For a cricketer, becoming the captain of their nation is undoubtedly the most greatest achievement of their career. Captaincy in cricket is very crucial to a team’s success. Equally, captaincy in cricket is a very tough job and a big responsibility. The captain has to think about their own game and the games of the 10 other players on his team. And then there are also the off-field issues associated with leadership. The game can change within a couple of overs, and it’s about seizing the moment for a smart leader. The best cricket captains have dealt with all of these points admirably and have led their sides to success. There have been some of the best cricket captain in the world who raised their team’s game to the highest level and made their teams world champion.
Here’s a list of Top 10 Best Cricket Captain In The World –
1. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting is the best cricket captain in the world, the Australian cricket team enjoyed a golden period and earned the tag of being Invincible in both formats under his captaincy. Only one skipper, none other than Ponting, has won more than three ICC trophies. ICC World Cup 2003, ICC World Cup 2007, ICC Champions Trophy 2006, and ICC Champions Trophy 2009 were the four ICC trophies that the Ricky Ponting won. Ricky Ponting holds the record for the most victories as captain in the cricket sport’s history (220). Despite the fact that there are now a lot more games, no skipper has achieved what Ponting did, which was to lead his team to 220 victories total.
In 2004, Ponting took over as the Australian team’s captain, and he soon made a name for himself as one of the game’s most successful captains. Along with multiple series and tournament victories, Ponting’s team also managed to win a world record 16 straight Test matches victories after Captain Steve Waugh, a record that still stands today. Ponting was a successful skipper in part due to his capacity to set an example for others while playing. His team admired him for instilling an aggressive, competitive style of play in them. He also had an excellent understanding of the game and was able to act quickly and wisely, which helped his side maintain their domination.
Additionally, Ponting holds the record for the most victories in World Cup games. He won 26 matches at the ICC cricket World cup tournament over the course of his legendary career. With 12 wins, Ponting also holds the record for the most victories in the history of the Champions Trophy, just like the ICC World Cup. As a captain, Ponting also tops the charts when it comes to score runs, leading the team from the front. For the Australian cricket team, Ponting scored 15,440 runs during his time as captain, which is the most highest by any other captain in cricket history. With 165 victories in 230 games, Ricky Ponting also holds the record for the most victories as captain in ODI cricket. He remains an inspiration for future cricket captains and his legacy will be remembered forever.
2. Clive Lloyd
West Indies Captain Sir Clive Lloyd is undoubtedly one of the best and the most inspirational cricket captain in the world. He was the mastermind behind the West Indies domination in cricket of the late 1970s and 1980s. Under Clive Lloyd, the West Indian team was the greatest side in worldwide. His brilliant style of leadership revolutionised captaincy. When Clive Lloyd served as their captain, winning against West Indies was the ultimate goal of every team in both formats. There was a time when just hearing the West Indies team’s name would have been enough to send opposing teams into a panic.
Captain Clive Lloyd changed the way West Indian cricket was played by transforming a team of incredibly gifted cricketers into a merciless weapon of mass devastation. To do that he followed the way of most fearsome fast bowlers running in one after the other in groups of four. The opposition was beaten, wounded, and blown away. Sir Clive has a special place in cricket history because he is the first captain to win the Cricket World Cup, which gave West Indians all over the world a great sense of pride and pleasure. In an inaugural 1975 Cricket World Cup, Clive Lloyd led West Indies to victory over Australia at Lords where he also became the first batsmen ever to score a hundred in a World Cup Final. In 1979, he again led West Indies to their second world cup victory in a row when they beat England.
When the Test series was won 5-0, his leadership resulted in the “blackwash” victory over England in 1984 and the same year also beaten Australia at home 3-0. He was the leader in 18 Test series, winning 14, drawing 2, and only losing 2. The West Indies team went 27 games without losing under his leadership, including 11 wins in a row. He was also one of the most beautiful and the most destructive batsmen to watch in world cricket. Clive Lloyd will go down in cricket history as one of the great inspirational leaders who was the captain of the most greatest team in the history of cricket.
3. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is not only regarded as India’s best captain ever but also one of the best cricket captain in the world in ODIs. Given the type of accomplishments he has made in his whole career, any skipper would adore to have MS Dhoni’s captaincy records to his name. Dhoni has captained Indian team in 331 matches total which is the highest by any captain across all the formats of cricket (60 Tests, 199 ODIs and 72 T20Is). He is the only captain in the history of cricket to have won all the three ICC ODIs tournaments. In 2007, he won the T20 World Cup by 5 runs defeating Pakistan. In 2011, he won the 50-overs World Cup defeating Sri Lanka by 6 wickets. In 2013, he won the Champions Trophy defeating England by 5 runs.
In November 2009, he led the Indian Test team to the top spot in the ICC Test rankings for the first time, where they remained for eighteen months. The only Indian skipper to win a Test series in New Zealand in 2009, after MAK Pataudi. He became only the 4th captain to hand a whitewash to Australia in Test cricket, India defeated Australia 4-0 in 2013. After Virat (74.59) and AB De Villiers (63.95), Dhoni has the third-best batting average while leading the teams.
