3 international captains who have never led an IPL team

Habil Ahmed Sherule

AB de Villiers has never captained RCB in all his years at the club

Captaining a country is one of the greatest achievements of any cricketer’s career. However, leading a team at the international stage does not necessarily mean you are the skipper of every team you play for, certainly not in the IPL.

While the IPL has seen some fantastic captains over the years, there have been some players who one would think would lead their franchise at some point of time, but they have never done so.

In this article, we look at three such men that have led their nation out in the middle but have never captained their IPL team.

#1 AB de Villiers

AB de Villiers in action for RCB

Former South African captain AB de Villiers has played over 150 IPL matches in the last twelve years, and is even treated like a hero by the crowd at Bangalore. However, he has never captained either the Delhi Daredevils or Royal Challengers Bangalore.

Mr. 360, as he is fondly known, has a terrific IPL record, having scored 4395 runs at an average of nearly 40 and a strike rate of over 150. His three centuries and 33 fifties have helped his team to victories on multiple occasions in the IPL.

Additionally, De Villiers also has a fantastic record in international matches for South Africa. With nearly 50 international hundreds and more than 100 international fifties, the RCB batsman has been one of the country’s best batsmen for the best part of the last decade and a half.

The 36-year-old has also captained his country in over 100 international matches, leading them to victory in about 69 of them. He is, however, yet to lead his team out in the IPL.

#2 Lasith Malinga

Lasith Malinga has been one Mumbai Indians' most consistent bowlers in the IPL

Mumbai Indians’ Lasith Malinga has been an integral part of both his national and IPL teams through the course of his career. A man with several records to his name, Malinga is the only man to have picked up three ODI hat-tricks.

The Sri Lankan pacer is also the only player to have picked up 4 wickets in consecutive balls, and he has achieved the feat on two different occasions. The current Sri Lankan T20I skipper has played 170 IPL matches, picking up 122 wickets in the process, with several match-winning performances for the Mumbai franchise.

The pacer also has a stellar international record, boasting over 500 wickets across formats. His 338 ODI scalps are further proof that he has been Sri Lanka’s best pace bowler since Chaminda Vaas retired.

The only player on this list who is still captain of his country, Malinga doesn’t necessarily have the best record as skipper. In his nine games as ODI captain, the 36-year-old has failed to inspire his team to a single win. While he has done better in T20Is, seven wins in 24 matches is not really something to write home about.

In spite of a wonderful IPL record, and loyalty that is rare in the game currently, Malinga is yet to skipper the Mumbai Indians in an IPL game.

#3 Chris Gayle

Chris Gayle was with RCB for 7 seasons

The holder of the fastest IPL hundred, highest individual score in the IPL, and many more IPL records, Chris Gayle has somehow never captained an IPL team, be it in Kolkata, Bengaluru or Mohali. 

A West Indian great, and arguably one of their best-ever white-ball players, Gayle has also captained the West Indian cricket team in 90 matches across all three formats. Like Malinga, Gayle too wasn’t a hugely successful captain.

However, like Malinga, Gayle has an incredible IPL record, and thus, it still comes as a surprise that he’s not captained his team in a single IPL match. The Jamaican opener has scored 4484 runs at an average of over 40 in 125 matches. 

Gayle’s 175 not out for RCB in 2013 remains the highest individual score in the IPL and in any T20 match. Having completed that century in 30 balls, he also retains the record for the fastest T20 hundred of all time.