The captain plays a huge role in the game of cricket. From the outside, it may seem as if the captain’s job is only to decide which bowlers bowl which over but there is more to it than you think. A captain decides how a team plays, he has the power to influence the team, and most importantly he needs to get the best out of the team.
In the IPL, the teams which have been the most successful are the ones with the most stable captains. Chennai Super Kings with MS Dhoni and Mumbai Indians with Rohit Sharma is the primary example.
Some teams have changed their captains many times. There have been teams who have changed captains in between the season twice or thrice which doesn’t work in the team’s favour. So, let’s have a look at five teams with the highest number of captain changes.
- Pune Warriors India – 6
The Pune Warriors India played only for three seasons but still had 6 captains and that’s one of the reasons as to why they weren’t successful in the IPL. In 2011, when they played for the first time, they had appointed Yuvraj Singh as the captain and he continued as the captain for the whole season.
In 2012, Yuvraj Singh was unavailable as he was diagnosed with cancer, and hence, they appointed Sourav Ganguly as the captain. Due to poor performances, Steve Smith was appointed as captain midway through the season but even that didn’t work so they went back to Ganguly.
In 2013, Ganguly announced retirement so PWI appointed Angelo Mathews as their captain. Again, due to poor results, he was removed from captaincy and Ross Taylor was appointed. In a single season, their captain changes three times as Taylor was sacked and Aaron Finch was appointed as a captain. A total of 6 players captained PWI in just three seasons.
- Sunrisers Hyderabad – 6
SRH came in place of the Deccan Chargers in 2013. Kumar Sangakkara started as their captain in 2013 and midway through the season Cameron White came in and replaced him as captain.
Again in 2014, they started with Shikhar Dhawan but ended the season with Darren Sammy. In 2015, they appointed David Warner as their captain who was there until he was banned in 2018. In 2018, due to Warner’s absence, Kane Williamson was appointed as their new captain and in 2019 when Williamson had to miss some games due to an injury, Bhuvneshwar Kumar captained them.
- Mumbai Indians – 7
Mumbai Indians struggled in the initial years because they kept changing their captain regularly. In 2008, Sachin Tendulkar was appointed as captain but he got injured and hence Harbhajan Singh took over from him. Harbhajan Singh was banned from the IPL due to the Sreesanth controversy and Shaun Pollock was appointed as captain in place of him.
Tendulkar came back from the injury and he captained the team till 2012. In 2010, Dwayne Bravo captained in one game when Sachin wasn’t available. In 2013, Ricky Ponting was appointed as their captain but due to poor performances he dropped himself and Rohit Sharma was appointed as their new captain. MI won their first title in 2013 and since then Sharma has been their captain. In 2019, Sharma missed a game when Kieron Pollard captained the side.
- Delhi Capitals – 9
Delhi Daredevils who are now known as Delhi Capitals have changed their captain 9 times in 12 seasons. In 2008, Virender Sehwag captained the Delhi side whereas in 2009 Gautam Gambhir did that job. In 2010, Dinesh Karthik captained Delhi Daredevils which was a surprising move. In 2012 when Sehwag stepped down as captain, Mahela Jayewardene was appointed as their new captain.
In 2014, Kevin Pietersen captained the Delhi side. In 2015, JP Duminy was appointed as the captain for the full season. In 2016, Zaheer Khan took over as a captain till 2017, and in between when he was injured Karun Nair took over the captaincy duties. In 2018, Gambhir was back in the Delhi side as a player and a captain. He failed to deliver and hence Shreyas Iyer was appointed as captain midway through the season who will continue in 2020.
- Kings XI Punjab – 11
Kings XI Punjab is on the top of the list for the most number of captains in the IPL. In 2008, they started with Yuvraj Singh as their captain. He continued till the end of the 2009 season. In 2010, Kumar Sangakkara and Mahela Jayewardene fulfilled the captaincy duties. In 2012, David Hussey was their captain and in 2013 Adam Gilchrist was appointed as their captain.
In 2014, when there was a fresh auction George Bailey captained them for the whole season in which they reach the final. In 2015, Bailey continued but Virender Sehwag captained in some of the games.
In 2016, they started with David Miller and ended the season with Murali Vijay. In 2017, Glenn Maxwell was their captain for the full season and he was sacked from the team in 2018. They picked R Ashwin in the auction and appointed him as the captain. This year they have changed their captain once again as KL Rahul is getting ready to captain an IPL side for the first time.