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Top 5 unusual picks as skipper that turned out to be a success

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Captains of the 2011 ICC World Cup face the cameras ahead of the tournament

The selection of a new captain in cricket is perhaps the most debated topic every time a change at the helm is ushered in. His international career leading up to that moment is reviewed and his aggregates with bat and ball come under the microscope. His individual record notwithstanding, his ability to lead the side is scrutinised as well.

Has he led at the domestic level? Can he command the respect of his peers? Can he keep a cool head under pressure? These are just some of the several questions that critics raise. While the cynics play “devil’s advocate”, it’s comes down to the captain elect to prove his detractors wrong and deliver on the field.

Through the course of ODI history, batsmen seem to have enjoyed the rub of the green as far as preference for captaincy is concerned. Also, it’s highly unlikely that a rookie is picked to lead a side that has “seniors” in it. Therefore, when either of these two scenarios play out and the captain elect is deemed out of the ordinary, a furore normally ensues. 

We take a look at five cricketers that were deemed as unusual options for ODI captain, but managed to post a reasonable success rate.

#5 Tillakaratne Dilshan

Dilshan was a naturally gifted cricketer but was never really considered a captain for the long-haul

The right-handed batsman from Kalutra is one of the most naturally gifted cricketers to emerge from the island nation. Constantly attacking and looking to dominate at the top of the order, Dilshan carved a niche for himself as an effervescent opening batsman. While he will perhaps be best remembered for the “Dilscoop”, his superlative ODI career that spanned 327 ODIs, make him a Sri Lankan icon.

Also read: Why was Dhananjaya de Silva ruled "not-out" despite a hit-wicket

His vast international experience notwithstanding, Dilshan was never quite considered as captain material amidst the other stalwarts in the side. So it was more an afterthought when in 2011, he was handed the reins after Kumar Sangakkara resigned. Although, Dilshan’s reign lasted under a year, he did manage to win 11 of the 26 ODIs that he led for Sri Lanka with a win rate of 42%.

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