The second week of IPL 2021 has been an exciting one. All the games played have been thrilling in their own way. Some of the matches have gone right down to the wire.
Team captains have played a tremendous role in guiding their respective franchises in pressure situations. Captains not only play a role in rotating the field and the bowlers during the match but also have the large burden of holding up their team's spirit during challenging circumstances.
Moreover, captains also take the crucial call of selecting the playing XI (along with the management) before every match.
Having said that, we will now rank the captains of all 8 teams based on their performance over the course of the second week of IPL 2021:
8. Eoin Morgan (Kolkata Knight Riders) - IPL Captain Score: 5
Even though Eoin Morgan has a fantastic record in ODI and T20I cricket, the KKR captain hasn't been able to replicate his leadership skills in IPL 2021.
KKR's string of poor performances in this edition of the IPL has raised questions about Morgan's captaincy, especially since the franchise sports a supremely talented and balanced squad.
In KKR's game against the Royal Challengers Bangalore on Saturday, Varun Chakravarti was taken out of the attack after picking up 2 wickets in his previous over. It was perhaps one of the most questionable decisions made by Eoin Morgan this week.
If KKR wants to go the distance in IPL 2021, Morgan will certainly need to do better.
7. Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals) - IPL Captain Score: 6
Leading a heavily plagued Rajasthan squad in his first stint as captain, Sanju Samson has certainly had a tough time so far. The Rajasthan Royals have lost three of their five matches this season.
Sanju Samson has neither been able to lead his team in chasing big totals nor been able to defend targets regularly. Samson's inconsistent performances with the bat have only added to his misery as an IPL captain.
6. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians) - IPL Captain Score: 6.5
It may be surprising to see Rohit Sharma's name so low on the list. However, Sharma and the Mumbai Indians have had an off week. They have lost two matches on the trot.
The defending champions have had back-to-back batting collapses. And unlike what they did against Kolkata and Hyderabad earlier in the tournament, they failed to defend their low totals this past week.
However, given Rohit Sharma's past IPL record with the Mumbai Indians, the team is expected to bounce back in the coming weeks.
5. KL Rahul (Punjab Kings) - IPL Captain Score: 7
KL Rahul seems to be having a sensational season with the bat yet again. The PBKS captain has scored three half-centuries in 5 games so far. He has also managed to lead his troops to two victories and move to 5th place on the points table.
Even though the Punjab Kings have a weak middle order, KL Rahul's leadership with the bat and his calm aggression on the field have kept his team from falling behind.
#4 David Warner (Sunrisers Hyderabad) - IPL Captain Score: 7
David Warner has been one of the most consistent performers in the IPL. He has scored 500+ runs in every season since 2014, and has led the Sunrisers Hyderabad to a play-off berth on every occasion since 2016.
Sadly, Hyderabad are having a disastrous IPL season this year. The orange army has been on the losing side on 4 out of the 5 games they have featured in, placing them 7th on the points table just above the Kolkata Knight Riders.
However, David Warner has thus far exhibited exemplary leadership by backing the likes of Jonny Bairstow despite the pressure of bringing in Kane Williamson to strengthen the team's middle order. He has also promoted young players like Virat Singh to bat at No. 4 despite Manish Pandey being available for selection.
#3 Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals) - IPL Captain Score: 8
Rishabh Pant seems to be having a brilliant time as the captain of Delhi Capitals. The young wicketkeeper batsman has been able to extract the best out of his team so far. Delhi Capitals are currently placed 2nd in the points table with 8 points.
Rishabh Pant has often been seen consoling his bowlers after a bad over, and also enthusiastically joins in all wicket celebrations to keep the team morale high. Leading a team of senior players like Shikhar Dhawan, Ajinkya Rahane and Steve Smith is no easy task, but Pant has done a decent job so far.
#2 MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings) - IPL Captain Score: 8
MS Dhoni has shown exemplary leadership for the Chennai Super Kings franchise in the 2nd week of the IPL. Under Dhoni's superb captaincy, Chennai Super Kings have won 4 games on the trot to occupy the top spot in the IPL points table.
Dhoni is known for promoting and encouraging young talent in the team, and has continued to do so successfully this week as well. Dhoni's words of encouragement continue to support his bowlers. His mere presence behind the stumps is a big boost for CSK.
#1 Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore) - IPL Captain Score: 8.5
Virat Kohli has shown immense courage and fighting spirit in leading the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise this week. Kohli's RCB currently sit at the 3rd position on the points table with 8 points in the bag.
Barring their previous game against CSK, Kohli's aggressive style of captaincy has helped RCB perform better this season. The Bengaluru-based team have been extremely active and full of intensity in all their matches thus far, indicating a fantastic atmosphere in the dressing room.
If Virat continues to lead his team this way, RCB are sure to qualify for the play-offs.