The Indian Premier League (IPL) is one of the most high-profile and cash-rich leagues in cricket.
A plethora of world-class players from all over the world assemble in a team that is carefully constructed in an auction, and the captain is given the responsibility of managing players from all countries and backgrounds. The job of an IPL skipper is by no means an easy one, given how high the stakes are.
In the IPL, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma are the two most successful captains (minimum 20 games) in history, with win percentages of 59.77 (174 matches) and 60.19 (103 matches) respectively.
Lowest win percentages as captain in the IPL
At the other end of the spectrum, however, lie these 5 unfortunate cricketers. Here are the 5 IPL captains with the lowest win percentages (minimum 20 games).
#5 Sourav Ganguly - 40.47%
Sourav Ganguly is the captain with the fifth-worst win percentage in IPL history. In 42 games as an IPL captain, the former Indian skipper recorded 17 wins and 25 losses.
Ganguly was announced as the captain of his home franchise Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) in the inaugural edition of the IPL. Although they got off to an incredible start, with Brendon McCullum scoring 158* in the first-ever IPL game, KKR finished 6th and didn't qualify for the semi-finals.
Dada was sacked as captain ahead of the 2009 IPL, although he was reappointed in the role in the third edition of the IPL. He also went on to skipper the now-defunct Pune Warriors India (PWI) in the 2012 season. They finished dead-last with only 4 wins, and Ganguly retired from all forms of the game.
Ganguly is currently the President of the BCCI and there have been talks about him running for the post of ICC Chairman.
#4 Shane Watson - 39.13%
Shane Watson has the fourth-lowest win percentage as captain in the IPL. In 24 games, the Australian has experienced a myriad of results - 8 wins, 13 losses, 2 ties and 1 NR, amounting to a win percentage of 39.13
After winning the Man of the Tournament award in the first IPL, Watson became a key part of the side for the next few years. In the 2014 season, the all-rounder took over from the legendary Rahul Dravid as the captain of the side and led the team for two seasons before their IPL ban.
RR didn't make it to the playoffs in 2014, but managed to narrowly finish 4th in 2015. RCB snapped up Watson for 8.4 crores, which was the highest amount paid for any player in that IPL auction. In the absence of Virat Kohli and AB de Villiers, the 39-year-old led the team in a few games in IPL 2017 but his stint at the Chinnaswamy Stadium was far from memorable.
Watson currently plays for Chennai Super Kings (CSK).
#3 Ajinkya Rahane - 36%
Ajinkya Rahane has the third-lowest win percentage by a captain in IPL history. In the 25 games that he has led his side, he has recorded 9 wins and 16 losses, amounting to a win percentage of 36.
After being on the fringes of the Mumbai Indians for the first three seasons of the IPL, Rahane joined the Rajasthan Royals and just like Shane Watson, played for them until their ban ahead of the 2016 IPL season. He joined RPS and even captained them in one game after MS Dhoni was sacked as captain and Steve Smith fell ill.
As RR returned to the league, Rahane was appointed captain in the 2018 season and led them to a fourth-place finish in the absence of Smith due to the ball-tampering ban. The Indian Test vice-captain held the role until midway through the 2019 IPL.
Rahane was recently traded to the Delhi Capitals, for whom he will play in the upcoming IPL.
#2 Mahela Jayawardene - 35%
Mahela Jayawardene is one of two players on this list to have captained three teams in the IPL but unfortunately, he has the second-lowest percentage by any captain in the history of the tournament. In 30 games, the Sri Lankan won 9 and lost 16, while one game ended in a tie.
Jayawardene has been at the helm of three teams - Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), Delhi Daredevils (DD) and Kochi Tuskers Kerala (KTK). Taking over from the man who is #1 on this list at KXIP in 2010, the former Sri Lankan captain didn't have the best of times as his team finished last on the points table.
Jayawardene was appointed as the captain of KTK in the 2011 IPL and the team again finished 8th on the table, although two teams were below them this time. The 2011 World Cup final centurion made his way to DD for the next season, for whom he stood in for regular captain Virender Sehwag in two games.
#1 Kumar Sangakkara - 34.04%
Jayawardene's Sri Lanka teammate and close friend, Kumar Sangakkara has the lowest win percentage by any captain in the history of the IPL.
Just like his national teammate, Sangakkara has captained three sides - Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab and Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). In the 47 games he has led his side, the classy left-hander recorded 15 wins, 30 losses and 2 ties, amounting to a win percentage of 34.04.
Sangakkara led KXIP to a fifth-place finish in the 2009 IPL, before moving to the Chargers in 2011. They finished 7th and didn't make it through to the playoffs, and the former Sri Lankan captain's fortunes worsened in the next season as the finished 8th.
Sangakkara moved to SRH in the 2013 edition and captained the team in 9 games before he was removed from the role.