Leading a team at the international level is not the easiest of things for a player. A captain always sets the example for his team to follow suit. It is the leader who can inspire a team to even overcome the most difficult of situations. As a result, it is an arduous job for a captain to carry his team with the weight of expectations of fans behind a team.
The cricketing world has seen some of the most successful captains take centre stage. However, some of them, despite being successful leaders, have failed to win an ICC trophy for their teams.
Here’s a look at 5 successful captains who couldn’t win an ICC trophy:
1. Graeme Smith – South Africa
Former South African skipper Graeme Smith took the charge of the Proteas team at a very young age. He was instrumental in shaping the South African team, leading them to victories in 92 out of 150 matches as ODI skipper. However, Smith wasn’t as successful at global ICC events. Under his captaincy, the Proteas participated in World Cup 2007, 2011 and a couple of T20 World Cups, but could never make an impact under his leadership. Meanwhile, they continued to struggle at knockout stages and even earned the tag of ‘Chokers’.
2. Wasim Akram – Pakistan:
Former Pakistani spearhead, Wasim Akram was an influential figure in the Pakistan cricket setup. While he captained the ‘Men in Green’ in ODIs, the left-arm pacer always led by example by taking the onus with the ball in hand. He had a much healthy record as skipper, winning 66 out of 109 ODIs for Pakistan. However, Wasim was never successful as a skipper at the ICC events for Asian giants. Under his leadership, Pakistan faltered at the ICC World Cup Final in 1999 and was even ruled out in QF against India in 1996.
3. Mahela Jayawardene – Sri Lanka:
Sri Lankan legend Mahela Jayawardene led Sri Lanka for a record 129 ODI matches from a period between 2004 and 2013. He was the backbone for Sri Lanka’s batting order and was always a huge wicket for the opposition. Mahela was a successful captain for Sri Lanka, winning 71 games with a win percentage of 59. However, Jayawardene failed to carry his team through at big stages in the ICC events. Under his captaincy, the Islanders could never win any major ICC tournament.
4. Virat Kohli – India:
Indian skipper Virat Kohli has been a force to reckon with at the international stage in the past few years. Since 2017, Kohli has been leading the Indian team after MS Dhoni relinquished the job as a skipper. Ever since January 2017, India has witnessed dream run in the ODIs except for their show towards the business end in some of the ICC tournaments. Under Kohli, India has won 62 out of the 89 ODIs but have failed to cross there final few hurdles in ICC events in the last two years.
5. AB de Villiers – South Africa:
Former South African skipper, AB de Villiers was one of the greatest ODI players that the country has ever produced. During his prime, De Villiers was way ahead of his contemporaries. However, despite being a prolific run-scorer by himself, the right-handed batsman couldn’t win enough matches for South Africa in ICC events. Under his captaincy, the Proteas lost in the Semi-Final of the World Cup 2015.