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Best Cricket Captain in the World 

Cricket captains play a crucial role in shaping their team’s success. In this article, we highlight five outstanding captains who have made a significant impact on the sport over it’s long history. From making strategic decisions to motivating their team, these leaders have shown exceptional skill in steering their side to victory.

5 Best Cricket Captains of All Time

Ricky PontingAustralia3242207767.9
MS DhoniIndia33217812054.61
Graeme SmithSouth Africa2861638956.99
Allan BorderAustralia2711398951.29
Virat KohliIndia2131356063.38

1. Ricky Ponting 

Ricky Ponting is unanimously approved as one of the finest captains in the history of the game. Leading the Australian cricket team from 2004 to 2011, Ponting’s tenure was marked by unparalleled success, winning 220 out of 324 matches, which translates to 67.9 per cent.

Under his captaincy, Australia enjoyed a golden era, dominating world cricket.  Ponting’s astute tactical mind allowed him to make shrewd decisions on the field, whether it was setting aggressive field placements, rotating bowlers effectively, or strategizing against opponents.

In Test cricket, Ponting led Australia in 77 matches, winning an impressive 48 of them, with a win percentage of approximately 62.33%. Under his leadership, Australia enjoyed an unprecedented winning streak, clinching 16 consecutive Test victories between December 2005 and January 2008, a feat unmatched in cricket history at the time. 

In ODIs, Ponting’s captaincy record was equally remarkable. He took on the role of captain in the ODI World Cup twice, in 2003 and 2007, and his performance was truly remarkable. Leading his team in 29 matches across both tournaments, Ponting achieved an astonishing win record, with his team emerging victorious in 26 of those matches. This outstanding record equates to an awe-inspiring win percentage of 89.65. Ponting’s leadership played a pivotal role in Australia’s success as they clinched the ODI World Cup titles in both 2003 and 2007. Along with these two World Cup, Ponting also led Australia to the title at the 2006 and 2009 Champions Trophies. Overall, he captained Australia in 227 ODIs, winning 163 of them.

2. MS Dhoni 

Known for his calm demeanour, Dhoni led the Indian cricket team across all formats of the game from 2007 to 2016. 

Dhoni’s captaincy tenure is synonymous with numerous records and achievements. In Test cricket, he captained India in 60 matches, winning 27 of them and losing 18, with a win percentage of approximately 45%. Under his leadership, India attained the No. 1 ranking in Test cricket for the first time in December 2009. 

FormatMatches PlayedWinsLosses DrawsTiesNo ResultsWin Percentage

In ODIs, Dhoni’s captaincy was nothing short of legendary. He led India in 199 ODIs, winning an impressive 110 matches, with a win percentage of around 55.27%. Dhoni’s crowning glory as an ODI captain came in 2011 when he guided India to victory in the ICC Cricket World Cup, ending a 28-year drought. He is the only Indian captain to win three ICC trophies – the T20 World Cup in 2007, the ODI World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. 

Coming to the shortest format of the game, Dhoni captained India in 72 T20Is, winning 41 matches and boasting a win percentage of approximately 57%.

3. Graeme Smith

Graeme Smith is renowned as one of Test cricket’s most accomplished captains. His leadership catapulted the South African Test team to formidable heights in the cricketing world. Overseeing the team in 108 Test matches, Smith secured victory in 53 encounters, while encountering defeat in 29 matches and drawing 26. His remarkable feat of captaining a team for more than 100 Test matches remains unmatched. Smith’s leadership was marked by numerous pivotal series triumphs, notably guiding South Africa to a historic victory against Australia in 2008-09. This triumph marked South Africa’s first Test series win in Australia in 16 years. 

In ODI cricket, Smith led South Africa in 149 matches, winning 92 and losing 51, giving him a win percentage of 61%. He was also the first captain to lead South Africa in T20I cricket, winning 18 out of 27 matches.

4. Allan Border 

Taking the helm during a tumultuous period in Australian cricket in the mid-1980s, Allan Border transformed the team’s fortunes. Border’s captaincy tenure spanned from 1984 to 1994, during which he led Australia in a record 93 consecutive Test matches. Under his guidance, Australia evolved from a struggling side into a formidable force in world cricket.

Border had a particularly impressive captaincy records against England. Under his leadership, Australia secured three consecutive series victories against their arch-rivals: in 1989 (4-0), 1990-1991 (3-0), and 1993 (4-1). His overall record as captain against England was impressive, with 13 wins, six losses, and 10 draws. He did not experience a Test defeat against them from the 1986 Boxing Day Test until his final Ashes match in August 1993. 

Border’s biggest achievement in ODI cricket was winning the 1987 ODI World Cup. While his individual performances in the tournament were modest, his captaincy was brilliant. 

Border retired in May 1994 as Test cricket’s highest run-scorer. Overall, he won 139 of 271 games as captain. 

5. Virat Kohli

Virat Kohli was not able to win any major tournaments as the captain of the Indian Cricket Team. But statistically, he deserves a place in the list of cricket’s best captains, having registered an overall win percentage of 63.38. 

Kohli took charge of Team India for the first time during the inaugural Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in December 2014. He marked his captaincy debut with a century in the first innings of the match, joining the ranks of just four Indians to achieve this milestone in Test cricket.

He led India in 68 Test matches, winning 40 and losing 17. Kohli led the team in 95 ODIs, winning 65 and losing 27 matches. He also led the team to the semi-final of the 2019 World Cup. In the shortest format of the game, Kohli captained in 50 games, winning 30 and losing 16.



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