Top 10 Best Cricket Captain In The World Of All Time
Cricket is a game that requires utmost dedication and passion from any professional player. The roles of different players are distinct from each other based on their abilities. To ensure smooth coordination between the teammates and intellectual decision-making, a Captain of a cricket team plays a crucial role.
The role of captain includes making a correct decision based on the conditions after winning the toss, adapting himself and the teammates if he loses the toss, setting up the batting order and making amendments depending upon the situation, briefing the fielders, and setting the field according to the batsmen and decided the order of bowling and make changes.
After the inception of limited-overs cricket, the role of captain got intense as the captain’s needed to make quick decisions based on the situation of the game. The role is even greater in test matches but it grew important in ODI after the introduction of the World Cup. Since then, many great captains have evolved who have led their team to triumphs at the international level.
What are the qualities of an international cricket captain?
Captains are decision-makers and they need to possess some distinct qualities that will differentiate them from the others. Here are a few qualities of an international cricket captain:
- Intellectual; The captain should be intellectual and a man with high knowledge about the game. He should use his mental ability before taking decisions.
- Boldness: A captain should be fearless and bold while taking decisions in a cricket match. His decisions should be accepted by his teammates.
- Patient: An international cricket captain should be patient and should not make decisions in hurry. He should also be calm and composed to handle pressure situations.
- Passionate: A captain should be passionate about his country and dedicated to recording a win for the country. He should never give up and learn to accept defeats.
- Non-Aggressive: Aggression is not a good quality of a successful captain. A captain can be aggressive in his performance but not in his leadership skills.
- Team Player: A captain should be a team player who will ensure smooth coordination and cooperation between the players.
Here is the list of Top 10 Cricket Captain in the world of all time:’
1. Arjuna Ranatunga
The most successful and visionary captain for Sri Lanka, Arjuna Ranatunga embarked his name in the history of Sri Lankan cricket. Ranatunga possessed the greatest leadership skills that were capable of achieving glory. His highly competitive decision-making changed the fortunes of Sri Lankan cricket as he led the team to its maiden World Cup victory in 1996. Ranatunga transpired the weakly immersive team of Sri Lanka in a stalwart side.
Sri Lanka was greatly considered as a weak team before the 1996 World Cup. However, Ranatunga had a high capability of making bold decisions and his immense support for his players truly turned out to be a game-changer for Sri Lanka at the World Cup. He opened in the final alongside Jayasuriya that trail blazed the opposition’s bowling. Arjuna was not only a captain on the field but also supported his teammates mentally and financially off the field.
Arjuna Ranatunga has led the Sri Lankan side in 56 test matches out of which he secured 12 victories. In the 193 ODI’s as a captain, Sri Lanka won 89 of them under his leadership and that is the reason he was one of the greatest of all time which makes him one of the best cricket captain in the world.
2. Kane Williamson
The most admired sporting personality in the world, Kane Williamson has turned out to be the most successful captain for New Zealand. Williamson has a calm and composed nature that drives him to be loved by his every teammate. Williamson has highly intelligent decision-making abilities and he is renowned for his skillful leadership abilities. He is a pure batsman who plays versatile cricket with elegant shots.
Kane Williamson led the New Zealand team to their first victory at any major ICC championship as the Kiwis lifted the inaugural edition of the Test Championship by defeating Indian in the final of 2021. Williamson was also successful in taking his team to two consecutive World Cup finals in 2015 and 2019. Even after losing on the big stage, Williamson had a cheerful smile on his face that has made him the player of hearts which makes him one of the most popular and best cricket captain in the world.
Kane Williamson has helped New Zealand reach the final of ICC T-20 World Cup 2021. His captaincy has brought a revolutionary change in the performance of the New Zealand cricket team. He has led the side to 24 tests and 72 ODI victories in his career. Williamson has a long way to go in his blissful cricketing career.
3. Eoin Morgan
England being the home of cricket hadn’t won any World Cup till Eoin Morgan’s ambition led his side to their maiden world cup triumph in 2019. A captain with extraordinary leadership skills, Morgan truly set a benchmark in English cricket through his leading abilities and patience. Morgan redefined his career from the red-ball to white-ball cricket and refurbished the team after the 2015 World Cup.
