Who is the best captain in the world? Ranking the greatest Cricket captains of all time

This in-depth article analyzes the traits and records of the best cricket captains in history. Looking at leadership, statistics, and impact, it highlights legendary captains like Dhoni, Ponting, and Imran Khan while also discussing current captains to watch.


What Defines a Great Cricket Captain?

For any cricketer, captaining their nation is the stuff that dreams are made of. It is the greatest honor that can be bestowed on any player from across the world. But what makes a great cricket captain? Some lead by example, some are tactical geniuses, and some are simply just good leaders of men. Others have political and religious issues to deal with, and some carry the hope of a whole nation on their shoulders. All this makes defining a great captain very difficult.

Furthermore, the best cricket captain in the world isn’t always the guy captaining the best team. Sometimes a great team can make an average captain look good. And a struggling team can make a great captain look poor.

The Best Cricket Captains of All Time

If statistics are the tool that defines what makes a good cricket captain, then Ricky Ponting’s win percentage of 62.33 is one of the best of all time and would be second only to Steve Waugh (71.92).

But Ricky Ponting captained one of the best Test teams of all time. The team almost captained itself. And the chances are that any player on that side could have had a similar win percentage.

There is far more to defining a good cricket captain than their respective win percentages. Sometimes, like in the case of Ponting, it’s just keeping the dressing room happy and not upsetting the applecart. Although, that in itself could be regarded as a captaincy skill.

Other traits of a good cricket captain include tactical awareness, leadership, and strength of personality.

Here, we look at some of the best cricket captains in more detail.

The Best Cricket Captains Highlighted

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni ticks more captaincy boxes than most. Inspirational, a great leader of men, able to perform under pressure, and a fine cricketer. Not only was he a great leader, but he was also an accomplished batter and also a top-quality wicketkeeper.

Graeme Smith

Former South Africa captain Graeme Smith was thrown in at the deep end and had to learn on the job. He was identified as a potential leader of men early in his career, and when he was made captain of South Africa at the tender age of 22 years old, he was his nation’s youngest-ever skipper.

Steve Waugh

Another remarkable leader of men, Steve Waugh was one of the ultimate warriors on a cricket field. Waugh wasn’t the most talented batter ever. In fact, he wasn’t even the most talented batter in his family. But despite this, he ground out a successful Test career for himself, averaging 51.06 over 166 Test matches.

Clive Lloyd

Clive Lloyd led the West Indies for 11 years from 1974 to 1985. He captained the team 74 times at Test level, winning 48 of those matches.

Imran Khan

Where do we start with Imran Khan? His record of 14 wins from the 48 matches he captained Pakistan in doesn’t do him justice. At the time, Pakistan was an emerging cricket nation, and Khan was – at times – carrying his team.

Is MS Dhoni the Best Cricket Player Ever?

The question of where MS Dhoni ranks in the list of best cricket players is an intriguing one. Because of his sublime leadership skills, his ability as a batter and wicketkeeper often gets overlooked. But this is harsh because MS was good at both disciplines.

In Test cricket, Dhoni averaged 38.09 with the bat. He played 90 Tests, scoring a total of 4,876 runs.

In ODIs for India, Dhoni played an astonishing 350 games. In those games, he scored 10,773 runs at an average of 50.53.

But it’s Dhoni’s ODI record that is just on another level. To average above 50 over 350 matches is truly phenomenal.

Who’s the Current Cricket Captain for India?

The current captain of the Indian national cricket team is Rohit Sharma.

Who are Considered to be the Best Cricket Captains Currently?

Out of all the current cricket captains around the world, Ben Stokes, Aiden Markram, and Hardik Pandya are some names to watch out for.

Which Indian Cricket Captain has the Best Win Percentage?

Across all formats combined, Virat Kohli has the best win percentage as an Indian captain.

Which Indian Cricket Captain has the Best Record in Test Matches, ODIs, and T20s?

When it comes to the best record in Test matches for India, Virat Kohli leads the pack.

How Many Captains have won the ICC Finals with India?

India has won three ICC events in total. MS Dhoni led the nation to two of those titles, and Kapil Dev to the other.

Are there Any New Cricket Captains to Watch Out For?

Younger captains – and by that, we mean 30 or under – who are worth keeping an eye on in the future are Sanju Samson, Rishabh Pant, Hardik Pandya, and Aiden Markram.