Dhoni is also well known as one of the best finisher in the world and the best wicketkeeper in the world, though his significance as an Indian cricketer goes beyond his career numbers. As the ODI team’s captain, Dhoni has hit 126 sixes, breaking Ponting’s previous record (123). In terms of ODI victories, Dhoni is the second successful captain in the world with 110 wins after Ricky Ponting. Dhoni scored as a captain 6633 runs with superb 53.92 average in ODIs which is only second to Ponting.
4. Imran Khan
Imran Khan was a charismatic skipper who led by example on the field. He possessed a tremendous cricket brain as well as the priceless ability to bring out the best in others. Pakistan was notoriously tough to defeat both at home and overseas under Imran. And he was the one who changed a collection of talented but erratic cricketers into a powerful international force that was occasionally able to compete with the mighty West Indies team of the 1980s. His greatest achievement was unquestionably leading Pakistan to their first World Cup victory in 1992. He led the team in scoring with 72 against England in the 1992 world cup final match, having famously pleaded with his team early in the tournament when their hopes were hanging by a thread to fight “like cornered tigers”.
He also guided Pakistan to three consecutive series draws against the West Indies when they were at the height of their powers. In actuality, Pakistan was the first side to truly challenge West Indian dominance. Imran took 11 wickets in the match, which they won in Guyana in 1988, it was the first time in ten years that West Indies had lost a home Test. His playing was significantly improved by serving as captain in his career; he averaged 50.55 with the bat.
In 1982/83, Imran dominated both India and Australia 3-0 in his six home Test series, losing none of them. Imran Khan led Pakistan in 39 games against India in both formats, winning 23 and lose only 4. In his era as skipper against India, Imran Khan never lost a single test match. For Pakistan cricket, 1987 year will always be remembered, they won first ever test series against India and England. In both, Imran was awarded player of the series.
5. Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh a supremely reliable and skilled batsman who is also regarded as one of the best cricket captain in the world. Under his leadership, Australia gained a reputation for absolute dominance. Waugh led the team Australia to unprecedented heights. Waugh made Australia one of the best teams in cricket history during his captaincy career. Under Steve Waugh, Australian team had self-control, self-assurance, ability, and pure aggression with a never-say-die attitude. They had elevated the concepts of attacking and counter-attacking cricket, and their efforts have been motivated by a deep feeling of pride for the baggy green cap. His batting record for Australia is magnificent and he took his game to another level when he took on the captaincy.
He was the captain of the venerable ship “Invincible” was the one in control when they finished their world record sequence of 16 Test victories in a row. This world record set by the team between 1999 to 2001. Waugh is considered the most successful Test captain in cricket history with 41 matches victories out of 57 and only 9 matches lost with a winning ratio of 72%. His outstanding performance against South Africa at Headingley in 1999 World cup, included a match winning knock of 120 not out which prevented his side from losing and being eliminated and led Australia to won their second ODI World Cup against Pakistan. His career total of 10,927 Test runs at an average of 51.06, including 32 centuries, placed him in second place among all-time century scorers at the time of his retirement 2004.
6. Greame Smith
Greame Smith is undoubtedly one of the best cricket captain in the world that South Africa has ever produced. When Graeme Smith was given the South African Captaincy, he had only played eight test matches and was only 22 years old, making him the youngest Test captain for South Africa ever and the fourth-youngest Test captain in the world. The fact that Smith rebuilt South Africans’ trust both inside and outside of the national team and its structures is the most significant testament to his career. Under Smith, South Africa was referred to as the world’s best touring team.
Graeme Smith’s South Africa team holds the record for the highest successful run chase of 434 target in an ODI series against Australia, as Smith and Herschelle Gibbs played a crucial role through a 187 runs partnership. Smith had a great record against the England team during his captaincy era in all formats by winning all of the series against them. Under Graeme Smith, South Africa played 39 test series, winning 22 and losing only 8. From 2003 to 2014 with 109 games, Smith retains the world record for the most Test matches captaincy. With 53 victories as captain, he also retains the world record for the most victories in Test matches.
Graeme Smith captained South Africa in 149 ODIs, winning 92 and losing 51. His ODI winning percentage for South Africa is 61, demonstrating his exceptional captaincy abilities in ODI games as well. Smith scored 8659 test runs while serving as captain the most by any captain in test cricket history. Smith had scored 27 centuries in Test cricket, 15 of which came in victories as skipper. These are the most centuries by a captain in victories. He played in 117 tests, scoring 9265 runs at an average of 48.25, with 277 run career best with 38 fifties and 27 centuries.
