unfortunately got defeated by Chennai Super Kings by 5 wickets. His extraordinary performance in the team makes it balanced. He is capable of performing well in both the departments (batting and bowling).

Then at the end of 2023 he was traded to Mumbai Indians (MI) from where his journey started in 2015 and later on was made the skipper by replacing Rohit Sharma from the role. 

Pandya journey started from 2015 in MI where he showed some high class performance in both of his batting and bowling. Due to his great performance in the tournament, he was selected in the national team and made his debut against Australia on 26th January 2016 in a T20 series. 

He stuck with MI till 2021, then he was released by the franchise, which later was drafted by the GT (new franchise then) and made him their captain. 

5. Shane Warne:

Shane Warne IPL Trophy

He is the first man who lifted the IPL trophy in the inaugural season in 2008. Only Warne was the non-Indian captain in 2008 among the 8 franchise teams. After retiring from international cricket he joined the team Rajasthan Royals (RR) in the first season as a skipper and also a coach. 

In his team Shane Watson, Ravindra Jadeja, Yusuf Pathan, Morne Morkel and Sohail Tanvir were there who were not so famous at that time but shone under his guidance. He got the potential from most of the players under him. Sohail Tanvir became the purple cap holder with 22 wickets. 

Other experienced players Greame Smith, Younis Khan, Justin Langer and Darren Lehman were there to put shoulders with him. 

After lifting the trophy in 2008, the next three seasons- 2009 (6th place), 2010 (7th place) and 2011 (6th place) were not going in his favour and therefore he took retirement from this league after the 2011 season.         

In 2018, RR appointed him as their mentor. Ajinkya Rahane was the skipper of the team at that time and he along with the experience and mentorship of Warne took Rajasthan to the playoffs as they finished 4th in the league stage.  

 6. Adam Gilchrist:

Adam Gilchrist IPL trophy

One of the greatest turnover that any team makes in IPL is the Deccan Chargers (DC). As the team finished in the button of the points table in the inaugural (2008) season and made a strong comeback in the 2009 season by becoming the champion. The whole credit goes to the Australian legendary wicket-keeper batsman, Adam Gilchrist. 

Gilchrist became the captain of the team in 2009 replacing VVS Laxman. The team finishes 4th and makes it to the Semi Finals. In the final they defeated Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) by 6 runs. Under his leadership the team again qualified for the playoffs in 2010 season but unfortunately were unable to make their place into the finals as they lost by 38 runs against Chennai Super Kings (CSK).

Then in 2011 he was released by the team and Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) got him for US$700,000. He replaced Kumar Sangakkara from the role of leader as Sangakkara switched to DC in that season. 

He played for the franchise till 2013 and then announced his retirement from the IPL. In 2012 he was the captain as well as the coach of KXIP and wanted to retire after that season, but his old fellow mate Darren Lehmann became the coach of the team in 2013, so he decided to lead the team in 2013. 

He got the wicket of Harbhajan Singh in his last match which was his only wicket in the IPL and after getting the wicket he suddenly started dancing and cherished that moment very well.      

So in total, he played a total of 6 seasons. Three for DC and three for KXIP.  

Captains with most wins in the IPL:

MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)133
Rohit Sharma (MI)87
Gautam Gambhir (KKR/DC)71
Virat Kohli (RCB)66
David Warner (DC/SRH)40
Adam Gilchrist (DC/KXIP)35
Sachin Tendulkar (MI)30
Shane Warne (RR)30
Virender Sehwag (DD/KXIP)28

Captains with most matches in IPL:

MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)226
Rohit Sharma158
Virat Kohli (RCB)143
Gautam Gambhir (KKR/DC)129
David Warner (SRH/DC)83
Adam Gilchrist (DC/KXIP)74
Shreyas Iyer (DC/KKR)55
Shane Warne (RR)55
Virender Sehwag (DC/KXIP)53

Leave a Comment