Best Captain in IPL History: Despite all the flash and glamour connected with the world’s biggest Twenty20 event, the Indian Premier League has also hosted some of the best leaders in the world.
The IPL Franchisees believe in having a leader who can successfully manage their team through a demanding schedule that spans over a month of crisscrossing India.
Winning an IPL title is one of the most difficult things a skipper can do. Their first goal is to ensure that their team finishes in the top two, giving them two opportunities to qualify for the final.
MS Dhoni, the former India captain, is unsurprisingly at the top of the list when it comes to effectively running a franchise. His ten years of service as a captain of Team India have helped him well in the IPL as well, and he has been the only full-time leader of Chennai Super Kings since 2008.
If we look at the numbers, it doesn’t do justice always because anyone may be in this category regardless of matches played, trophies won, therefore, we look at the captains with the greatest victory % & also on other factors as well.
2IPL best captain list (winning %)
1IPL best captain list
Some may be surprised to see Warner on this list, but the Australian’s record as Sunrisers leader is difficult to ignore. Warner won the Orange Cap after hitting 562 runs in his maiden season as captain in 2015, as Hyderabad lost out on the playoffs by a whisker.
The Sunrisers went on to win their first IPL title the following season, and Warner was awarded his second Orange Cap in 2017.
For 2018 and 2019, Warner was replaced as captain by Kane Williamson, but he reclaimed the position in 2020 and guided the Sunrisers to another playoff appearance in the UAE.
He has led the franchise on 62 times, winning 34 games, and his 54.8 percent winning percentage ranks him among the greatest & best captain in IPL history.
Warne was never given the opportunity to lead Australia on the international stage, but he demonstrated his leadership skills with the Rajasthan Royals.
Warne was made captain for the first tournament in 2008, and he guided the Royals to victory, despite being considered the worst club in the league.
Under Warne, Rajasthan never again achieved such heights, failing to enter the playoffs for the next three seasons, but the feat of winning the title in 2008 is difficult to dismiss.
No one expected them to enter the playoffs, but Warne, who took 18 wickets during the competition, guided them to victory.
Warne led the Royals to a 55.54 percent win rate during his stint as captain, confirming his status as an all-time best IPL captain.
Gambhir earns his deserved spot at No. 3 on our list of best captain in IPL as he is one of just three captains to lead his team to multiple IPL titles.
The left-handed batter began his career with the Delhi Daredevils, where he spent three seasons, including one as captain, before joining the Kolkata Knight Riders for $2.4 million in 2011.
Gambhir guided Kolkata to their maiden IPL victory in 2012, defeating Chennai Super Kings in Chennai, after a strong start in his debut season as the team made the playoffs.
After a slump in 2013, Gambhir and the Knight Riders bounced back the next year, capturing their second title in three years.
In 2016 and 2017, Gambhir led Kolkata to two more playoff berths before returning to Delhi for his last season before retiring.
Best captain in IPL History: MS Dhoni
In 2010, 2011, and 2018, MSD guided his beloved Chennai Super Kings to three IPL victories.
Dhoni was named captain of Rising Pune Supergiant after the Super Kings were banned for two seasons, and he led them to the final in 2017.
In the IPL, he has captained his team for 188 games, considerably more than anybody else in the competition’s history, winning 110 of them with a winning rate of 58.8%.
Dhoni’s legacy is most notable for his longevity. He has led his team in every season of the IPL to date, compiling an outstanding record in the process.
Best captain in IPL History: Rohit Sharma
Sharma beats Dhoni to the top slot based only on silverware weight.
Sharma has guided the Mumbai Indians to five IPL victories since taking over as captain in 2013 when the great Sachin Tendulkar retired.
In his debut season as captain, Mumbai won the competition, and he went on to win it again in 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
Sharma has led by example throughout that period, becoming one of the competition’s leading run-scorers. With 5,230 points, he is presently in fifth place all-time.
Dhoni may be regarded as a more seasoned leader with a more successful career, but Sharma has won five IPL titles in eight seasons, making him the best IPL captain ever.