Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time

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Cricket is a team game. And, like in case of all team sports, a cricket team, too, is held together by the captain. As the leader of the team, a captain has to take care of how to maintain balance in the team, be it terms of focus or temperament. He has to know when to stay calm in the face of stress, and keep his head clear to strategies the match. The captain is the pillar of success in a team. Let’s take a look at the top 10 most successful cricket captains of all time, based on the highest number of wins achieved.

Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time [Most Wins]

A good leader is not the one who gives orders and expects that everyone will follow them; a good leader must be smart and strong enough to help the other players. Captains can make or break a good game. On another hand, the captain might also face all kinds of negativity if the whole team loses a match. It is his responsibility to take all the reactions, may it be positive or negative. Here are Successful Cricket Captains.

10. Arjuna Ranatunga

highest rated cricket captains

Arjuna Ranatunga

In the 10 place on our list of the most successful cricket captains with most wins in TEST, ODI AND T20I is former Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga. He played for the national team from 1982 to 2000, and led the team in 249 matches between 1988 and 1999. During this time, Ranatunga helped in winning 101 matches, including the 1996 World Cup. He hit a win percentage of 40.56. He was nicknamed Captain Cool for his temperament, and is credited for bringing the spotlight on Sri Lanka.

9. Mahela Jayawardene

best captain of world

Mahela Jayawardene

Another incredibly successful captain of Sri Lanka is Mahela, who led the team between 2004 and 2013 during his international career between 1997 and 2015. During his career, he achieved a win percentage of 54.3, having led his team to gain victory 101 times in 186 matches; this win percentage puts him ahead of Ranatunga. Jayawardane helped Sri Lanka do amazingly well Cricket World Cup 2017, Cricket World Cup 2011, ICC World Twenty20 2009 and ICC World Twenty20 2012 as the captain.

8. Mohammad Azharuddin

world best captain in cricket history

Mohammad Azharuddin

A cricketer riddled in many controversies, both on and off the field, former Indian cricketer Mohammad Azharuddin’s success cannot be taken away from him, despite his lifelong BCCI ban. He is one of the most successful cricket captains, based on number of victories, having won 104 out of 221 matches during his captaincy from 1990 to 1999. He represented India from 1984 to 2000. The victories helped him achieve a win percentage of 47.05 as the captain of the Indian team.

7. Steve Waugh

best captain in cricket history

Steve Waugh played for Australia from 1985 to 2004, is an ICC Cricket Hall of Fame player. He played as the captain for his team between 1997 and 2004. During this time, Sri Lanka played 163 matches under his captaincy, and won in 108 of them, including World Cup 1999. Waugh thus hit an incredible win rate of 66.25 percent, making him, quite rightfully, one of the best captains in the world, including Test, One Day International and Twenty-20 International cricket.

6. Hansie Cronje

most winning captain in world

Hansie Cronje might have been banned for life from the world of cricket because of match-fixing scandals, but he was posthumously voted as 11th greatest South African, two years after he died in a plane crash in 2002. He started playing in 1992, becoming the captain of the South African team in 1997, and ending his tenure as the captain with his cricketing career in 2000. During this time, he achieved a win percentage of 65.96, winning 126 out of 191 matches.

5. Stephen Fleming

highest winning captain

Former cricketer Stephen Fleming is a celebrated player, and a noteworthy captain of New Zealand national team whom he represented from 1994 to 2009. He was the winning captain of ICC KnockOut Trophy 2000, the only ICC trophy of the country till date. He was also the first captain for his country in the world’s historic first Twenty20 International. Between 1997 and 2007, he led his team to win 128 out of 303 matches, with a win rate of 42.24.

4. Allan Border

most successful cricket captain of all time

Allan Border started playing for Australia in 1978, and received captaincy of the team in 1984, a role he played till the end of his career in 1994, when he retired as his country’s most capped player, and the highest run-scorer in both ODI and Test. During his tenure as the captain, this sports legend helped his team amass 139 victories in 271 matches, reaching a win percentage of 51.29. He has appeared in the second highest number of test matches as the captain.

3. Graeme Smith

most successful captain in cricket history

Graeme Smith is a former cricketer of South Africa. He represented the team in all formats of cricket, between 2002 and 2014, and received the captaincy a year into his career, performing the responsibility till the end of it. Under his leadership, South Africa played 286 matches, and won in 163 of them, and he thus had a win percentage of 56.99, making him one of the noted captains of his country, as well as one of the most successful captains in the world, based on number of wins.