A team that once struggled to reach 300’s was now bagging a score of 400+. Morgan initiated the fearless approach in the young English team. Through his innovative and concussed style of captaincy, Morgan has achieved tremendous success in his era of captaincy. He is also a batsman with raw talent who helped his team to encounter unbelievable chases. Unfortunately, England lost the recently conducted semifinals of the ICC T-20 World Cup in UAE. England was off to a powerful start.
Morgan is the captain to win the second most number of T-20 international matches. He has led England to 37 victories of the 64 matches he served as the captain. England has remarkably won 74 of the 124 matches where Morgan was the captain. Morgan still has a long way to go in his career.
4. Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith has been the highlight of South African cricket as he led his team with an example. The top-order batsman has led South Africa in the most Test matches. Smith was appointed as the captain of his team at a very young age. He took the best out of it and developed outstanding leadership skills. He was successful in his approach and led in a charismatic way. During the reign of Graeme Smith, South Africa became the No. 1 test team a couple of times.
Smith was a legendary captain for the South African team and is in known as the Godfather of Captains in South Africa. He established a unique landmark for himself such that when questions were raised about his captaincy, he stepped down from the role with dignity. He has never been in any controversy and has been a great sportsman on and off the field. He is admired by every South African cricketer.
Smith encountered the highest successful chase for South Africa and led the side to victory in 92 ODI’s of the 150 which he captained. He has the highest victory ratio in tests as he led South Africa to 38 victories of the 62 test matches he led the team.
5. Sourav Ganguly
Fondly called Dada, Sourav Ganguly is renowned as the most fierce and aggressive captain of all time. Ganguly changed the cricketing style through his distinguished leadership. Being ruthless, Ganguly fearlessly made thundering eye contact with any captain he played against. Dada had a remarkable journey as a captain and took over the leadership role when Indian cricket was overshadowed by match-fixing allegations.
The historical moments of Ganguly’s captaincy remain the famous Natwest Series win against England in 2002 and an unbelievable chase against Australia at Eden Gardens. Ganguly nourished the young talent and created a base for the Indian team that won the 2011 World Cup. A Left-Handed batsman, Dada also paved the way for some mesmerizing chases for the national team and he also bowled medium pace to grab crucial wickets.
Sourav Ganguly led the Indian team to a fascinating 76 victories of the 146 ODI’s as a captain. With the ODI format, Dada also loved to play and lead the test cricket team where he helped India to win 13 of the 49 test matches as a captain.
6. Imran Khan
Imran Khan undoubtedly led Pakistan to a record-breaking victory in his career. Khan achieved success at every place he stepped into. He won the elections and is the current Prime Minister of Pakistan. Much before his current admiration, Imran Khan was highly praised and appreciated for his role in leading Pakistan to its maiden World Cup victory. Imran stylishly carried himself and had a huge female fan following.
Imran Khan had a mind-blowing vision and the ability to lead the Pakistani side. Even though he retired after a semifinal loss in the 1987 World Cup, he was recalled by the fans and his teammates as he created history in 1992. He backed youngsters like Inzamam ul Haq and sensed them with responsibilities even after a mediocre performance. Khan was a great all-rounder who batted exceptionally and bowled fiercely.
Imran Khan’s leadership qualities had made him the most admired player in Pakistan. Not so fond of test cricket, Imran led Pakistan to 54 ODI victories in the 96 matches he led as the captain of the team.
7. Clive Lloyd
The list of the best captains of the world will remain incomplete with the most successful and dominant captain of the world. Clive Lloyd is the oldest captain to win a world cup title for his team. He led the West Indies team in the 1970s-1980s the Caribbeans dominated world cricket through their talented performance and versatile leader. Under the leadership of Clive Lloyd, the West Indies team won two consecutive World Cups in 1975 and 1979.
Clive Lloyd was a top-class performer himself who led the batting lineup of his team. Lloyd also took the team to the 1983 finals that means he remains the only captain to lead three consecutive world cup finals. Lloyd possessed scintillating leadership abilities which served as the decisive factor for the world cup victories. Lloyd showed faith in his bowlers who in turn performed for the team and helped in the Caribbean victories. A distinct feature of his captaincy was that he allowed the bowlers to set their field.
