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Best IPL Captain – Most successful captains in IPL history

The T20 format is a highly fleeting one and given the fact that a game can change quite drastically in a competition like the IPL, the captain’s job is crucial. Leading a team in a competition of this magnitude is not easy, though. Few cricketers have successfully held the position of captain for an extended period of time due to their reliable play. 

The five most successful IPL captains in the league’s history will be covered in this article. We have considered a minimum of 50 matches for a player to be qualified to be included in this list. 

Top 5 IPL Captains

Gautam Gambhir – Kolkata Knight Riders, Delhi Capitals

Gautam Gambhir came into his own as an IPL captain when he was snapped up by the Kolkata Knight Riders in 2011. The left-hander proved to be an inspirational leader who accumulated runs for fun upfront and played a pivotal role in Kolkata Knight Riders clinching the IPL title in 2012 and 2014. 

As far as numbers are concerned, Gambhir also has led his side in 129 matches and has won 71 of those contests. Gambhir is one of the greatest IPL captains ever with a win percentage of 55.42.

Shane Warne – Rajasthan Royals

Arguably the greatest spinner to have played the game, Shane Warne led a bunch of inexperienced and unfancied names to the title in the inaugural season of IPL when he captained the Rajasthan Royals. His multiple responsibilities as the captain and coach were absolutely spot on. The Royals, considered the underdogs among the other celebrity-studded teams, overcame all odds in 2008 to win the maiden IPL trophy.

The Jaipur-based team’s 55 games during Warne’s captaincy saw the Royals come out on top 30 times. Since the first IPL season, the Royals have failed to claim their second championship.

Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians

One of the most successful captains in IPL, Rohit Sharma has led Mumbai Indians to as many as 5 titles. He took over the side in 2013 and since this move, Mumbai has dominated the league. 

Rohit was Mumbai’s captain in their successful campaigns in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020. In 143 matches, Rohit has led his side to wins on 79 occasions with a winning percentage of 56.64.

Sachin Tendulkar – Mumbai Indians

Sachin Tendulkar led the Mumbai Indians team admirably despite not having much success as the Indian captain. Under his leadership, MI advanced to the 2010 championship game but lost to CSK. Overall, Sachin captained the team for 51 games, winning 30 of them for a 58.82 win %. Later, Rohit Sharma succeeded him as captain.

MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiants

The only player who has been leading an IPL since its inception back in 2008. MS Dhoni has become synonymous with the Chennai Super Kings. The most successful Indian captain has also left an indelible mark as the leader of CSK. 

He has led CSK to four IPL championships in the years 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023. MS Dhoni has captained the most matches in the Indian Premier League, with 226 matches. He has also won the most matches, with 133 wins.

IPL Captains With the Most Tournament Wins

  • Mahendra Singh Dhoni led the Chennai Super Kings to five IPL wins in 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, and 2023.
  • Rohit Sharma’s captaincy resulted in the Mumbai Indians lifting the IPL trophy five times in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020.
  • Gautam Gambhir guided the Kolkata Knight Riders to IPL victories twice in 2012 and 2014.
CaptainTeamIPL Wins
Mahendra Singh DhoniChennai Super Kings5
Rohit SharmaMumbai Indians5
Gautam GambhirKolkata Knight Riders2

Most successful IPL captains:

MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)2008-2023226133910021.4658.8440.26
RG Sharma (MI)2013-202315887674001.2955.0642.40
V Kohli (RCB)2011-202314366703040.9446.1548.95
G Gambhir (DC/KKR)2009-201812971571001.2455.0344.18
DA Warner (DC/SRH)2013-20238340412000.9748.1949.39
AC Gilchrist (DC/KXIP)2008-20137435390000.8947.2952.70
SS Iyer (DC/KKR)2018-20225527262001.0349.0947.27
SK Warne (RR)2008-20115530241001.2554.5443.63


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