2. MS Dhoni

most successful captain in all format of cricket

MS Dhoni joined the Indian team in 2004, and although he has resigned from Test cricket recently, he is still going strong in the rest of the formats. He captained the team in all formats from 2007 to 2016, and led the team in a composed way. Leading the team in 331 games, he tops the list of captains with most matches. He helped India win 178 of them, including World Twenty20 2007, Asia Cup 2010, World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013, with a win rate of 53.77.

1. Ricky Ponting

world best cricket captain

Leading the list of the most successful captains with the highest number of wins is former cricketer Ricky Ponting, who represented Australia from 1995 to 2012. He served as the captain from 2002 to 2012. During his tenure as the captain, he led Australia to a massive 220 victories, including two World Cup victories in 2003 and 2007. He hit an incredible win rate of 67.90. The period of his captaincy is regarded as the golden era for the Australia national cricket team.

Special Mentions:

It is to be remembered that we have named the most successful captains based on the number of wins they have led their teams to. The number of matches they played in obviously has a huge part to play in it. There was a time when Test matches were not that frequent. The ODIs came much later. And T20I were completely out of the picture. The captains of that era built great teams, and led confidently. Captains like Richie Benaud (Australia, 1958-1964), Gary Sobers (West Indies, 1965-1972), etc. had a class of their own. Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi (India, 1962-1971/1974-1975) may have captained and won in a small number of matches, but he is still regarded as the greatest captain of the country, a title some fans want to give to Sourav Ganguly (India, 1999-2005) who built a powerful, confident, go-getter team. Yesteryear captains like Clive Lloyd (West Indies, 1974-1985), Mike Brearley (England, 1977-1981) played matches that no one can forget.

A captain has to keep his team playing and giving their best shot – till the last ball of the last over. When there’s a lost, it’s a captain’s fault. When there’s a win, it’s the team’s credit. So, a captain needs to be a true team player and a mastermind. From the powerhouse captain Sourav Ganguly, to the composed leader MS Dhoni, every captain has a different way of leading his team. And the true success of a captain lies not in the number of wins his team achieves during his tenure, but in how much the audience and his team members remember him.

Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time [Overall Performance]

Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time

Top 10 Most Successful Cricket Captains of All Time

The following list has been made, keeping in mind the number of matches played and they winning streaks.If you have another opinion about some players, please tell us in the comment section down below and we will certainly look into it. As for this one, keep reading and enjoy.

10. MA Atherton (ENG)

MA Atherton

MA Atherton

Number 10 of Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains, is occupied by Mike. Mike Atherton was an opener in the era of classic English tradition. The defense was his strong point, but when his bad back wasn’t playing up, he managed to hook freely and timed the ball sweetly through point. In opponents’ eyes, he was England’s most sought man for the seven years until his retirement at the end of the 2001 Ashes. Thrust into the captaincy at the early age of 25, he proved more durable than successful, but after ultimately resigning in 1998, he slipped rather comfortably into the role of elder statesman.

Michael Atherton Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1993-2001 54 13 21 0 20 0.61 24.07 38.88%

Michael Atherton Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1994 – 1997 43 20 1 1 48.80%

9. A Ranatunga (SL)

A Ranatunga

A Ranatunga

speaking of Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains, Ranatunga can’t  be missed. A specialist left-handed batsman and a part-time medium pace bowler, Ranatunga’s glittering career with the Sri Lankan national team started in 1982 when Sri Lanka were relative newcomers to international cricket. He was a key player in the team. Under Ranatunga’s captaincy, Sri Lanka had started to improve rapidly. Their growing success rate culminated with a blistering performance and triumphed in the 1996 Cricket World Cup.

Arjuna Ranatunga Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1989-1999 56 12 19 0 25 0.63 21.42 33.92%

Arjuna Ranatunga Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1988- 1999 193 89 95 1 8 48.37%

8. SR Waugh (AUS)

SR Waugh

SR Waugh

Stephen Rodger Waugh was presumed to be in the early stages of his career as only a “moderately talented” player, at one point losing his Test place to his brother Mark, he became one of the leading batsmen of his time.  He is one of only 12 players to have run over 10,000 Test runs, led Australia to fifteen of their record sixteen consecutive Test victories, and to victory in the 1999 Cricket World Cup.

