Cricket is a team sport in which the skipper plays an important role. In the long history of gentleman’s game, many leaders came, played and retired. Some led their side from the front and ended up winning big tournaments organized by ICC. Meanwhile, there were some skippers, who did well as a player for the team but failed as a captain to win the important events like the T20 World Cup, ICC Champions Trophy and 50-overs World Cup.
There are captains like MS Dhoni, Ricky Ponting, Michael Clarke, Imran Khan, who were known for their decision-making as a captain. Moreover, the aforementioned have at least made their side win an ICC tournament under their leadership. There are several examples available when cricket fans go through the history of cricket
Meanwhile, there were certain skippers that earned the reputation of a world-class captain in international cricket. However, they failed in winning big tournaments. So, let’s list out the top five captains who never won big cricketing events throughout their career until now.
Here are five captains who failed to win big tournaments:
1. Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian skipper took the charge of Team India in his hands when they were going through a dark phase. It took some time for him as a skipper to lift his national team on emotional as well as moral grounds. But, he did an amazing job as Team India’s skipper and injected positive aggression in his players.
Under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly, Team India reached the finals of 2002 Champions Trophy. They had a big chance of winning the tournament. But rain played a significant role in the final due to which India and Sri Lanka were declared co-champions. And, the dream of Ganguly winning the final of an ICC tournament shattered.
In the very next year, he led India in the World Cup and the national team was playing at its best in that year. They were looked upon as the prime contenders to win the mega event. Interestingly, they performed like champions and reached all the way to finals after winning all their league games.
But in the end, Team India lost to Australia by a big margin. The fans will be surprised to know the fact that Ganguly, who is regarded as one of the best Indian skippers never won an ICC tournament. His winning percentage as a skipper was 53.52, which is quite great in international cricket.
2. Graeme Smith
Graeme Smith, the former South African skipper is another prolific name in this list. He was given the leadership after the demise of Hansie Cronje. He was just 22-year-old when he took the field for the first time as skipper for South Africa. The fans might have expected that it was a wrong move by the board. However, Smith gave standout performances and established a World Class side under his leadership.
One place where he failed throughout his career was in making his side win an ICC tournament. He came close to winning 2007 World Cup. They reached semi-final quite easily but lost the crucial game against Australia. The next big moment as a skipper for Smith came in 2011 World Cup when South Africa finished as the table-toppers in the group stage.
The Proteas team was performing extremely well. Meanwhile, the fans thought that they will easily win the quarterfinals against New Zealand but that never happened. For the second time, South Africa lost their chance of winning the World Cup.
In history, Graeme Smith’s name will be counted among the best skippers that South Africa has ever produced in its cricketing history. However, it can’t change the fact that he never managed to win an ICC trophy under his leadership.
3. Virat Kohli
The fans will be surprised after watching the name of Virat Kohli in this unlucky list. But, it is true that Team India has never won ICC trophy under his captaincy. Kohli took the charge of the team after Dhoni stepped down from the captaincy. He came close to winning T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy and 50-over World Cup. However, the Indian side ended up losing on each occasion.
Under Virat Kohli, Team India lost two World Cup semi-finals (2016 World T20, 2019 World Cup), finals of ICC Champions Trophy in 2017. There is no doubts over his leadership skills. The prolific skipper is sharp, athletic, motivated and influential as a captain.
Kohli has all the ingredients of winning big tournaments. But so far, he has ended up losing on all the occasions. The latest setback for him was the upset in 2019 World Cup semi-final where Team India failed to chase an easy target of 239 runs.
Virat Kohli led Team India has reaped out lots of success across all the formats. The Men in Blue have set a very high benchmark for other teams to touch. However, that doesn’t make a difference to the fact that Team India has never won a big tournament under his captaincy.
4. Stephen Fleming
Stephen Fleming, the former player from New Zealand was known for his ice-cool nature on the cricket field. He led his national team from 1997 to 2007. He ended up being one of the best skippers for New Zealand but failed in winning big tournaments like the World Cup.
He led New Zealand in 1999 World Cup where his side ended in the top four teams of the tournament. In 2003 Blackcaps struggled a lot under Flemings captaincy and they were knocked out from the ‘Super Six’ round of the marquee event after losing games against India and Australia.
In 2007, Fleming played his last World Cup as a skipper. In that tournament, New Zealand managed to reach semi-finals quite easily. In the end, they lost the crucial game against Sri Lanka. It was enough to shatter the dream of Stephen Fleming of winning marquee event. Overall, his record as a leader is very good. Under Fleming, BlackCaps had the winning percentage of 48.04.
5. Kane Williamson
When it comes to winning big tournaments, Kane Williamson is one of the most unlucky skippers in this list. He took the charge of New Zealand back in 2015. So far under his leadership, New Zealand have played 2 finals (2015 World Cup & 2019 World Cup) and one semi-final (2016 T20 World Cup)’
Surprisingly, he did something that other Kiwi skippers failed to do in their tenure. The approach of BlackCaps certainly changed. They suddenly from being underdogs, emerged as the contenders of winning the tournaments. Moreover, to some point, they did exceedingly well in ICC events in the last five years. But everything is irrelevant until they win it.
Kane Williamson did well as a skipper but failed to make his side win in the big tournaments after coming close to the trophy. In 2019 World Cup New Zealand lost the final based on boundary count rule. This shows that the current Kiwi skipper will have to come out with something special to fulfil the dreams of their fans who are waiting for their national team to win big tournaments.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- 5 Most Controversial Test cricket moments/series
- 5 Test cricketers who are capable of bagging IPL contracts
- How teams that shot out cheaply in Tests did in their very next match
- Top 10 international cricket teams and their New Year Resolutions in 2021
- 5 Cricketers who missed out in ICC Men’s ODI team of the decade