The 13th edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is not too far away. The season is expected to kickstart from March 29 and round-robin, home-away matches will continue till May 17. Mumbai Indians will take on the arch-rivals Chennai Super Kings in IPL 2020 opener. IPL, being one of the most followed T20 leagues around the globe, poses some great challenges for any player who is a part of the league.
And with such huge pressure and expectations of people who follow the two-month long extravaganza, it is even tougher to lead any of the franchises in the competition. Some captains might feel the burden of expectations, while others relish this job which gets the best out of them.
Ahead of IPL 2020, we rank each skipper based upon his success with the franchise and what can be expected of him in the upcoming season.
#8 KL Rahul – Kings XI Punjab
KL Rahul, who hasn’t had any experience of leading a side in the IPL history, will don the skipper’s hat for Kings XI Punjab in IPL 2020. With no prior experience, captaincy could be an arduous task for the Karnataka-lad in the IPL but it won’t sound new to him. He has been an important feature in the Karnataka team as a member of the leadership group.
He might be captaining the side for the first time in the IPL, but his experience of leading teams at the India A and the domestic level would help him ease into the role.
#7 Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers Bangalore
The choice at No.7 might surprise a few but is the harsh reality that the most of the Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) have accepted to live with so far in the IPL history. Virat Kohli has had a much mediocre record as captain for RCB.
In his more than seven years of captaincy stint, Kohli has failed to win the trophy for his franchise. It might be the lack of personnel or his weak instinctive leadership skills that RCB hasn’t been crowned champions even once since IPL 2008.
The team had the best chance in IPL 2016 when the skipper was at the peak of his powers but it was all goofed when they emerged second-best in the final against Sunrisers Hyderabad. Among all the seven former captains in 2020, he has the worst winning percentage.
Matches captained: 110 Won: 49 Lost: 55 Win %: 47.16
Also bookmark: IPL 2020 Schedule
#6 Dinesh Karthik – Kolkata Knight Riders
At the IPL auction 2018, Dinesh Karthik was picked by Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) and was later appointed as their captain of the side. Playing for KKR for the very first time, Karthik did a decent job in making his team reach the play-offs stage. However, the Purple Army couldn’t proceed ahead after losing in the Eliminator against SRH.
Even in IPL 2019, Dinesh was impressive as a leader despite being criticised by a few of his teammates for being pushed lower in the batting order.
KKR missed the play-offs scenario and finished fifth in the points table. With a win percentage nearing 50, Karthik will hope to lead his franchise by example and bring another trophy home after 2014.
Matches captained: 36 Won: 17 Lost: 18 Win %: 48.61
#5 Shreyas Iyer – Delhi Capitals
The young skipper for Delhi Capitals (DC), Shreyas Iyer was handed the captaincy duties mid-way through the season in IPL 2018. The franchise couldn’t impress much of their fans after finishing last in the points table.
However, IPL 2019 arrived with a lot of hope for the Delhi fans with Iyer taking the charge for the entire season. With the presence of some senior players, it made life easy for Iyer who was made to look extraordinary by his players.
Batting at No.4, he was among the runs and displayed his skills as a shrewd leader even on the field. Under his leadership, DC finished third after losing out against CSK in Qualifiers. In IPL 2020, Iyer will hope to lead the side to glory and win their maiden title.
Matches captained: 24 Won: 13 Lost: 10 Win %: 56.25
#4 Steve Smith – Rajasthan Royals
Steve Smith will return as captain for Rajasthan Royals (RR) in IPL 2020. Even in 2019, Smith captained the side after Rahane’s performance as a leader was questioned. Smith also led Rajasthan in IPL 2015 before the team faced a two-year ban from IPL. Smith did a reasonable job as the Royals finished third in the season.
In IPL 2020, Smith will have the extra responsibility of not only being the leader of the side but also being one of the key batters in the playing XI. He will have to use all his experience in utilising the available resources in order to make it to the last four in the competition.
In fact, Smith’s winning percentage of 67.8, which is highest among all the eight captains, is an indicator of his leadership skills even in the T20s.
Matches captained: 29 Won: 19 Lost: 09 Win %: 67.85
#3 Kane Williamson – Sunrisers Hyderabad
Kane Williamson, one of the most loved cricketers around the globe, has done wonders while leading Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) in the last two seasons. After being named the skipper in the absence of David Warner, Williamson did an extraordinary job in leading his side to the IPL final in 2018.
His ability to back his bowlers and take decisive on-field measures has often paid rich dividends in the field. Known for his immaculate captaincy skills, the Kiwi always leads by example with runs from his willow. He might not have any trophy for his side but definitely ranks among the best captains in IPL 2020.
Matches captained: 26 Won: 14 Lost: 11 Win %: 55.76
#2 MS Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings
Known as the captain cool, MS Dhoni has played most matches as captain for an IPL franchise in the history of the league. His ability to extract the best out of his players is a hallmark that separates him from the rest. Dhoni often shows trust in his players and believes in consistency in selection.
Under his leadership, a host of players have blossomed and have gone on to represent their countries in international cricket.
With three titles for Chennai Super Kings, the Ranchi man has always been viewed as a quintessential leader in cricket. His tremendous record further glorifies his ability to make a team win by investing faith in the right arsenal.
Matches captained: 174 Won: 104 Lost: 69 Win %: 60.11
#1 Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians
Mumbai Indians’ decision in asking Rohit Sharma to captain the team mid-way through the season in IPL 2013 was one of the best decisions ever taken by them in their IPL history. The move has paid rich dividends and even continues to do so. Sharma, who has led Mumbai in more than six seasons, has been able to lift the trophy four time for the franchise.
Captaining Mumbai has not only helped the franchise but has also allowed him to emerge as a better player for the Indian team. He understands the nuances of the game and tends to back his players to deliver for him in crunch situations. The availability of some quality players has also helped his cause but it is the captain who tends to extract the best of his players during the field.
In IPL 2020, the MI fans would hope that Rohit Sharma can lead them to yet another IPL title win by the end of May 2020.
Matches captained: 104 Won: 60 Lost: 42 Win %: 58.65