Top 5 captains in IPL history

Best IPL captains of all time

When we talk about festivals in India, we often talk about the Indian Premier League as well. Unlike all the other festivities that go around and last a day or a couple, this festival lasts for over one and a half month. It has been 12 seasons since IPL first started and it still has the same amount of craze as it had back in the day. It is around the same time when most of the youngsters are busy with their examination schedules but nothing stops them from turning into the Star Sports network during the evenings each day in the summers. Sadly, we did not see anything regarding IPL & its 13th season this summer due to COVID-19. But we have all the time in the world to check out the older matches, right? We can just look back at the history of this event and point down the best captains of IPL. Here are the top 5 captains in IPL history without any bias:- 

5. Shane Warne

Shane Warne was a successful IPL captain

One of the best spinners the cricketing world has ever seen, not many people know that Shane Warne had the leadership ability in himself too. He was the part of a terrific Aussie squad where he never got a chance to brush up his leadership abilities and it was the inaugural season of IPL where he was chosen to lead Rajasthan Royals. The team was billed as the weakest squad of them all and was ruled out of the contenders for the trophy even before IPL started. It took everyone by surprise but not only did Rajasthan Royals qualify to the top 4, they did it being the toppers of the table. In the finals, they defeated Chennai Super Kings and lifted the first season of this humongous event. It was Shane Warne's captainship which led them there who brought together the experience and the young firepower which made it a smooth sailing for the team. Rajasthan Royals have not reached finals ever since but their first season has to go down like a dream run for any team in any season. Shane Warne could have been higher on this list of top 5 captains had he shown the same calibre in the seasons to come. His inconsistency has led him the bottom position here. He will still be remembered as one of the best captains in IPL history with a record of 30 wins and 24 losses with a winning percentage of 55.45.

4. David Warner 

David Warner as Sunrisers Hyderabad captain

It might not be a surprise to most of you folks that David Warner has fetched a spot in the list of best captains in IPL history. From the lot of 5 captains, he might be the least experienced. But just like Shane Warne, David Warner did not have a very strong side himself. The bowling unit always looked fantastic but the batting was thin as water with only a couple of guys at the top as potential match-winners in David Warner & Shikhar Dhawan. Warner always had the fire in him to win the matches for his team all on his own with the bat. He always scores in crunch situations for Sunrisers Hyderabad. There's a reason why he has been made the captain of the team once again even after a really impressive run for Kane Williamson. He knows the team more than anyone else and under his leadership, Sunrisers Hyderabad is expected to be hot contenders in the coming season. They have a great batting as well as bowling unit currently which is ready to do wonders for the franchise under David's leadership. With a winning percentage of 55.31 & 26 wins from 47 matches, David Warner sits fourth in the list of top 5 IPL captains. 

3. Gautam Gambhir 

Gautam Gambhir last captained Delhi Daredevils

He could have been in the top 2 as well if not for a poor last season in IPL as a captain. Gautam Gambhir happens to be the only undefeatable captain in ODIs for India as he captained the national side for half a dozen matches and India never lost under him. He captained Delhi Daredevils for a few seasons but his best records came for Kolkata Knight Riders. Before his arrival as a captain, KKR had the most disappointing records of all the teams. They bought Gautam Gambhir for a whopping price in 2011 and the same year they qualified into the final four for the very first time. The next year, they had a trophy in their hands under the leadership of Gauti. I think it says enough about one of the best captains of IPL. The aggressive approach that he had as a captain fit perfectly for the shortest format of the game. KKR won the IPL trophy twice and both were won under Gautam Gambhir's leadership. His last season did not go all that well as he left the captainship in the middle of the tournament. However, he will still be regarded as one of the top 5 captains in IPL history. He has 71 wins to his name which is the second-most in the history of the tournament with a great winning percentage of 55.42.

2. Rohit Sharma 

Rohit Sharma has led Mumbai Indians to IPL victory 4 times

Some may argue that Rohit Sharma should be at the top spot in the list but I have my own reasons why Rohit Sharma is yet to become the best captain in IPL history. He has led Mumbai Indians into the finals 4 times and they have never lost the tournament. Before Rohit walked in as the captain, Mumbai Indians never had an IPL victory in their hands either. In 2013, they were struggling initially under Ricky Pointing. The reigns were given to Rohit Sharma in the midway and it proved to be a turning point for the franchise. It's been 7 seasons for Rohit Sharma as the captain of Mumbai Indians and he has already led them to 4 victories. Do I need to say more why he deserves the second spot in the top 5 captains in IPL history? He has captained Mumbai in 104 matches and they have won 60 of them. The winning percentage stands at 58.65! 

Honourable Mentions 

Adam Gilchrist, Steve Smith, Anil Kumble, Kane Williamson are some of the captains who did great as captains themselves but they could not find the list of the top 5 captains in IPL history. 

        1. MS Dhoni 

MS Dhoni is the best IPL captain of all time

Some people may argue between Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni but when you look at it overall, MS Dhoni stands heads and shoulders above the other captains of IPL. He has had only one bad season as the captain and that was for Rising Pune Supergiants. Whenever he has captained for CSK, he has brought them to the final four. This is a record which no other captain has been able to achieve and this alone takes him to the top of best captains in IPL history. CSK happens to be the only team to win back to back IPL seasons as well. They have won the trophy three times missing out the tournament in two of the seasons. Even before the tournament kick-starts, people already know that CSK is definite to reach the next stage of the tournament. This is the impact that they have created as a unit and you need to give the credits to MS Dhoni for the kind of leader he has become. His tactical has always been the best in T20 cricket as he has been hailed by the best of the players for his captaincy. With a Winning percentage of 60.11 and more than 100 victories to his name as the captain, we label him as the best captain in IPL history. 

What do you guys think? Is MS Dhoni the best IPL captain? Do you have any other version of top 5 captains in IPL history? Let me know in the comment section! 


Post a Comment


  1. MSD is surely the best. Very well written and very informative too.

    1. Thank you very much & MSD is indeed the best IPL captain!

  2. Mahi is obviously the best without any doubt 🙌

  3. I like Dhoni and virat too 💐 well penned 😊

  4. I miss Ipl :( Btw, i would like to add Zaheer Khan to the list.

    1. I don't know man, I don't think he was as good as any of the ones I listed!

  5. I like Mahi and Rohit Sharma 😃

    1. Do you? They are fantastic cricketers surely!