In cricket, captaincy is the most important role on the field. Unlike some other sports, in cricket, the captain is held responsible for running the game while his side is bowling. There are several important decisions that a captain has to make. Given the kind of responsibility which the leader of the side takes, sometimes focusing on their performances becomes difficult.
There have been several instances in cricket when a batsman or a bowler’s form gets disrupted after taking over as the captain. However, there are certain players who have elevated their game upon being named as the captain of their side.
In T20 cricket, especially IPL, there is a lot that rests on the captain of the side. From helping pick up players from the auctions to building a side to making sure everyone gets together, an IPL captain has to do a lot. Come to think of it, there are captains who successfully manage to score big as well and carry their teams.
Here is the list of the top 5 batsmen with the most runs as the captain in IPL history:
5. David Warner
When David Warner had arrived in the IPL, he would have been one of the most less likely players to lead a franchise. In 2014, Sunrisers Hyderabad bought the opening batsman for his T20 exploits which were by then quite popular. Shikhar Dhawan decided to give up the captaincy of the team ahead of the 2015 season.
That is exactly when he was handed over the captaincy. He had minimal experience of leading a T20 side back then, as he was named the captain of the Sydney Thunder but only managed to play a few matches for them. But, the responsibility of being a leader brought the best out of him. He not only led the team with everything which he had, but he also made sure they were never short of runs.
In the 2015 season, he took the Orange Cap, the year when was given to lead SRH for the first time. In the following season, he led his team to an IPL triumph when he was the second-highest run-getter in the league. In 71 IPL matches in which he has captained, he has scored 2931 runs and has one of the best records as a batsman in the league’s history.
4. Rohit Sharma
Rohit Sharma was always looked at as the next big thing in Indian cricket ever since he came into the spotlight. The right-handed batsman from Mumbai played the first three seasons of the league for the Hyderabad-based franchise Deccan Chargers. However, in the 2011 auction, Mumbai Indians went all out for the local boy and managed to get him.
Rohit was always a top performer in the cash-rich league but he had failed to replicate that at international cricket. However, 2013 was a turning point in his career. He was given the captaincy of the Mumbai Indians when their captain Ricky Ponting decided to sit out due to poor form. A young Rohit responded as he handed Mumbai their first IPL title.
But, that was just the beginning as he scaled heights in the upcoming years. Under his leadership, the team won 2015, 2017, 2019, and the recent 2020 editions of the IPL. He has been a prolific run-getter for the side. In 123 matches which he has played, he has scored 3251 runs. More often than not, one will find Rohit at one end when Mumbai Indians are in trouble as he would try and stir the side to a victory.
3. Gautam Gambhir
Everyone knew that Gautam Gambhir had the ability to lead a team. During the 2009 IPL, he was playing for the Delhi Daredevils when the skipper of the side, Virender Sehwag had to take a few matches off. Gambhir stood tall and took up the leadership of the side. In the following year, he was handed over the captaincy of the team entirely.
By the time the 2011 auction rolled in, Gambhir had led the Indian team as well. On the other hand, Kolkata Knight Riders needed someone to take up the tough job of leadership and lead the side to success, something which they hadn’t got in the first three seasons. In this situation, Gambhir arrived at the franchise. He was bought by KKR for 11.04 crores at the IPL auction, which was a record at the time.
Gautam didn’t disappoint the Kolkata fans. He helped the side to their first IPL title in 2012 and followed that up with another title in the year 2014. He built a side that was not only formidable but also outperformed a lot of strong teams on a regular basis. He was their leading batsman too. In 129 IPL matches in which he led in the IPL, most of which were for KKR, he managed to score 3518 runs.
2. MS Dhoni
Back in 2008 when the Indian Premier League was announced, all the star players of the Indian team got to lead their home city. Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Yuvraj Singh were named the icon players of their respective home cities. However, the Indian captain who had brought the T20 World Cup home didn’t have a home city playing in the league.
Finally, Chennai, who at the time didn’t have a star player from the city playing for the country, paid a record INR 6 crore to get the Indian captain from the IPL auction. No one would have thought that was going to be the biggest purchase in the history of the league. He went to lead the Chennai Super Kings in that season and every other season, in which he played. Dhoni even led the Rising Pune Supergiant in one of their two seasons.
In the 196 matches in which Dhoni has led an IPL team, he has scored 4475 runs. Not just this, he is one of the most successful captains in the history of the league. He has helped CSK win the title thrice, in 2010, 2011, and 2018. Without any doubt, the legend and the veteran of the game brought his best tactics and strategies to the IPL along with his power-hitting.
1. Virat Kohli
When Virat Kohli arrived at the Royal Challengers Bangalore campaign in the 2008 IPL, there might have been a few who would have thought of him as a future captain. That was only because he had just led the Indian team to a U-19 Cricket World Cup win. But, no one would have thought that he would become as great a batsman he is today.
After being one of the core members of the RCB batting unit for the first three seasons, the Delhi batsman took his game to another level from the 2011 IPL season. Soon, he was appointed as the vice-captain to Daniel Vettori and then started leading the team for the first time in 2012.
Ahead of the 2013 season, he was handed over the leadership of the franchise and has been holding that position since. So far, he has scored 4810 runs from 133 matches as the captain for his side. In the 2016 edition, he scored a record 973 runs with four centuries. There is nothing that VK can’t do with the bat and his batting just gets better when he is leading the team. One thing that captain VK is still itching to win is a season of the IPL. Hopefully, 2021 will be his season.
Source: The source of this content is our cricket news platform Crictracker.
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