IPL 2018: 5 players who captained IPL teams before their national sides
If there is one competition which cricketers can vouch for to gain from the most, not just financially but even in terms of cricketing and non-cricketing skills, it is the Indian Premier League. For instance, South African skipper and Chennai Super Kings’ Faf du Plessis considers the IPL much like a business employee getting 6-7 weeks of on-the-job training and paid for it well too, in an overseas location along with the best in the business. He is amongst the many who considered having picked out someone like MS Dhoni’s brains in terms of the way he approaches situations in the game.
When it comes to leadership as well, an IPL team is about heterogeneity in terms of skillset, mindset, experience and more so, nationalities. It can be tricky at times to assemble a group and make them play together in a short span of time. Achieving mastery at it can surely give a player the confidence to go on to lead other teams, such as their country when they earn the opportunity to do so.
So across the 10 seasons of the IPL so far, there has been an elite club of 5 players so far who have led an IPL team before they went to captain their respective national sides. Some have tasted success in both the ventures, some have failed. Yet it is quite an achievement and shows their developments as players overall.
#1 Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli has been exceptional in having never been a part of any IPL auction till date. Since 2008, he has only featured for RCB. It is quite possible that he was studying the likes of Rahul Dravid, Kevin Pietersen, Anil Kumble and Daniel Vettori. These are all the big names that he had played under for the first five seasons of the competition. This is beside the fact that he was groomed under MS Dhoni’s leadership ever since he began playing for India in the same year.
This is not to discredit Kohli’s persona and natural ability to lead, having been at the helm of India’s Under-19 World Cup 2008 in Malaysia, few months before the IPL. Yet, he himself credits taking more self-responsibility after a poor 2012 IPL season. In 2013, he led RCB for the first time. During this time, he transformed himself from being a brash, arrogant talent to a committed, wholesome player who treats his fitness, attitude and batting as equally important.
With form supporting him, Kohli was the obvious choice to lead India the moment Dhoni stepped down from any format. He stepped in to lead in a few ODIs in 2014. While in Tests, he led the team in Australia to a close defeat and a well-fought draw in 2014. While he was appointed India’s full-time ODI and T20I captain in 2016 and the rest they say is history.
Under Kohli, India haven’t lost a single ODI and T20I series so far and just the one Test series, in South Africa earlier this year. He is on the way of smashing the records of his much-esteemed successors.