IPL 2020 is just a handful of days away. T20, especially IPL, has always been a type of cricket which is constantly evolving. Be it with the invention of various shots like reverse sweep or utilization of slower deliveries with the ball. Not to forget those catch along the boundary which could have easily been sixes a few years ago.
Despite such dynamic nature of the game, having a stable combination is extremely important in T20 cricket. Especially in IPL where you have the restriction of playing only four foreign players. Needless to say, the captain is the most integral piece of this T20 puzzle. An IPL captain has to allocate his resources properly according to the conditions and strengths of his team. The IPL 2020 tournament being in UAE will add another layer to it.
Today we will analyse the captains of every IPL team. We will reflect on some of their past moments and lastly discuss the best captain of them all.
Virat Kohli (RCB)
We start off with probably the most controversial name on the list. RCB’s performance keeping in mind the team they have is just baffling. Unfortunately, captain Kolhi has to take the blame for their collective failure. Everybody knows the aggressive nature of Kohli. He has directed that aggressive nature towards proper ideas for the betterment of the team. However, the results do not reflect. Kohli has led the side in 110 matches with a winning percentage of 44.5%.
Kohli has done a great job firstly by taking responsibility to open the innings. He has also instilled confidence in his pace bowlers and spinners. He has backed young talent like Mohammad Siraj and Navdeep Saini. Because of him, both Umesh Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal have improved. Sadly he fails to get the collective effort of the rest of the team.
David Warner (SRH)
David Warner happens to be one of the only two foreign captains in the tournament. Warner led the side last year as well but not for the entire season. The Sunrisers being a balanced team, Warner has his work cut out for him. He also has the guidance of long-time captain Kane Williamson. The good thing being about Warner is the Aussie is in sublime form. It will be interesting to see whether he could translate that momentum into batting and captaincy. He has captained in 47 matches with a win percentage of 55.3%.
Steve Smith (RR)
Along with David Warner, Steve Smith happens to be one of the two foreign captains in the IPL. Smith also happens to be the captain of the elite Australian national team. However, he hasn’t shown much of that in IPL. Smith could only captain few matches of the 2019 season when the Royals finished seventh. Good thing being him having a lot of leadership experience. Royals have a newly formed side so it will be interesting to see how Smith works with them. It can actually be a double-edged sword if not executed properly. He has captained in 29 matches with a winning percentage of 65.55%.
KL Rahul (KXIP)
Rahul has always been like a lone warrior for his team. Rahul has run through the T20 batsman rankings at number 2. It will be interesting to see how the added weight of captaincy reflects on his performance. Rahul has always been a team man for team India batting at almost every position and also kept wickets. Therefore, taking responsibility isn’t something new for Rahul.
Shreyas Iyer (DC)
Iyer has been like a fresh of new air among the captaincy circuit. He took captaincy from Gautam Gambhir and took the team to an impressive third place last season. What made it more impressive is that he had a very young team to work with. Iyer is expected to deliver the same performance this time around as well. He has captained in 24 matches with a 54% winning percentage.
Dinesh Karthik (KKR)
Karthik has impressed in his captaincy as well. He has taken off from where Gautam Gambhir left. He has stuck with what has worked by the side by promoting Sunil Narine at the opening place. He has led in 22 matches with a winning percentage of 50%. Striking the right balance has always been his strength.
MS Dhoni (CSK)
Nothing needs to be said about captain cool, MS Dhoni. Throughout the years he has been a phenomenal leader for the Indian team and Chennai Super Kings. Team India has got world-class talents like Ravichandra Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Manpreet Gony, Deepak Chahar, and even the comeback of Ashish Nehra under his supervision. CSK has won three IPL trophies under him. He instils a lot of confidence in any player, be it young or old. He has captained in a whopping 174 matches with a winning percentage of 60.11%
Rohit Sharma (MI)
Rohit Sharma happens to be the most successful IPL captain with MI winning four seasons under him that too in only seven years. Sharma has shown a proper blend of both data and instincts. He has recognized his team’s strengths and weaknesses properly. He is known for his allocation of resources. Sharma has also earned a perfect balance of his foreign players and has worked on his bench strength as well. Just like Dhoni, many cricketers like Hardik Pandya, Krunal Pandya, Ambati Rayadu, Jasprit Bumrah, etc, have been prepared under him. He has captained in 104 matches with a winning percentage of 58.65%.
Who is the best captain?
One may say, Rohit Sharma, based on the stats and the number of cups he has won. However, in my opinion, MS Dhoni continues to become the best IPL captain going into season 2020. The way he has commanded both young and veteran players throughout the years is phenomenal. The fact that he has the highest winning percentage despite leading in the most number of matches, itself justifies his greatness.
Recently 13 members of the CSK staff including 2 players were tested positive. Also, seniors Suresh Raina and Harbhajan Singh pulled out of the tournament. Dhoni was given the option of starting the tournament a bit late. But he stuck with the scheduled fixture, that just goes to show his bravery and courage as a leader.
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