The legacy of a cricket captain is measured by the benchmarks they set, be it results or the vision for their team on a long-term basis.
But what actually makes someone a good cricket captain? The suitable answer would be the person who studies, motivates and maximises every aspect of their respective teams to play and win cricket matches. Also, they are great communicators who constantly urge their players to keep pushing forward irrespective of results.
The sport has seen multiple cricketers who were not just captains but ‘leaders’ who revolutionised their team’s growth in the sport. Here are some of the very best cricket captains.
MS Dhoni: The champion of ICC tournaments
Nicknamed ‘Captain Cool’, MS Dhoni is the only captain in cricket history to win the ICC ODI World Cup (2011), ICC T20 World Cup (2007), and the ICC Champions Trophy (2013).
Dhoni played the most matches as captain in international cricket (332) between 2007 and 2018, with 178 wins, 120 defeats, 15 draws and six tied games. His win percentage (53.61) is second to Virat Kohli (63.38) when considering 100 or more matches as India’s skipper across all formats.
Ricky Ponting: The complete package
Among the most remarkable cricket captains Australia has given to the sport, Ricky Ponting’s tenure is arguably the greatest.
Ponting, who was the Aussie captain from 2002 to 2012, registered the most wins (220), the best winning percentage (67.9) and the most runs as a skipper across all formats (15,440). Additionally, he has the joint-most centuries as captain (41). Outside of captaincy, the legendary player is among cricket’s top five most prolific run-getters.
Furthermore, Ricky Ponting is the only captain in the 21st century to win the ODI World Cup twice (2003 and 2007).
Clive Lloyd: The first captain with a century of victories
Sir Clive Lloyd was the flagbearer for the West Indies team that dominated cricket in the 1970s and 1980s. He was the first cricket captain to win the ICC ODI World Cup in succession (1975 and 1979), a feat that Ricky Ponting would emulate years later.
Additionally, Lloyd is the first to have 100 victories as a cricket captain. His captaincy tenure lasted 11 years between 1974 and 1985, with 100 wins, 30 defeats, 26 draws and one tied game.
Among the most notable mentions, such as Graeme Smith (South Africa), Steve Waugh (Australia), Arjuna Ranatunga (Sri Lanka), Virat Kohli (India) and Imran Khan (Pakistan), another name that deserves to join this elite list is Eoin Morgan.
Eoin Morgan: The architect of England’s ODI revolution in the 2010s era
Eoin Morgan, who retired from international cricket earlier this year, captained England to their maiden World Cup title in 2019 and holds the honour of leading the Three Lions in record matches (198).
Furthermore, he holds the unique honour of overseeing his players break the record for highest ODI score thrice – 498/4 vs Netherlands (2022), 481/6 vs Australia (2018) and 444/3 vs Pakistan (2016)
Unlike in the past, modern-day cricket captains have little to no room for error to keep their captaincy intact given the ever-evolving competitive nature of cricket. Some current captains, such as India’s Rohit Sharma, will get a shot at scripting a new chapter in their captaincy journey in the upcoming ICC T20 World Cup 2022.
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