The 13th edition of the IPL (Indian Premier League) is all set to get underway in the United Arab Emirates (UAE) from September 19 after the global COVID-19 pandemic almost forced a cancellation of the popular T20 tournament this year.
It marks only the third time the BCCI has decided to hold the IPL outside India during the competition's 12-year history; the IPL was played in South Africa and UAE in 2009 and 2014 respectively due to the General Elections in India.
The IPL has helped unearth many a player capable of taking the mantle of leading a franchise with aplomb in the competition. Some of these players have proved to be immensely successful by winning the IPL on multiple occasions.
On that note, we take a look at five of the most successful IPL captains ranked in order of their match winning percentages. Note that only players who have captained in at least 70 matches in the IPL have been considered.
Five most successful captains in the IPL in terms of winning percentage:
#5: Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore) - 47.2%
Matches - 110, Won - 49, Lost - 55, Tied - 2, No Result - 4.
Win % - 47.16.
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been a RCB player since the inaugural edition of the IPL and quickly emerged as a marquee player for them. He took over the captaincy role of the franchise from the 2013 edition of the IPL.
Despite his success as the captain of the Indian cricket team, the ultimate IPL glory has eluded Kohli. The closest RCB came to winning the IPL title was in 2016 when they lost in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). Kohli's contributions with the bat were immense during the season as he scored a massive tally of 973 runs with four hundreds and seven fifties.
RCB fans will hope their talismanic leader can finally transform the franchise's fortunes in IPL 2020 and help them clinch their maiden title in the competition.
#4: Adam Gilchrist (Deccan Chargers / Kings XI Punjab) - 47.3%
Matches - 74, Won - 35, Lost - 39, Tied - 0, No Result - 0.
Win % - 47.29.
Adam Gilchrist was a player whose aggressive style of play on the field was a perfect match for the IPL. He went a step further and managed to display his captaincy mettle, one which he never got to during his time with the Australian national team.
Gilchrist began his IPL tenure at Deccan Chargers in the inaugural edition of the competition and was appointed the now defunct franchise's captain.
Despite a poor season that saw the side finish in the last spot in the standings, Deccan Charges persisted with Gilchrist for the next season as well. Their hopes paid dividends as 'Gilly' led the Chargers to the title in IPL 2009 as he helped effect an impressive turnaround.
After three seasons with the Chargers, Gilchrist moved on to the Kings XI Punjab franchise but did not have much success during his stint there.
#3: Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders) - 55.4%
Matches - 129, Won - 71, Lost - 57, Tied - 1, No Result - 0.
Win % - 55.42.
After playing three IPL seasons for Delhi Daredevils (now called Delhi Capitals), Gautam Gambhir was signed by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the IPL 2011 auction for a whopping $ 2.4 million (INR 11.04 Crore) as he heralded a new era for the franchise. Until then, KKR had struggled to get going in the IPL, having never finished above sixth in the standings in the first three seasons of the competition.
With the arrival of Gambhir and other key personnel, the fortunes turned for the Kolkata-based IPL franchise as they qualified for the playoffs for the first time in their history. Continuing their upturn in fortunes, Gambhir led KKR to their first IPL title in 2012 after beating 'hosts' Chennai Super Kings in a thrilling final in Chennai.
Gambhir added another IPL title to KKR's cabinet two years later to go level with Chennai Super Kings' tally of two IPL titles. Skipper 'Gauti' led from the front for his side as he scored a lot of runs at the top that season.
#2: Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) - 58.7%
Matches - 104, Won - 60, Lost - 42, Tied - 2, No Result - 0.
Win % - 58.65.
Rohit Sharma came to the Mumbai Indians after winning the title with Deccan Chargers in IPL 2009. Before his arrival, the Mumbai side had never qualified for the IPL playoffs in the first three seasons of the competition.
After playing under Sachin Tendulkar for a couple of seasons, Rohit Sharma was elevated to the captaincy of Mumbai Indians in IPL 2013. He was successful from the get-go, leading the side to their first ever IPL title, doing so by beating Chennai Super Kings in the final.
Rohit Sharma continued to develop as a batsman and captain as he made the Mumbai Indians one of the powerhouse franchises of the IPL.
Sharma led the franchise to three more IPL titles wins (2015, 2017, 2019), thereby cemeting the franchise's status as the most successful team in the popular T20 competition. Hid able captaincy has helped earn him many plaudits and has made him a contender for the role of Indian captain as well.
#1: Mahendra Singh Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings / Rising Pune Supergiants) - 60.1%
Matches - 174, Won - 104, Lost - 69, Tied - 0, No Result - 1.
Win % - 60.11.
It won't come as a surprise to anyone seeing Mahendra Singh Dhoni at the top of this list. He is the only player to win over 100 IPL games as captain.
Dhoni was signed by Chennai Super Kings (CSK) in the first IPL auction and the rest, as they say, is history. Since then, he has displayed incredible leadership qualities, guiding the CSK franchise to three titles (2010, 2011 and 2018) in the competition.
In all their appearances in the competition, CSK have never failed to reach the playoffs, reaching the final an incredible eight times, the most in the IPL by any franchise.
In terms of his batting, Dhoni has contributed in the middle order in a 'finisher' role, scoring at a stellar strike rate of 137.85. His shrewd captaincy, well-regulated bowling changes and incredible accuracy with the DRS are some qualities that have played a crucial role in CSK's success in the IPL over the years.
When CSK were banned for a couple of seasons (2016 and 2017), Dhoni was the captain of the Rising Pune Supergiants and led them to the IPL final in 2017.
In CSK's comeback to the competition in 2018 after an absence of two years, Dhoni led CSK to the title, despite the franchise facing a lot of criticism due to having an 'ageing' squad. His solid winning record and three IPL titles are a credible argument to dub 'Thala' as the best captain in IPL history.