Cricket is as much a mind game as it requires skills. Unlike other sports, the captain plays a huge role in the working of the team. Here’s a look at the successful captains in the history of the tournament.
6. Shane Warne
Amongst the greatest bowlers to have ever played the game, Shane Warne led Rajasthan to their only IPL title in the inaugural edition. Although his career was tainted by off-the-field controversies throughout, his on-field performance remained consistent. No one gave the Rajasthan Royals, a young team with relatively fewer big names, but Warne’s skillful bowling along with his aggressive captaincy saw the underdogs pull off a heist that they’ve not even reached close to since then. A charismatic character with a lot of experience, Warne joined the Royals’ coaching staff in 2018, hoping to get his IPL team to the trophy once again.
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5. Adam Gilchrist
Team: Deccan Chargers
Another Aussie legend, Gilchrist, is arguably the best wicket-keeper batsman to have graced the sport. A thorough gentleman, Gilchrist led the Deccan Chargers to victory in 2009, a complete turnaround from the bottom of the table in the previous year. A ferocious opening batsman, Gilchrist hit 495 runs at an impressive strike rate of 152. Loved worldwide because of his chivalrous behavior and immense skill, Gilchrist was a part of the elite Australian team that won 3 consecutive world cups. He further led the Punjab franchise until 2013, when he retired after picking up a wicket off the first and only ball that he bowled in his entire cricketing career.
4. David Warner
Team: Sunrisers Hyderabad
The aggressive southpaw from Down Under is the highest non-Indian run-scorer in the history of the tournament. The SRH skipper led his side to win the title in 2016, scoring a staggering 848 runs in the tournament. Leading a bowling-dominant side, Warner’s aggressive captaincy earned him a lot of respect. The 2-time orange cap winner has led the Orange Army from the front each season and has been a massive reason for their consistency.
3. Gautam Gambhir
Team: Kolkata Knight Riders
The opening batsman from Delhi led the Knights to two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014. An aggressive character with a huge love for the game, Gambhir was never a fan of diplomacy and was never afraid to speak his mind. His clear thinking was visible on the field and he scored a huge amount of runs and won the trophy twice. A big-game player, Gambhir was instrumental in guiding India to their world cup victories in both 2007 and 2011.
2. MS Dhoni
Team: Chennai Super Kings
Regarded by many as the greatest captain in the modern era, MS Dhoni has won every notable trophy- World Cup, T20 Worldcup, ICC Champions Trophy, IPL, CLT20. An explosive batsman and arguably the best finisher in modern times, Dhoni has been CSK’s anchor since their inception. Leading the team from behind the stumps, Dhoni has the fastest hands and the sharpest mind in the game. Though his batting skills may not be as effective as they were before, his understanding of the game is still a valuable asset for the Men in Yellow.
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1. Rohit Sharma
Team: Mumbai Indians
If you can lead your team to 5 titles, there has got to be something special in you. And there is definitely a lot special in the ‘Hitman.’ A free-flowing, elegant opening batsman, Rohit Sharma has been a prolific run-getter in white-ball cricket. The vice-captain of the national side, Sharma, has a great understanding of the game. Blessed with a squad that any captain would be jealous of, Rohit brings out the potential of his crew. The leader of the Paltan would be eyeing a third trophy on the trot in the 2021 season.