Cricket is probably the one sport where the captain has the biggest role to play. From deciding the batting lineup to preserving certain bowlers for the death overs to setting the field according to each bowler, a proficient captain can easily be the biggest reason behind his side’s success. Let’s rank every captain of IPL 2020 below.
8. KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab
The newest captain on the block, KL Rahul has been a revelation in the Indian batting lineup ever since he replaced the injured Shikhar Dhawan at the 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup. While he has only captain the Kings on one previous occasion, many have praised his overall leadership and how vocal he is.
Being a wicketkeeper, being vocal and outspoken comes naturally to him and Rahul would be looking to lead Kings XI Punjab out of the danger zone first, as they are currently 2nd favourites to finish bottom of the league table, at 5.50 according to Betway. Find all the odds here:
7. Dinesh Karthik – Kolkata Knight Riders
An IPL original campaigner since the very first season, Karthik is a very experienced keeper-batsman. Karthik was appointed captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2018, when he was 32, replacing the inspirational Gautam Gambhir. DK, has he is fondly called, has endured mixed fortunes ever since, with a win % of just 47 in 32 matches. With the bat, however, he has been quite decent, as he has totaled 910 runs at an average of 37.91 and an impressive striker rate of 143.
In his own words – “As a leader, I think having different opinions and dealing with it is one of the most important things.”
Kolkata Knight Riders have odds of 1.80 to finish in the top 4 this season, and if Karthik can keep the star members of the squad in check, they have every chance of doing that. Bet on Kolkata Knight Riders to finish top 4 here:
6. Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore
Probably the best batsman in the world and the current captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Kohli is already a legend of the sport. His numbers are staggering and he has already broken several batting records in all 3 formats of the game. While he is regarded as an astute captain in international cricket, the one title that is missing from his impressive collection is the IPL title.
Kohli has led RCB by example, as he is the highest run-getter in IPL history and has set a very high standard for his teammates. His performances never dropped after being selected as the captain either, with over 4000 runs in 110 innings as captain, at an average of 44.06 and strike-rate of 136.48. In the 2016 season, Kohli smashed an IPL record 973 runs, but RCB still fell short as they could not beat SRH in the final to win their first title.
In his own words – “I don’t care whether I am going to be judged on the not winning the IPL or not.”
The franchise has full faith in Kohli to lead them to their first ever title, and are currently 7.50 outsiders to win the IPL, as per betway:
5. Shreyas Iyer – Delhi Capitals
One of the most dynamic and consistent young players to have emerged out of the Indian camp in recent years, Shreyas Iyer is in charge of a very exciting new project at the Delhi Capitals. With a new ownership and the priceless guidance of head coach Ricky Ponting, a true legend of the game, the Delhi outfit is one of the outsiders to win the title this season, with odds of 7.00 offered by Betway.
Iyer has been one of the most consistent players for Delhi ever since his debut in 2014. He was appointed as captain in 2018 and last season Delhi finally qualified for the play-offs after a long hiatus under his able relationship. The young man from Kerala oozes confidence and leads by example. He is a smooth talker who gets along with everyone in the squad and is seen as a very positive influence in the dressing room. Iyer is the youngest captain at IPL 2020, and in 24 matches as captain, he has a win % of 54.2.
In His Own Words – “When I got the Delhi Capitals captaincy in the middle of the 2018 season, I was not prepared for it. But I took it up as a challenge. Then in 2019 when I got to know that I was going to captain for the entire season, that helped me prepare mentally. I enjoyed it immensely, and in some sense it made me a better player. It helped me grow.”
Bet on Delhi Capitals to win the title this season at the odds of 7.00 on Betway:
4. Steve Smith – Rajasthan Royals
Steve Smith is one of the most consistent and reliable batsmen of our generation. His ashes heroics in 2019, where he single handedly helped a struggling Australian side retain the trophy, will not be forgotten anytime soon. Smith was snapped up by the Rajasthan Royals to add some much-needed steel and leadership to their middle-order and though he has not emerged as the match winner they expected, he has been a brilliant captain. In 29 matches as captain of 3 different franchises, Smith has a win % of 65.5, the highest out of any other player who has captained a team in more than 20 matches. Smith’s greatest achievement as captain was taking Rising Pune Super Giants to the final of the IPL in 2017, just one season after they finished 7th.