7. Arjuna Ranatunga
Certainly, Arjuna Ranatunga can be called as the pioneer of cricket Sri Lanka. He was the captain for Sri Lanka at a time when they weren’t all that strong and perhaps shouldn’t have put up as much of a fight that they did and he was the man who was leading the way. He was really inspiring at times by how tough a character he was under heavy fire. He was one of the best cricket captain in the world and also a brilliant batsman in both formats. When he lifted the 1996 World Cup, Arjuna Ranatunga, who served as Sri Lanka’s captain for ten years, earned a special place in the hearts of the cricket fans.
His personality and presence had a significant impact in the dressing room. For the Sri Lankan team, the 1996 World Cup marked a turning point. The world’s view of ODI cricket and how it should be played with attack had changed as a result of the Sri Lanka’s World Cup victory. The way Ranatunga led the team and his crucial role as a batsman were major factors in this tournament win. He finished the tournament with the highest World Cup average after scoring 241 runs. In the finals, they defeated world class Australian team and this was the beginning of a new golden era for Sri Lankan cricket.
8. Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly is undoubtedly the most influential captain in the history of Indian Cricket. He united Indian Team and helped them to build their morale. Ganguly assumed captaincy of the Indian cricket team in 2000. His once-in-a-century leadership for India quickly displayed what it was capable of. India that period produced highest caliber players, including Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, and Ashish Nehra. They were all talented, but even talented players need support to start their careers, which Sourav provided them.
Under his captaincy, team India was a sensational power to be reckoned with in bilateral series, whether they were played at home or overseas conditions. Under Ganguly, the Indian team played a fearless brand of the cricket and won several games away from home. Ganguly led India in 49 Test matches, winning 21, losing 13, and draw 15. Ganguly is the second most successful captain of India ever after Kohli in terms of overseas victories in test cricket. Under Ganguly’s leadership, India reached to the final of the ICC Knockout Trophy in 2000 and the World Cup in 2003, won the NatWest Series in 2002 against England and became joint-winners of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002.
Ganguly,s team India broke Steve Waugh’s Australia 16-match winning streak in 2001 by winning the home Test series 2-1. So far, Ganguly is the only Indian captain to win both Test and ODI series in Pakistan in 2004. As captain of India, Ganguly scored 11 ODI centuries which is the fourth-most in the world. In addition, Ganguly is the only skipper to have scored three centuries in a single World Cup (2003) and three centuries in a Champions Trophy.
9. Eoin Morgan
England made history in 2019 when they won the ODI World Cup for the first time under Eoin Morgan’s leadership and “play fire with fire” strategy, ending a 44-year wait for the nation that created this lovely game of cricket. Eoin Morgan will always be remembered for leading England to win their first ODI World Cup trophy at Lords in July 2019 against New Zealand. Not only should he be remembered as England’s best skipper ever for the records and trophies he won, but also for the way he transformed the one-day cricket culture while leading the team. Morgan was allowed complete freedom to change the mentality of the new England one-day team. There was freedom to articulate oneself, take chances, and show strength rather than fear.
England reached the top of the ICC rankings under his leadership during his seven-year career as the ODI captain. He led England in 126 ODI games, winning 76 of them for a win percentage of 65.25. This is the highest winning percentage of any England’s ODI Captain in the history of the game. Under his leadership, he led his team to the finals of the 2016 T20 World Cup as well. As a skipper in T20 internationals, Morgan has won the most games (44) out of 72. Morgan scored 7701 runs at an average of 39.29 in 248 ODIs, including 47 half-centuries and 14 centuries, with the highest 148. Morgan set a world record at the 2019 World Cup when he hit 148 off just 71 balls against Afghanistan that included 17 sixes.
10. Virat Kohli
Virat Kohli is the most successful Indian captain in test cricket history and also regarded as one of the best batsman in the world. Virat Kohli set some unheard-of milestones and enjoyed tremendous success as a captain. Virat had a reputation for being aggressive, which was evident on the cricket pitch and also added a lot of positivity to the team. Under Virat Kohli captaincy from October 2016 to March 2020, team India held the top spot in the ICC test rankings. Kohli won 40 test matches out of 68, the most for any Indian skipper ever, lost 17 and drew 11. Only Steve Waugh(71) and Ricky Ponting (62) have a higher win rate than Virat Kohli’s (58).
With 16 victories, Virat led India to the most victories away from home as the Indian captain. In 24 test series, he won 18, lost only 5, and 1 tie. (a washout against Bangladesh). Under Kohli, India beat Australia in Australia for the first time in a Test series in 2018–19. India did not lose or draw a single home Test match while Kohli served as captain. Kohli lost just two games during the 11 home Test series. Virat led the Indian team in 95 ODIs, and he went on to become the batsman with the second-most ODI skipper centuries in the world (21 only behind Ricky Ponting’s 22).
He also led Indian team in two ICC events, India reached to the 2017 Champions Trophy final and the 2019 World Cup semifinals under his captaincy. As a skipper, he scored 5864 runs at an average of 54.80 in 68 test matches. Additionally, as skipper, he has scored 7 double centuries and 20 centuries in Test cricket. Kohli’s seven double hundreds as captain the most by any other captain in Test cricket history.