Sometimes despite having all the cricketing abilities, a few players don’t get the opportunity to captain their respective teams. Today we will try and assemble an ODI XI of some of the top players who were the vital cogs in the line-ups of their national teams, but they never walked out to toss the coin as captain.
Here is the best ODI XI of players who never captained –
#1 Openers (Matthew Hayden, Shikhar Dhawan):
Matthew Hayden scored 6133 runs in 155 ODIs for Australia at an average of 43.81, but he was never someone whom the Australian selectors looked at as a potential captaincy candidate. Ricky Ponting was the permanent captain of Australia in that era and whenever he was unavailable, Hayden’s opening partner Adam Gilchrist took over the captaincy.
Dhawan has been the highest scorer for India in a no. of ICC tournament and there have been a couple of occasions where he has been named the vice-captain of the Indian ODI team as well, but he has never led the Indian side.
Dhawan could have captained against Afghanistan in Asia Cup 2018 where Rohit Sharma rested himself, but Dhawan was also rested for that game and it was the former Indian captain MS Dhoni who led India.
#2 Middle order (Mark Waugh, Yuvraj Singh, Michael Bevan):
Mark Waugh was one of the most graceful players to play the game in the 90s and although he was a regular member of the Australian ODI team, he didn’t lead Australia in even a single ODI game. His brother Steve Waugh, on the other hand, was one of the most successful Australian captains ever.
Yuvraj and Bevan have been two of the best finishers in ODI cricket in the last couple of decades, but they were playing under two of the all-time greatest captains in MS Dhoni and Steve Waugh and hence, never got captaincy opportunities.
#3 All-rounders (Glenn Maxwell, Lance Klusener):
Glenn Maxwell can be called a batting all-rounder as he doesn’t often bowl in ODI cricket. He is very handy with the ball, but he doesn’t bowl often enough. Kulsener, on the other hand, was a genuine all-rounder. He was not only a very dangerous no. 7 batsman for South Africa; he was their fourth seamer as well, as he averaged more than 40 with the bat and less than 30 with the ball in ODIs.
Klusener retired from the game without leading South Africa at any stage, while Maxwell has also not got the opportunity to lead Australia so far. However, since Maxwell is still an active player, there is always a possibility that he gets to captain the Kangaroos at some point in future.
#4 Bowlers (Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Shoaib Akhtar, Darren Gough):
Harbhajan and Zaheer played most of their cricket under Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, all three of whom were very successful captains. So, there was never a point where the Indian selectors were looking for a captain and could have considered Harbhajan or Zaheer for the role.
Both Akhtar and Gough were the spearhead of the bowling attacks of Pakistan and England respectively in the late 90s, but they were never given any leadership roles by the selectors.