A good leader does not order those under him to do all the work and take the credit for himself; he shares in the work, he helps others, he guides them, and he shares the success with everyone who helped. A good leader sets a good example for others to see and replicate.
A good captain shares the same responsibilities. He can make a team perform better or worst. Below is a list of the best team captains who have played cricket.
1. Ricky Ponting
The most successful cricket captain to play the game, Ricky Ponting has recorded the most number of wins. He captained Australia from 2002 to 2012. During this time, he led the team to 220 victories.
His career success includes two World Cup victories (2003 and 2007), and an incredible win rate of 67.90. During his captaincy, it was seen as the golden era of the Australian national cricket team.
2. MS Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni joined Team India in 2004. He recently resigned from Test cricket but is still going strong in the rest of the formats. He captained the team in all formats from 2007 to 2016. Leading the team in 332 games, he is the captain with most matches played.
One of the greatest wicketkeeper-batsmen, Dhoni helped India win 178 games during his captaincy. His achievements include World Twenty20 2007, Asia Cup 2010, World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013. He led the Indian team with a winning rate of 53.61 during his time.
3. Graeme Smith
The left-handed batsman and occasional off-break bowler, Graeme Smith is a former cricketer of South Africa. He represented the team in all formats of cricket between 2002 and 2014, and received the captaincy a year into his career, performing the responsibility till the end of it.
Under his leadership, South Africa played 286 matches and won in 163 of them. With his national squad, he had a win percentage of 56.99, making him one of the most notable captains of his country. Without any doubt, Smith is one of the best team captains in the world, based on the number of wins.
4. Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh was a perfect all-rounder and a great right-hand Batsman. He served as an Australian Captain both in ODI’s and Test from 1999 to 2004. He has a record of winning 16 consecutive test Victories. Under his captaincy, Australia has also won the World Cup of 1999.
Steve has also played a major role in nourishing the talents of new players in his team like Ponting and Lee. He is often known as “Mr. Cool” by his teammates.
5. Arjun Ranatunga
With the most wins in Tests, ODI and T20I, former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga is one of the best team captains. He played for the national team from 1982 to 2000 and led the team in 249 matches between 1988 and 1999. During this time, Ranatunga helped win 101 matches, including the 1996 World Cup.
He has a win percentage of 40.56, was nicknamed Captain Cool for his temperament, and is credited for bringing the spotlight on Sri Lanka.
6. Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming was a former captain of the New Zealand national team. He represented them from 1994 to 2009. Fleming was the winning captain of ICC KnockOut Trophy 2000, the only ICC trophy of the country to date. He was also the first captain for his country in the world’s historic first Twenty20 International.
Between 1997 and 2007, he led his team to win 128 out of 303 matches, with a win rate of 42.24.
7. Imran Kahn
Imran Kahn brought Pakistan their first World Cup in 1992. He taught his team to play like ‘cornered tigers’, making the most out of their chances.
Because of his spirit and determination, and with the help of his team, the English national team fell under pressure. Imran Kahn showed his team that as long as they believed in their capabilities, they could win. And win they did.
8. Allan Border
Allan Border played for Australia from 1978 to 1994, but only captained the team starting in 1984. When he retired, he was also one of the highest run-scorer in both ODI and Test at the time.
During his captaincy, he helped his team win 139 out of their 271 matches, reaching a win percentage of 51.29. One of the best left-handed batsmen of all time, Captain Grumpy (as some of his teammates would call him) appeared in the second highest number of test matches as the captain.
9. Mahela Jayawardena
Another successful cricket captain, Mahela led the played from 1997 to 2015 and captained the Sri Lankan team from 2004 to 2013. During his career, he achieved a win percentage of 54.3, and leading his team to 101 victories out of 186 games. Though he wasn’t able to bring the team a championship, he helped improve their performance during the Cricket World Cup 2011 and 2017, and the ICC World Twenty20 2009 and 2012.
10. Mohammad Azharuddin
Despite his lifelong BCCI ban, one cannot simply ignore Azharuddin’s accomplishments. He is one of the best team captains based on the number of victories, having won 104 of 221 during his captaincy from 1990 to 1999. He played for team India between 1984 and 2000. His victories helped him attain a win percentage of 47.05.
Previously published here and reprinted with the author’s permission.
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