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5 overseas stars whose performance improved after becoming their IPL team's captain

David Warner and Kane Williamson have led the Sunrisers Hyderabad from the front
David Warner and Kane Williamson have led the Sunrisers Hyderabad from the front
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Vinay Chhabria

Captaining an IPL franchise is a bit different than leading an international side. The international teams are under more pressure compared to IPL skippers.

However, the cricketers playing the skipper's role in IPL need better communication skills because stars from all over the world play in the competition. Also, the captains need to satisfy the team owners.

The team management always keeps an eye on the top individual performers for the captaincy role. Unfortunately, when their teams assign leadership duties to the top players, many of them lose their form under the extra pressure.

Meanwhile, a select bunch of cricketers have shown improvement after they got the responsibility of leading their franchise.

Multiple IPL franchises have preferred naming overseas players as IPL team captains after they impressed with their performances. In this article, we will look at those five foreign stars whose numbers improved once they became their respective team's captain.


5. Kane Williamson won the Orange Cap while leading SRH in IPL 2018

Sunrisers Hyderabad appointed David Warner as their skipper in 2015. The Hyderabad-based franchise lifted its maiden IPL trophy in the 2016 season, and it seemed like Warner would continue in his position for an extended period.

Unfortunately, Warner received a one-year suspension from international cricket because of his involvement in the infamous ball-tampering scandal. Even the BCCI barred him from participating in IPL 2018. As a result, the Sunrisers Hyderabad had to replace him with Kane Williamson as the team's captain.

Williamson surpassed expectations in his first season as SRH captain. In the preceding three seasons, the Kiwi batsman had aggregated 411 runs for the team in 15 innings. He scored only three fifties in three seasons.

However, after becoming SRH's skipper, Williamson amassed 735 runs in the IPL in 2018, slamming eight half-centuries. His batting average was over 50 that season, while his strike rate was 142.44.


4. David Warner

As mentioned earlier, David Warner became the Sunrisers Hyderabad team captain in 2015. The Orange Army acquired his services at the 2014 Auction. But in the 2014 season, Shikhar Dhawan and Darren Sammy captained the Sunrisers team.

Warner scored 528 runs in 14 innings for SRH that year. Since taking over the team's reins, the Aussie opener has scored at least 548 runs in every IPL season. He has won the IPL Orange Cap twice. On top of that, Warner led the team to the trophy in 2016 by aggregating 848 runs at a 150+ strike rate.

While Warner's numbers were excellent in the 2014 season, they only got better after becoming the leader.

3. JP Duminy led the Delhi Capitals from the front in IPL 2015

The Delhi Capitals (then Delhi Daredevils) did not have a memorable IPL season in 2014. Hence, the team management released many big names, including Kevin Pietersen and Dinesh Karthik, from the squad. They assigned the team's reins to South African all-rounder JP Duminy.

Duminy joined the Delhi-based franchise in 2014. Although the team did not qualify for the playoffs, Duminy scored 410 runs in 14 innings, registering two half-centuries.

After Delhi named him as their new skipper, his consistency improved a bit. Duminy ended the 2015 season with 414 runs in 13 innings.

He recorded four half-centuries and accounted for eight wickets with his right-arm off-spin. The South African star even registered his maiden IPL four-wicket haul in the 2015 season.

Veteran Indian fast bowler Zaheer Khan replaced JP Duminy as Delhi's captain in 2016.


2. David Hussey

Adam Gilchrist was the Punjab Kings (then Kings XI Punjab) captain from 2011 to 2013. Unfortunately, he was not available for many matches in 2012 because of injury issues. All-rounder David Hussey got the chance to lead Punjab in Gilchrist's absence.

Hussey has been a part of the Mohali-based franchise since 2011. The Aussie all-rounder had a disappointing average of 10.67 in the 2011 IPL season, but the number rose to 42.22 in the 12 innings when Hussey played as Punjab's captain.

Also, his bowling average came down from 38 to 34.33. Hussey led the Punjab Kings from the front in their IPL 2012 league game against the Deccan Chargers. He bagged the Player of the Match award for his unbeaten 65* that helped Punjab win by four wickets.


1. Aaron Finch

Aaron Finch in action during IPL 2013
Aaron Finch in action during IPL 2013

Aaron Finch spent his first three IPL seasons at the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals. In 2013, the Pune Warriors opted for his services. After Finch scored two half-centuries in his first four knocks for Pune, the team management appointed him as the captain.

Finch's strike rate was 131.25 in his first four innings. However, by the end of the season, the number increased to 135.71.

Finch played a match-winning knock of 52 runs against the Delhi Capitals at the MCA Stadium. Besides, his 32-ball 48 was crucial in Pune's 7-run victory over the Kolkata Knight Riders.

He had also been out for a duck against the Mumbai Indians before he became captain. Once he had the leadership responsibility, Finch did not record a single duck. In fact, he scored at least 15 runs in eight out of the ten knocks. The 2013 IPL remains Finch's best season to date.

Edited by Rohit Mishra
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