Strongest ODI playing XI featuring 11 captains
- MS Dhoni or Ricky Ponting? Who should be the captain of a team full of captains?
- We put together a team of 11 of the very best captains in cricket history.
#7 MS Dhoni
Is there a better wicketkeeper-batsman-captain than former Indian skipper MS Dhoni? The former Indian wicketkeeper is third in the all-time list of captains who have captained their team in most ODIs (199) behind Ricky Ponting and Stephen Fleming and is second in the list of matches won by a captain (110) with a result percentage of 59.57.
Dhoni is arguably the greatest captain to have led India and is the only captain to win a World T20, World Cup and ICC Champions Trophy. Even with the bat, he is brilliant and is arguably the world's best finisher. As a wicketkeeper, he is reliable and has the fastest hands in the business. The right-hander has scored 10773 runs in 297 innings at an average of 50.57 and a strike-rate of 88.13 and has effected 448 dismissals in the format.
#8 Imran Khan
Current Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan was very influential in leading his team to World Cup glory in 1992 and has won 75 out of the 139 matches he captained with a win percentage of 55.92.
Pakistan has won 75 ODIs of the 139 they played under Imran, at a win percentage of 54.16. As a player, he is one of the greatest all-rounders to have played the sport, scoring 3709 runs at 33.41 runs an innings and has taken 182 wickets at 26.61 in the 175 ODIs he played between 1974and 1992.
#9 Kapil Dev
Along with Imran Khan, his companion from the Fab 4 all-rounders in the 1980s, Kapil Dev features in the XI as an all-rounder. If MS Dhoni is India's greatest captain, Kapil Dev was the one who changed the fortunes of cricket in India as he led the 1983 World Cup-winning Indian team. As a captain, Kapil has done a lot for Indian cricket.
Even after 25 years since his retirement, the Indian team is yet to find a replacement for him. This shows his quality as a player as he won matches for the team with both bat and ball. He has scored 3783 runs in 225 ODIs at an average and strike-rate of 23.79 and 95 respectively. With the ball, he has 253 wickets at 27.45 per wicket.
#10 Daniel Vettori
It is very difficult to find international captains who are also spin bowlers. Among the captains with at least 30 ODIs under their belt, no spinner is as successful as Daniel Vettori, as the Kiwi has captained his team in 82 matches and has won 41 out of it with a win percentage of 50.
Vettori might not be the most excellent captain to have come out of New Zealand as his former teammates Stephen Fleming, and Brendon McCullum had a better impact than the spinner as a captain. Still, he is easily one of the best spin bowlers in the world irrespective of the format as he has taken 305 wickets in 295 matches at an average of 31.71.
#11 Mashrafe Mortaza
Mashrafe Mortaza might have captained Bangladesh in just 58 matches, but the impact he had on the team and Bangladesh cricket during his reign is something that cannot be explained.
Bangladesh has benefitted a lot from his captaincy, and the right-arm pacer has taken his team to the ICC World Cup knockouts and the Champions Trophy semi-finals for the first time in their history. Also, the Tigers have started competing with more prominent teams in the format at home and even away from home.
He has helped Bangladesh win 32 out of the 58 matches he captained and is the only Bangladeshi skipper to have a result percentage of more than 50.
Despite undergoing numerous knee surgeries, Mashrafe continued playing for Bangladesh and is taking them to greater heights. With 245 wickets in 190 matches at an average of 30.87, he is Bangladesh's leading wicket-taker in the format.
Captain and 12th man
In a team that has 11 captains playing in it, it is challenging to name a captain who will be leading others. Ricky Ponting, Clive Lloyd and MS Dhoni are the names that were considered to lead the team that has the captains who have led their teams to World Cup wins on eight occasions combined.
Both Lloyd and Ponting have won two World Cups each as captains while Dhoni has won the World Cup and Champions Trophy once each. But, Ponting gets the nod over Lloyd, thanks to the two Champions Trophy titles Australia won under him.
Allan Border, who has captained Australia in 178 ODIs with 107 wins and a result percentage of 61.42, will be the team's 12th man. He missed out on a place in the XI to Cronje, thanks to the South African's superior bowling abilities that could come in handy if needed.