New Indian Premier League side Gujarat Titans‘ skipper Hardik Pandya became the latest name to join the IPL winning captains list, as they defeated Rajasthan Royals to lift the IPL 2022 trophy.
After 15 seasons, there have been seven different capatins managing to win the title and only three of them have done it twice.
IPL winning captains list from 2008 to 2022
|Year||Winners||IPL title-winning captain|
|2022||Gujarat Titans||Hardik Pandya|
|2021||Chennai Super Kings||Mahendra Singh Dhoni|
|2020||Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma|
|2019||Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma|
|2018||Chennai Super Kings||Mahendra Singh Dhoni|
|2017||Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma|
|2016||Sunrisers Hyderabad||David Warner|
|2015||Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma|
|2014||Kolkata Knight Riders||Gautam Gambhir|
|2013||Mumbai Indians||Rohit Sharma|
|2012||Kolkata Knight Riders||Gautam Gambhir|
|2011||Chennai Super Kings||Mahendra Singh Dhoni|
|2010||Chennai Super Kings||Mahendra Singh Dhoni|
|2009||Deccan Chargers||Adam Gilchrist|
|2008||Rajasthan Royals||Shane Warne|
Rohit Sharma | Mumbai Indians | 5 IPL titles
Before Rohit Sharma‘s incredible abilities in the leadership role were unearthed by the Mumbai Indians management, the Indian Premier League had only MS Dhoni to admire and celebrate as he had already won the league twice with Chennai Super Kings before 2013.
However, one will never fully know whether it was MI’s marvellous scouting that brought the likes of Jasprit Bumrah, Hardik Pandya, Ishan Kishan and more T20 talents to the fore or Rohit Sharma’s unparalleled captaincy skills that led Mumbai to win five IPL titles from 2o13 to 2020. The current Indian cricket team skipper is clearly the most successful captain in IPL in terms of the number of titles won.
Rohit Sharma doesn’t have out of the box antics like MS Dhoni, or solo match-winning prowess like former Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) skipper KL Rahul, or former Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli, but his man-management skills have been widely talked about.
MS Dhoni | Chennai Super Kings | 4 IPL titles
Despite Rohit Sharma’s success in the Indian Premier League, if there is one player who is synonymous with the IPL trophy, it is MS Dhoni. The CSK skipper had cracked the IPL code before anyone ever could. He has been quintessential in exploiting the Indian conditions and picking players accordingly and producing results season after season.
Under Dhoni’s captaincy, CSK has reached the IPL playoff stages 11 times in 14 seasons and the final a whopping times. It is fair to say that the number of ICC titles that the Indian cricket team won with Dhoni wasn’t a fluke by any means.
If MI’s think tank was largely responsible for Mumbai’s IPL success, then CSK’s success solely stands on Dhoni’s captaincy. Players like Ravindra Jadeja, Ravichandran Ashwin, Shane Watson, and many more players, who have performed exceptionally well under Dhoni, have failed in other teams.
Gautam Gambhir | Kolkata Knight Riders | 2 IPL titles
The only other captain, other than MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma to ever win the Indian Premier League, Gautam Gambhir was not a popular captain choice when Kolkata Knight Riders got him in 2011. However, his aggressive captaincy, incredible consistency in the top order for four years, and KKR scout’s unique foreign imports did the job for the Kolkata franchise.
There are more than one way to win IPL and Gambhir proved just that. While Dhoni and Rohit were all about tactics and man-management, Gambhir’s KKR beat the odds with team performances. Bringing the perfect player versus player at the right moments to punch above weights, KKR defeated heavyweights CSK and KXIP in two of their IPL final matches. They had also reached the final of IPL 2021 under the captaincy of Eoin Morgan in IPL 2021.
Gambhir would later move to the Delhi Capitals as the captain but failed to replicate the success.
Hardik Pandya | Gujarat Titans | 1 IPL title
Against all odds and popular belief, Hardik Pandya led new IPL franchise Gujarat Titans to their first-ever IPL title win in their very first season.
Under Pandya’s leadership, the Titans won 10 of the 14 league matches and lose only four. They defeated Lucknow Super Giants in Qualifier 1 before getting the better of 2008 IPL winners Rajasthan in the grand final.
IPL winning captains list: By number of titles
|Name||No. of Titles||Team||Year|
|Rohit Sharma||5||Mumbai Indians||2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020|
|MS Dhoni||4||Chennai Super Kings||2010, 2011, 2018, 2021|
|Gautam Gambhir||2||Kolkata Knight Riders||2012, 2014|
|Shane Warne||1||Rajasthan Royals||2008|
|Adam Gilchrist||1||Deccan Chargers||2009|
|David Warner||1||Sunrisers Hyderabad||2016|
Three Overseas IPL winning captains: Warne, Warner and Gilchrist
It was quite surprising that the first-ever IPL winning captain was not an Indian but an Australian in Shane Warne in 2008. Leading Rajasthan Royals from the front, where he was the coach, captain as well as a star player, Australian spinner Shane Warne had made the world take notice of him with a side of relatively lesser-known players.
The second overseas player to win the IPL, which happened in the very next year in 2009, was yet another Australian Adam Gilchrist. The Deccan Chargers team was a star-studded affair with names like Andrew Symonds, Herschelle Gibbs, VVS Laxman, Pragyan Ojha, and more plying their trade in that side. Though it still needed Gilchirst’s brilliant captaincy to make their work like a well-oiled machine, the squad was always a championship contender on paper.
The most recent overseas captain to win the IPL was David Warner, yet another Australian. With VVS Laxman in the management and Warner’s imperious form in the top order, hardly anything could go wrong for Sunrisers Hyderabad. Their scouting team should, however, be credited for making the most optimum use of Indian talents like Yuvraj Singh, Bhuvneshwar Kumar and Barinder Sran, and the then fringe players like Ben Cutting and Mustafizur Rehman to get the job done for the team.
Who has been the best captain in IPL history?
The best captain in IPL history has undoubtedly been MS Dhoni. Though the CSK skipper trails Rohit Sharma marginally in win percentage and number of titles, one cannot discount the fact that he managed to excel in IPL with CSK as well as Rising Pune Supergiants.
Below is the win percentage of every IPL captain who has led IPL teams in at least 50 matches.
IPL captains list: By Win percentage
|Player||Matches||Team(s)||Won||Win Percentage (%)|
|MS Dhoni||204||Chennai Super Kings, Rising Pune Supergiants||121||59.6|
|Virat Kohli||140||Royal Challengers Bangalore||64||48.16|
|Gautam Gambhir||129||Delhi Daredevils, Kolkata Knight Riders||71||55.42|
|Rohit Sharma||129||Mumbai Indians||75||59.68|
|Adam Gilchrist||74||Deccan Chargers, Kings XI Punjab||35||47.29|
|David Warner||69||Delhi Daredevils, Sunrisers Hyderabad||35||52.17|
|Shane Warne||55||Rajasthan Royals||30||55.45|
|Virender Sehwag||53||Delhi Daredevils, Kings XI Punjab||28||53.77|
|Sachin Tendulkar||51||Mumbai Indians||30||58.82|