“An army is only as good as the general that leads it”-The same analogy can be applied to the game of cricket. Numerous teams play the game and teams with brilliant performers: deadly bowlers, spectacular fielders, and fearless batsmen. However, it is the captain of a team who more often determines how his team fares in a match or tournament. A cricket captain is expected to take decisions at crucial junctures of the game that can quite possibly change the outcome of the game for the better. In this blog, we will look at the world’s best cricket captains of all time, most successful captain in ODI cricket, their stats and a lot more.
There have been many instances where tactical decisions taken by the skipper have resulted in a team winning the match, right from the brink of certain defeat. The captain should rally his players in a manner that motivates them to give it their all and live up to their fullest potential. He also has to take care of a lot of other things, making sure that there is no delay in play from their side, setting the field as per the imminent strategy, and ensuring that the morale of the players is always high.
Also, at times when a new player makes his debut, it can be a bit overwhelming for him. So, the skipper is expected to step in and make him feel welcome into the team. Acting as the locker room leader, the captain does have a lot of responsibilities on his shoulder. Let us take a look at the top 10 greatest cricket captains of all time.
Top 10 World’s Best Cricket Captains of All Time
|1||Mahendra Singh Dhoni|
Starting off the list, we have the Sri Lankan legend: under whose leadership, the fortunes of Sri Lankan cricket took a turn for the better. Before the 1996 Cricket World Cup, the Sri Lankan team was regarded as rather one of the weaker teams. However, after Ranatunga entered the scene, all this changed. His ability to take charge and take bold decisions in crucial times proved to be game-changing. He has won 12 out of the 56 test matches and 89 out of the 193 ODIs, he has captained. He also led the team to their World Cup victory in 1996.
Arjuna Ranatunga Captaincy Record
- Matches – 56
- wins – 12
- Losses – 19
- Draws – 25
Next up, we have the dynamic Kiwi batsman. The fearless and dynamic batsman was given the charge of the team in 2012 and since then the team started playing more brilliantly. Ever since then, New Zealand became famous for its aggressive brand of cricket and its take-no-prisoners attitude. The cricketing world was rather taken by surprise by this approach. During this time, New Zealand reaches unprecedented heights. The highlight of McCullum’s career as a captain came when he led his team to the finals of the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup. Having a win percentage of 61.86 percent in ODIs, he was truly one of the world’s best cricket captains to lead the Kiwis.
Brendon McCullum Record as captain
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This man was responsible for revolutionizing the English cricket team, particularly in the white cricket ball format. He helped usher in a new era of cricket for his team. From changing the format of their play, his teammates, and their approach, Morgan helped pave the way for a much better brand of cricket. The team that was previously struggling to reach high totals now started scoring in the 300s and even 400 consistently. All of this paid off as the English team was finally able to win its maiden Cricket World Cup in 2015. Morgan ranks third in T20Is as a captain, winning 42 out of 72 T20Is. Furthermore, he has also won 76 ODIs from 126 ODIs as a captain.
Eoin Morgan Record as Captain (ODI)
- Matches: 126
- Won: 76
- Lost: 40
- Tied: 2
- No Result: 8
- Winning Percentage: 65.25%
- Tosses Won: 62 times
Next up, we have the former Prime Minister of Pakistan, Imran Khan. But before foraying into the world of politics, he was well regarded as one of the best leaders in the world of cricket and he received praise for it from all over. A brilliant all-rounder, he lead his team to the ODI Cricket World cup in 1992. Opting to think out of the box, Imran was one of those charismatic leaders whom everyone looked up to.-- Advertisement --
Imran Khan Captaincy record in Test and ODI
Test matches – 48
- Won – 14
- Lost – 8
- Drawn – 26
ODI – 139
- won – 77
- Lost – 57
- Tie -1
Before MSD, there was Sourav Ganguly. Fondly called dada by his fans and teammates. He changed the way Indian Cricket was played. Often credited for creating a team that achieved tremendous success, Sourav was a captain who never backed down from any challenge. Taking the reins when the team was going through the match-fixing scandal, Dada put together a team that would go on to dominate world cricket. Under his leadership, India beat Australia, and they also started winning overseas. He captained India in 146 ODIs and won 76 out of them. While as a Test captain he won 21 test matches of the 49 matches.
Sourav Ganguly Captaincy Records
ODI – 146
- Win – 76
- Lost – 65
- Tie – 0
- No result – 5
- Win % – 53.90
Test – 49
- Win – 21
- Lost – 13
- Tie – 15
- No result – 0
- Win % – 42.85
It was under his leadership that Australia started its reign as the juggernaut of cricket. A dynamic leader and a brilliant batsman, Steve Waugh was praised for terrifically leading his team and taking crucial decisions under pressure. He led his team to win the 1999 World Cup. Australia won 41 Test matches out of 57 under Waugh’s captaincy and finally lost to India which he had referred to as the ‘Last Frontier.’
|Steve Waugh Captaincy record||1999-2004||57||83||12||3714||199||52.30||7390||50.25||15||10||6||441||14|
Early on in his career, Stephen Fleming attracted attention for his brilliant abilities. A skilled top-order batsman, Fleming was one of the finest captains to have ever led the Kiwis. He has played several knocks which have resulted in the victory for his team. Under his leadership, the New Zealand cricket team won the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy.
Having been allowed to lead his team from a young age, Graeme Smith has established himself as one of the best captains that the world has ever witnessed. He has led his team in Test cricket matches more than anyone else in the world. So prolific and charismatic was his leadership that nobody ever questioned his capacity as a captain, and he rightfully retired as the skipper of the South African cricket team. Under his able leadership, South Africa became the number 1 team in the world.
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At number two, we have the legendary Australian captain, Ricky Ponting. The Australian team was dominating under his leadership, and beating Australia in a one-off match was even considered an achievement in itself. One of the best batsmen ever, he led the team from the front and it was under his leadership that Australia was able to win two Cricket World cups consecutively (in 2003 and 2007) without losing a single match.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
It should be no surprise to see Dhoni topping the list. Retiring as one of the most successful and the most popular captains ever, Dhoni’s ability to remain under pressure, take unorthodox decisions and trust his intuition has made him what he is. Having every ICC trophy to his name, Captain Cool’s biggest achievement came when he lifted the 2011 Cricket world cup. Dhoni has captained India in 331 matches overall and won 178 of them across all formats.