Steve Waugh Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1999- 2004 57 41 9 0 7 4.55 71.92 15.78%

Steve Waugh Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1997-2002 106 67 35 3 1 65.23

7. AN Cook (ENG)

AN Cook

AN Cook

A gem for the cricket world, Cook is at number 7 of Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains. He is widely assumed as one of the greatest and most successful batsmen ever to have played for England, and one of the most skilled batsmen of the modern era. Cook played for Essex’s Academy and made his debut for the first XI back in 2003. He played in a variety of England’s youth teams from 2000 until his inclusion to the Test side in 2006.

Alastair Cook Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
2010- 2016 59 24 22 0 13 1.09 40.67 37.28%

Alastair Cook Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
2010-2014 69 36 30 1 2 54.47

6. MS Dhoni (India)

MS Dhoni

MS Dhoni

Know as one of all time finest finishers in cricket. Dhoni holds many captaincy records such as most wins by an Indian captain in Tests and ODIs, and most back-to-back victories by an Indian captain in ODIs. He took over the ODI captaincy from Rahul Dravid in 2007 and eventually led the team to its first-ever bilateral ODI series wins in Sri Lanka and New Zealand. Indian Skipper and Wicket keeper deserve to be among Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains.

MS Dhoni Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
2008- 2014 60 27 18 0 15 1.50 45.00 30.00%

MS Dhoni Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
2007-2016 199 110 74 4 11 59.57

5. CH Lloyd (WI)

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CH Lloyd is at number 5 of Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains. He captained the West Indies between the years 1974 and 1985 and oversaw their surreal rise to become the dominant Test-playing nation, a position that was only relieved in the latter half of the 1990s.

Clive Lloyd Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1974 – 1985 74 36 12 0 26 3.00 48.64 16.21%

Clive Lloyd Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1975-1985 84 64 18 1 1 77.71

4. RT Ponting (AUS)

RT Ponting

RT Ponting

He is considered by many to be one of the Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains of the modern era, alongside the likes of Sachin Tendulkar of India and Brian Lara of the West Indies. On 1 December 2006, he reached the highest career rating achieved by a Test batsman in the last 50 years.

Ricky Ponting Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
2001 – 2010 77 48 16 0 13 3.00 62.33 20.77%

Ricky Ponting Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
2002-2012 230 165 51 2 12 76.14

3. SP Fleming (NZ)

SP Fleming

SP Fleming

He was especially noted for his captaincy, having been appreciated by the likes of Shane Warne as the “best captain in world cricket” and most recently, Graeme Swann. He said that Fleming is one of the two true leaders that he’s ever seen, alongside Andrew Strauss and is among Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains.

Stephen Fleming Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1997 – 2006 80 28 27 0 25 1.03 35.00 33.75%

Stephen Fleming Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1997-2007 218 98 106 1 13 48.04

2. AR Border (AUS)

AR Border

AR Border

He played 156 Test matches in his career, a marvelous record until it was passed by fellow Australian Steve Waugh. He has the record for most consecutive test starts with 153. Border still retains the world record for the number of consecutive Test appearances of 153. He is second on the list of Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains.

Allan Border Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
1984 – 1994 93 32 22 1 38 1.45 34.40 23.65%

Allan Border Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
1985-1994 178 107 67 1 3 61.42

1. GC Smith (ICC/SA)

GC Smith

GC Smith

A tall, left-handed opening batsman, on the famous 2003 South African tour of England made double centuries in consecutive Test matches: 277 at Edgbaston, and 259 at Lord’s. The 259 is the highest score made at Lord’s by a foreign player. On 24 October 2013, that batsman Smith became the second South African and 12th overall to complete 9,000 runs in test cricket in his 112th test match. He is a true skipper and is among Top 10 Successful Cricket Captains, to say the least.

Graeme Smith Captaincy Record in Test Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L %W %L
2003 – 2014 109 53 29 0 27 1.82 48.62 26.60%

Graeme Smith Captaincy Record in ODI Matches

Span Mat Won Lost Tied NR %
2003-2011 150 92 51 1 6 64.23

Please Leave a comment below who is your favorite among these Successful Cricket Captains.?

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