World cricket has seen some of the sharpest minds take up the position of the captain of their side. And, more often than not, these players have been batsmen. No one knows how the added burden of captaining their sides at the highest level affects others, but for these gentlemen it acted as a booster and got them to outperform themselves and get tremendous amounts of runs.
While most of them have had the best time of their lives, stocking up centuries after centuries, some of them played the anchor role and dug their sides out of trouble whenever the need arose. They sought their sides through and played the role similar to that of a background artist, not adding any aesthetic value to the scorecard, but structurally making it sound and strong.
Here, we will have a look at the 5 such captains who got to 10,000 international runs faster than their counterparts
5. Allan Border (Australia, 288)
Coming in at the 5th position is the great Aussie captain, Allan Border. Utilizing the Australian trait of toughness to the fullest, Border was one of the best captains that his generation saw. He took the reigns of the Australian team when it was in complete dismay and ground it through, laying the foundations of what was going to be called as the ‘invincible’ side.
He was equally good with both the bat and the ball as the numbers would suggest and his intensity was visible enough on the field. He led the side from the front. In the 517 innings he played during his international career, he amassed 17,698 runs and with the bat.
In the 185 innings with the ball, he bowled 208 maiden overs and took 112 wickets. He got to the 10,000 run mark in his 288th innings, scoring 16 centuries and 60 half-centuries in the process.
4. M.S. Dhoni (India, 284)
Coming in at the fourth spot in the list is one of the most decorated captains in international cricket, MS Dhoni. The only captain in the history of the sport to have won all the ICC Trophies, namely ICC World T-20 (2007), ICC Cricket World Cup (2011), and, ICC Champions Trophy (2013). MS came in as the leader that the Indian team needed.
In 2007, the team had suffered a humiliating loss in the 2007 ICC Cricket World Cup and was in complete dismay after the internal fallout during the coaching regime of Greg Chappell. Taking the side from there and winning the inaugural World T-20 with an inexperienced side is no mean feat and the way MS did it was absolutely formidable.
His calm and composed aura on the field brought a sense of relaxation to his mates, while his batting was just the opposite, explosive and destructive. He contributed both with his bat and the gloves from behind the stumps and he has been responsible for getting the Indian team to respectable totals and eventual victories on several occasions.
He hung up his captaincy boots in 2017 and the man who took over, Virat Kohli, even outperformed him. MS got to the 10,000 run mark in 284 innings, scoring 11 centuries and 66 half-centuries in the process.
3. Graeme Smith (South Africa, 240)
Known for his unorthodox batting style, Graeme Smith can easily be regarded as one of the best captains that South Africa has ever had. Smith, just like everyone featuring in this list, led from the front and scored tremendous amount of runs and leading the Proteas to victories on many occasions.
He was a fine batsman and an equally able leader, making sure that each time he and his team stepped onto the field, they gave their best and learnt something new, getting off of it as better individuals. Just like his Indian counterpart MS, he was handed the captaincy duties at a very tender age and to his credit, did full justice to it.
He maintained his cool whenever his side did not do well and made sure he had a good rapport with all the greats that were in that Proteas side where he was the leader. He made tremendous contributions with the bat and also chipped in with his bowling whenever the need arose. He got to the 10,000 international runs mark as the captain while playing his 240th innings.
2. Ricky Ponting (Australia, 225)
Unarguably one of the closest competitors of Sachin Tendulkar, Ricky Ponting was another captain that had his share of success, both as a captain and with the bat. He led his side to World Cup wins in 2003 and 2007 and on both the instances, he made sure that he inspired his side to do well. Popularly known as ‘Punter’ in the Australian dressing room, Ponting had two very different personalities, on and off the field.
When dressed in Australian colours, he was one of the fiercest cricketers one could see and when off the field, he was a prankster, a jovial person with whom everyone wanted to spend time. He took over captaincy from Adam Gilchrist, who was an equally good cricketer and Gilchrist had taken over from Steve Waugh, another Aussie great.
Ricky handled his captaincy duties well and did not let the burden of being a captain, get over his performance as a batsman. Throughout his career, he served as a mentor to many modern day greats and made sure that his performance were right up there so that it could inspire his mates to do well.
Playing 225th inning in international cricket, he got to the 10,000 run mark as the captain and it wasn’t until 2019 that his record was broken by and equally potent and great player of this era.
1. Virat Kohli (India, 176)
On 14th of August 2019, just a day before his country’s 72nd Independence Day, playing his 176th inning at Port of Spain against the West Indies, Virat Kohli surpassed Ricky Ponting to become the fastest captain to get to 10,000 runs in international cricket. Kohli, the current captain of the Indian cricket team has time and again proven his greatness with the bat.
It can be argued that having MS in the side in the T20s and ODIs has helped him reduce the burden of captaincy, but the thing that can’t be taken away from him is his greatness with bat and as a captain in the longest format of the game. He led the Indian side to Test victories in England and South Africa after a long time and was also responsible of getting the team to the pole position in world rankings, while shattering records in the process.
The only red in his ledger is that, he has been deprived of a victory in ICC events. He has led the side to the knock out stages but, has failed to see them through. This is the only thing that he hasn’t accomplished as the captain of one of the best sides in world cricket right now. But, given his will and hunger to win and cross all odds to emerge victorious, he seems determined to get his side to a win at an ICC event.
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