In his own words – “My record probably is better when I’m captain than when I’m not. That sort of pressure doesn’t really bother me.”
Smith can definitely inspire the Royals to perform better than expected, as currently they are the favourites to finish bottom of the table at odds of 4.00 as per Betway:
3. Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians
No other IPL captain has lifted more titles than Rohit Sharma, who has a record 4 titles with the Mumbai Indians. Rohit Sharma is famous for giving his players enough room to fully express themselves, a trait which has helped him get the best out of the precariously talented youngsters like Hardik Bandya and Ishan Kishan. Rohit has even deputized for Virat Kohli as skipper of the Indian Cricket Team, and is often regarded as a master tactician who spends a lot of time with various analysts to focus on every batsman in his team individually. This helps him make informed decisions on the field, a big reason behind the Mumbai Indians’ success so far. According to Srilankan Legend and Mumbai Indians’ coach Mahela Jaywardene, “Rohit is an instinctive leader, for sure. But at the same time Rohit gathers a lot of information as well, I think that’s his strength.”
In his own words – “I believe in a theory that when you are captain, you are the least important person. Others become more important in the larger scheme of things. It works differently for different leaders but as far as I am concerned, this theory works for me.
Rohit leads by example as he is regarded as one of the finest batsmen in limited overs cricket and would be looking to win a record 5th title, for which his side are the favourites at 5.00 as per Betway:
2. David Warner – Sunrisers Hyderabad
The most consistent overseas player in IPL history, David Warner is an equally adept captain as well. In the last 4 years as captain of Sunrisers Hyderabad, Warner has an impressive win % of 55.3. However, it’s his own performance since he became the captain that has grabbed a lot of eyeballs. He has scored 2099 runs with an insane average of 52.47 and a mindblowing strik-rate of 148.44 as captain of SRH, clearly leading from the front and setting an example for the rest of the team. Warner scored more than 800 runs as he almost single-handedly led SRH to the title in 2016, one of the biggest achievements of his rather impressive cricket career. In the final of the 2016 edition, Warner made an incredibly brave call of giving the ball to an uncapped spinner Bipul Sharma, who repaid the faith by getting rid of the dangerous AB Devilliers at a very crucial stage of the tie, to turn the match in their favour.
In his own words – “I don’t see it as a redemption tale, I just see it as an honour to captain the Sunrisers. I’ll put my thinking cap on and try my best to move us forward to another IPL title [he was captain when Sunrisers won the title in 2016].”
Warner will again be looking to inspire SRH’s title charge, as they are 3rd favourites to win the title at 5.50 as per Betway:
1. MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings
Everything about MS Dhoni screams captain material. Ever since he won the inaugural ICC T20 World Cup in 2008 as captain of the Indian Cricket Team, Dhoni has undoubtedly been the most influential captain in World Cricket, especially in the T20 Format. 4 years after the T20 World Cup win, he led India to it’s second ICC World Cup trophy, with an inspirational match-winning knock of 91* in the final, finishing it off in trademark style with a memorable six. In the IPL, Dhoni reigns supreme in the Chennai Super Kings, having the final say in all important cricketing matters, even above the owners of the franchise. Under Dhoni’s able leadership, Chennai Super Kings have reached a record 8 finals, winning the title thrice.
Dhoni is famous for taking very brave decisions which almost always get the desired result, and has also backed many out of favour Indian players who have eventually gone on to represent the country. With a win % of 59.8 across 174 matches as captain, Dhoni is a true IPL legend.
In his own words – “After the first ball is bowled, it’s only chaos. What you are trying to do is you are trying to manage the chaos. It’s not like a script that happens.”
One of the greatest captains in the history of the sport, Dhoni will be chasing that record equaling 4th title, for which Chennai are 2nd favourites at 5.50 as per Betway: