“The captain has to pull together ten different individuals with contrasting personalities and personality traits and get them all going in the same direction by treating them equally but differently” - Steve Waugh
The above statement just emphasises the importance of a captain in the game of cricket. Starting from the toss, to selecting the right bowler and setting the appropriate field, a captain has to make decisions at each and every moment of the match. While strategies are made in the dressing room, once on the field, a captain is on his own. The captain then has to act on the basis of his judgement and guts to take decisions which can potentially alter the result of the match.
In addition to being a leader, a captain can ill-afford to drop down his performance. More often than not, successful captains lead from the front. As the old saying goes, “If you preach excellence but walk mediocrity, you are nothing but a liar”.
In a T20 game, where the pendulum swings from one end to the other after every over, the role of the captain becomes even more critical. In the IPL, a captain’s skills are put to the test as he not only has to take good cricketing decisions but manage players from across the globe.
These challenges have brought out the best out of many captains and the IPL has seen some astute leaders over the last decade.
Before the start of IPL 2017, let’s take a look at five most successful IPL captains.
Note: The list includes captains who have led their sides in a minimum of 30 IPL matches and have been ranked as per their win percentage.
#5 Shane Warne (M - 55, W - 30, L - 24, T - 1, W% - 55.45)
Shane Keith Warne is probably one of the most flamboyant cricketers that the game of cricket has ever seen. He has always been in the news for both cricketing and non-cricketing matters.
‘Warnie’ as he is fondly called, is often referred to by his teammates and former cricketers as the “best captain Australia never had”. For the records, he led Australia in 11 ODIs winning 10 of them. Unfortunately, he never led the Aussies in Test matches.
But he showed his cricketing acumen when he was made the captain of the Rajasthan Royals in the inaugural season of the IPL in 2008. Warne had a young team at his disposal and even their supporters would not have given them a chance to win the trophy.
Warne inspired the youngsters and they went past other fancied opponents throughout the tournament. The likes of Ravindra Jadeja, who is a mainstay in the Indian team, was a find of Captain Warne.
Along with this, Warne also performed with the ball in the first edition. With 19 wickets to his name, he was the joint second highest wicket taker (along with S Sreesanth) in the 2008 edition.