5 Most Successful Captains in IPL History

The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most difficult T20 leagues in the world. There’s constant pressure and expectation on players to churn out the best performances.

And if one is the captain of an IPL team, then expectations go through the roof. It’s a juggling task to bring the best out of every squad member and lead the team by example.

However, a few notable captains have thrived under difficult circumstances, propelling their teams to several victories in the IPL.

In this article, we will list the 5 most successful captains in IPL history.

5. David Warner

David Warner is one of the overseas captains who has won the championship while leading his team. The Australian batter was at the helm of the Sunrisers Hyderabad when the franchise won its maiden IPL title in 2016.

Under Warner’s leadership, SRH qualified for the playoffs in 3 seasons, with 2 appearances coming in consecutive seasons (2016 and 2017). He also led the Delhi Capitals in the 2023 season but had an ordinary outing with only 5 wins.

Overall, Warner led SRH and DC in 83 IPL games, registering wins in 40 matches with a win percentage of 48.19.

4. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli may have fallen short of winning the IPL trophy, but he led his side from the front. His aggressive captaincy style, along with his batting exploits, brought positive results for the Royal Challengers Bengaluru (RCB).

Kohli captained RCB in odd matches between 2011 and 2012, but it wasn’t until 2013 that he was made the full-time captain. Under his captaincy, RCB made it to the IPL Playoffs 4 times in 2015, 2016, 2020, and 2021, with their sole final appearance coming in 2016.

Kohli was at the helm of the team in 143 matches, winning 66 to end up with a winning percentage of 46.15.

Also Read | The Remarkable Journey of Virat Kohli to Success

3. Gautam Gambhir

Gautam Gambhir has the distinction of winning the IPL twice as the Kolkata Knight Riders captain. But before that, he had an average stint as the skipper of the Delhi Daredevils.

However, Gambhir became a staunch leader once he assumed charge of KKR in 2011. In the next season, the Delhi batter took KKR to their maiden title, showcasing his able leadership tactics.

KKR won their second IPL trophy in 2014, with Gambhir yet again commanding his team towards glory. In his 7-season stay at the franchise, he led the team to 61 wins in 108 games.

Overall, Gambhir’s IPL captaincy record is the third-best with 71 wins in 129 matches to go along with a win percentage of 55.03.

2. Rohit Sharma

Having handed over the captaincy midway through the season, one would have succumbed to the pressure. But Rohit Sharma took on the challenge and led the Mumbai Indians to their maiden title triumph in 2013. That’s enough to give you an idea of his astute leadership capabilities.

Rohit repaid the faith shown by the Mumbai management, taking them to new heights after each passing season. In his decade-long captaincy stint, he guided the team to 5 overall IPL victories, making him one of the most successful IPL captains.

Rohit captained the Mumbai Indians in 158 matches, winning 87 with a win percentage of 55.06.

1. MS Dhoni

There are no guesses as to who is the most successful captain in the IPL. It’s none other than Captain Cool, MS Dhoni.

Dhoni tops the list, having won the most matches along with 5 IPL trophies as the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) captain. His exemplary leadership added glorious chapters to CSK’s storied history.

Dhoni’s ability to remain calm in pressure situations is second to none. This superpower helped him take his side over the ropes on many occasions.

Moreover, MSD’s top-notch game awareness and understanding of his players brought the best out of everyone, resulting in consistent performances.

Dhoni led in 226 IPL games and won 133 of them, translating to a win percentage of 58.84. 

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