Under the captaincy of Lloyd, West Indies won 27 consecutive matches in a row that included 11 test matches. This is still a record held by any captain of the world. He has led the Caribbean side to 64 victories of 84 ODI’s with a win percentage of 77.71 that proves his dominance as the Captain.
8. Steve Waugh
The most sheerly determined captain for Australia, Steve Waugh marked a remarkable change in Australia’s approach in international cricket. A powerful batsman from the 1990s, Waugh ascended the Australian throne before the 1999 World Cup. Steve Waugh’s ability to lead from the front in the most pressure situations is highly regarded in world cricket. Waugh benchmarked a bunch of highly talented cricketers who dominated world cricket for eight years till the 2007 World Cup.
Steve Waugh led the Australian contingent to their second world cup triumph in 1999. At one stage, Australia almost seemed out of the tournament but Waugh revived the situation through his distinct leadership abilities. He scored a match-winning half-century in the semifinal which displayed a strong ability to thrive under pressure situations. Waugh is simply regarded as the most popular and successful cricket captain in the world.
Under the leadership of Steve Waugh, Australia had a distinct stint in the test format as it became the No. 1 Test team in the world. Australia won 41 of the 54 test matches under the leadership of Steve Waugh. Waugh has the highest victory percentage by any captain in Test cricket.
9. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting was a sincere discipline of former captain Steve Waugh and he took the reign over from him and took the Australian team to a next level of success. Ricky Ponting set a unique benchmark for the Australian team were beating them was considered a great achievement. Ponting beat the World XI ODI and Test team under his reign and firmly believes in the notion of leading from the front. He promoted himself at No. 3 and became the run machine of the team.
Ponting achieved an unbelievable record under his captaincy as Australia won two consecutive world cups in 2003 and 2007 without losing a single match. Ponting was an intellectual and aggressive captain. He will forever be cherished as a legendary Australian cricketer. His winning streak at the World Cup ended with a defeat against India at the 2011 World Cup.
Ricky Ponting has a highly successful winning percentage rate in Tests and ODI’s. He is the second most successful test captain in the world with a victory percentage of 62.33%. His victory percentage in ODI’s is the highest in the world i.e. 76.14%. Ricky Ponting has led Australia to 165 victories of the 230 ODI’s he has led the team making his name with the golden letters of cricket history to inspire millions of fans. These are a few reasons why he is one of the greatest and best cricket captain in the world.
10. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Best cricket captain in the world? And MS Dhoni? The boy from Ranchi who had a humiliating start to his career ended up being the most successful captain in the history of cricket. Mahendra Singh Dhoni has achieved inspiring success in his career and has won all the major ICC Trophies under his leadership. Be it the ICC T-20 World Cup 2007, ICC World Cup 2011, or the ICC Champions Trophy 2013, Dhoni has led the Indian side to victory through his highly intellectual intuition and unorthodox leadership skills.
Dhoni’s ability to remain calm and composed in pressure situations is hailed by every cricketing fraternity. For this nature, he was also called Captain Cool. Under MS Dhoni’s test leadership, India was ranked the No. 1 Test team in 2009-10. Dhoni is also the most successful wicketkeeper in the world. Dhoni has achieved success at every phase of his life as he also led the Chennai Super Kings franchise to four times IPL triumph.
Dhoni is hailed for his brilliant finishing skills including the one at the final of the 2011 World Cup where India won the world cup after 28 years. Dhoni is the poster boy of Indian cricket and the most popular cricketing personality in the world. He enjoys tremendous popularity as India has won 178 ODI matches under his captaincy.
Though this is the list of the cricketing captains of the past, the sport has a long journey to go as we will witness a rapid transition in the leadership of most of the cricketing nations. We can witness a spark amongst various developing captains including Virat Kohli, Aaron Finch, Dasun Shanaka, and Mahmadullah. Cricket is truly a never-ending sport and has a luminous path ahead.
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