From MS Dhoni to Virat Kohli to Rohit Sharma, the Indian T20 League has featured some of the best cricket captains, whose ability to lead their teams to success is a huge reason why the league is the most competitive T20 league today. However, the winning percentage alone can’t determine the best captain in the Indian T20 League.
While Rohit Sharma holds the record for winning the most titles, the team’s enormous success is widely credited to its balanced squad of experienced players and young talents over the years.
MS Dhoni has a strong claim too. Not only has he led the Chennai team to 3 titles, but he has helped the team make it to 10 playoffs in 11 seasons, missing out only in the 2020 season. Kolkata won 2 titles in 3 seasons under Gautam Gambhir’s captaincy, proving his captaincy credentials as well.
3 Most Successful Captains in the Indian T20 League (Minimum 100 matches)
Rohit Sharma (Team Mumbai) – Win Rate 60.16%
A former Deccan player and current Mumbai opener, Rohit Sharma is the most successful captain in the league on the basis of title wins. He has led Mumbai to 5 league titles, with 74 wins in 123 matches so far, and has the highest winning percentage among players to captain over 100 matches.
MS Dhoni (Team Chennai) – Win Rate 59.27%
MS Dhoni is arguably the most popular captain in the Indian T20 League history. He has captained 195 matches and won 115 of them. Although Dhoni is ranked second behind Rohit Sharma in terms of win percentage, he has captained 72 more matches than Rohit. Widely considered the most successful captain in the league, Dhoni has captained Chennai and Pune and has lifted the trophy three times..
Gautam Gambhir (Team Kolkata) – Win Rate 55.42 %
Former Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir, who moved from Delhi to replace Sourav Ganguly as their captain before the 2011 season, has captained 129 matches, with 71 wins and 2 titles to his name.
3 Captains with Most Runs in the Indian T20 League
Virat Kohli (Team Bangalore) – 6076 runs in 199 matches
Virat Kohli, captain of the Bangalore team since 2011, is the highest run scorer in the league, with a run tally of 6076 runs. He is the only player in the league to captain over 100 matches and be trophyless. He has led the team in 132 matches and won 60 games, with his win percentage being 48.04.
Rohit Sharma (Team Mumbai) – 5480 runs in 207 matches
Rohit Sharma is the fourth-highest run scorer in the history of the Indian T20 League, with 5480 runs in 207 matches at an average of 31.49 and a strike rate of 130.50. He has hit 40 half centuries and 1 century in the history of the league.
David Warner (Team Hyderabad) – 5447 runs in 148 matches
One of the most prolific overseas batters in the league, David Warner captained Hyderabad from 2015 to 2021 and made 5447 runs in 148 matches, including 50 half centuries and 4 centuries.
3 Most Successful Overseas Indian T20 League Captains
Over 13 years of the league, only three overseas captains have managed to lift the title: Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and David Warner.
Adam Gilchrist (Team Hyderabad in 2009)
The former Australian southpaw captained the now-defunct Team Deccan and Team Punjab during his time in the league. Gilchrist has 35 wins from 74 matches, with his best season being the 2009 edition with Deccan, where he lifted the trophy beating Team Bangalore in Johannesburg.
Shane Warne (Team Rajasthan in 2008)
Shane Warne led Rajasthan to their only Indian T20 League title as they won the first-ever edition of the league way back in 2008. Warne led Rajasthan for three seasons, winning 30 matches out of the 55 games played. The team has failed to reach these lofty heights again since the opening edition.
David Warner (Team Hyderabad in 2016)
David Warner led the new Hyderabad team to their only Indian T20 League title as they won the 2016 edition beating the much-fancied Bangalore team. Warner led Hyderabad from 2015 to 2021 and captained the team in 69 matches, winning 35 of them. The team reached the playoffs for five consecutive years from 2016 to 2020.
Other Successful Captains in the Indian T20 League
While there have been only six title-winning captains in the league’s history, numerous others have also shined in the leadership role.
Sachin Tendulkar captained Mumbai in 51 matches and won 30 of them, while Dinesh Karthik had led Kolkata for a total of 43 matches and won 21 of them. Virender Sehwag led Delhi and Punjab for a total of 53 matches, winning 28 of them.
Former Australian captain Steve Smith led Pune and Rajasthan in the past for 43 matches in total and won 25 games. Current Hyderabad captain Kane Williamson has also had a good start, with a win percentage of 53.70 in 27 matches.
New Generation Captains in Indian T20 League
Current stars in the league like Shreyas Iyer, KL Rahul, Rishabh Pant have looked very promising long-term captaincy candidates so far.
Delhi skipper Shreyash Iyer had made a bright start when he took over the reins in 2018, a win percentage of 53.65%. Rishabh Pant also had a great start in Iyer’s absence in the 2021 edition, with a 68.75% win percentage so far.
Sanju Samson also made a decent start to his stint as captain of the Rajasthan Team in 2021, winning 3 of the first 7. KL Rahul also had a decent start as the Punjab captain in 2020, with 42.85% wins in 21 matches. He has shown promise and may lead the franchise to its first-ever title in the league.
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