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IPL 2020: 3 most unsuccessful captains over the years

  • To lead an IPL team is a big deal, but not everybody can handle the pressure and the long schedule.
  • Read on to find out the most unsuccessful captains in the history of the IPL
Mohit Sharma
TOP CONTRIBUTOR
Top 5 / Top 10
Modified 17 Mar 2020, 16:33 IST
While Virat Kohli has been unsuccessful in winning the IPL, he is not the worst captain statistically
While Virat Kohli has been unsuccessful in winning the IPL, he is not the worst captain statistically

The Indian Premier League (IPL) over the years has built a reputation for itself and is now one of the most lucrative cricketing leagues in the world. It is a tournament that has provided a platform to many players to prove themselves, and it has also given former international cricketers a way to hold on to the game, either as players or coaches/mentors.

The league has discovered many players with the potential to be the next big thing. Case in point would be a young Virat Kohli, who was picked by the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) in 2008, right after he had led India to an Under 19 World Cup win in the same year. Kohli is now the highest run-scorer internationally among existing players and is also the captain of the Indian cricket team.


Virat Kohli has been part of RCB since IPL
Virat Kohli has been part of RCB since IPL's inception

Virat Kohli was someone who marked to be captaincy material right from his Under 19 days and was groomed to eventually take over the reins from former India captain MS Dhoni. However, not all-star cricketers are born to lead the sides that they play for. Likewise, not all cricketers are born to be IPL captains, even if it means that they've successfully done the job for their national sides in the past.

Here are 3 most unsuccessful IPL captains, who have led their respective franchises for at least 10 matches.


#3 Kumar Sangakkara

Kumar Sangakkara captained Deccan Chargers and Kings Xi Punjab
Kumar Sangakkara captained Deccan Chargers and Kings Xi Punjab

Kumar Sangakkara is probably one of the last cricketers / captains that one would expect to see on this list, but the Sri Lankan legend has had a dismal captaincy record in the IPL.

Sangakkara has captained 2 sides in the IPL, namely the Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) and then the Deccan Chargers. Despite having been a very good captaincy record for Sri Lanka, with nearly a 60% win rate in limited overs cricket, Sangakkara couldn't emulate that success in the IPL.

While KXIP finished 5th in 2009, they ended up dead last in 2010 under his captaincy. His leadership role with Sunrisers Hyderbad saw the team finishing 4th on the points table in 2013, before eventually losing the eliminator to Rajasthan Royals.

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Kumar Sangakkara IPL Captaincy Record:

Also see – MI 2020 team

Matches: 47 | Won: 15 | Lost: 30 | Tied: 2 | Win %: 31.91


#2 Brendon McCullum


When one thinks of Brendon McCullum and the IPL, probably the first thing that comes to mind is his 158* in the opening game of the first ever IPL, where he single-handedly obliterated RCB.

This made McCullum a batting mainstay for the Kolkata Knight Riders until 2013. He even went on to become the captain of the New Zealand cricket team. He led the Kiwis to one of their most successful World Cup campaigns, which saw them lose to Australia in the finals in 2015.

The destructive opening batsman, who kept wickets for the majority of his career, could not however replicate the leadership that he showed for his national side in the IPL.

Brendon McCullum IPL Captaincy Record:

Matches: 14 | Won: 3 | Lost: 10 | Tied: 1 | Win %: 21.43


#1 Kevin Pietersen

Kevin Pietersen had a forgettable time as the captain of RCB and Delhi Daredevils
Kevin Pietersen had a forgettable time as the captain of RCB and Delhi Daredevils

England cricket's king of controversies, Kevin Pietersen was an extremely sought after player in the early years of the IPL. He was roped in by Bangalore, who appointed him as the RCB captain in 2009, after their disastrous inaugural season.

Even with Pietersen being given the mantle of skipper, RCB's captaincy woes continued, as he managed to win only 2 out of his first 7 games as the captain of an IPL team. He was eventually replaced by Indian spin legend Anil Kumble, who went on to lead RCB to the finals of that year's IPL.

It didn't end there for Pietersen, as he was then brought in by the Delhi Daredevils in 2012. He captained DD for 10 games, but managed to win just the one. With these statistics, Pietersen remains the most unsuccessful captain to have led in more than 10 games.

Kevin Pietersen IPL Captaincy Record:

Matches: 17 | Won: 3 | Lost: 14 | Tied: 0 | Win%: 17.64


Also read | IPL 2020: 5 players who can hit the maximum number of sixes this season


Published 17 Mar 2020, 10:27 IST
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