Cricket has seen some of the most legendary captains to have played the game and win trophies by leading from the front. For some people however, captaincy sits so naturally that they end up being bestowed the responsibility at a young age itself. Here are 7 cricketers who captained the country and had the envious and challenging task of captaining legendary players:
MS Dhoni (Sachin, Ganguly, Dravid, Sehwag, Laxman)
Dhoni is statistically and by measure of trophies India’s best ever captain. The powerful batsman-keeper who has been at the top for almost a decade and a half was made India’s captain across all three formats and got to manage some of India’s finest players ever including Sachin, Dravid, Sehwag and Laxman.
Dhoni went on to oversee the retirements of all these players before announcing his decision to relinquish the captaincy to Virat Kohli.
Waqar Younis (Wasim Akram)
One of the legendary players and swing bowlers of his time, Waqar Younis also was made captain at the age of 22. He led the likes of Wasim Akram post the Imran Khan Era. Along with Shoaib Akthar and Wasim, Waqar went on to produce three of the most feared pace attack in the history of the game.
Younis was the captain until Akram took over and went on to become a coach.
Tatenda Taibu (Heath Streak)
The youngest captain in the history of the game, Taibu was given the mantle at the age of just 21 years, a week shy of his 22nd birthday. He had to captain Heath Streak for a short while during his tenure as the captain.
Taibu was also the second most successful keeper for the Zimbabweans and retired from the game at the age of just 29.
Graeme Smith (Shaun Pollock, Jacques Kallis)
One of the classiest left handed batsmen in South African history, Graeme Smith was also given the captaincy post Shaun Pollock. At the age of 22, he had to manage Pollock and the great Jacques Kallis. Herschelle Gibbs too, thrived under his captaincy.
Smith was a very successful captain for the Proteas and was able to herald a lot of other brilliant young players such as AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn into the team.
Alastair Cook (Andrew Strauss, Kevin Pietersen)
Alastair Cook was a successful English captain who was able to win them a series in India after a very long time. His captaincy also helped him become a better batsman who was able to raise his game when required.
Cook however had both the pleasure of captaining Pietersen and Strauss and then falling out with the former. Pietersen had to go into international cricket exile under Pietersen’s captaincy.
Steven Smith (Shane Watson, Mitchell Johnson)
Steven Smith himself being a young star in the team was awarded the captaincy of the squad. He was able to lead legends like Shane Watson and Mitchell Johnson to a World Cup at home at a very young age of just 25.
Smith is still an effective captain of the side and is on the rise to become a legend of the Australian team.
Virat Kohli (Dhoni, Yuvraj, Nehra, Harbhajan)
VIrat Kohli who is currently leading the squad in all three formats also had the pleasure of leading some of his seniors. Once his captain, Dhoni now plays under him and Kohli credits being able to have someone as astute as MS and Yuvraj in the squad.
He was also the captain of Nehra during the T20 series and India will look to him for more inspiration for years to come.