The IPL is a competitive tournament. With the fast-paced nature of the game and the rise of exciting talents all over the world, the competition has become fiercer. In a competition as fierce as this, a captain is sometimes the most important player in the team. However, it can be incredibly frustrating for team officials if the captain doesn’t perform well. So it is a great gesture when a player makes the ultimate sacrifice and drops himself from the team for the greater good. Today we will take a look at 5 times when captains dropped themselves from the playing XI.
Kumar Sangakkara (Deccan Chargers)
Kumar Sangakkara led the Deccan Chargers in the IPL in 2012. However, they did very poorly. Sitting on 5 losses from 7 games, Sangakkara decided to drop himself. He gave up the captaincy to Cameron White and dropped himself from the team. However, it did not do much good to the team, as they lost to the Mumbai Indians in the very next match. Interestingly, Sangakkara returned for the next match and scored a match-winning 72.
Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians)
Mumbai Indians were yet to win an IPL tournament under the captaincies of Sachin Tendulkar and Harbhajan Singh. In their hopes to win a title, they brought in Ricky Ponting. However, the former Australian skipper had a disastrous season, averaging 10.4 and winning only 3 out of 6 matches. He took the decision of dropping himself and handing over the captaincy to Rohit Sharma. The rest, they say, is history. Mumbai Indians went on to become the most successful teams in the history of the tournament.
Adam Gilchrist (Kings XI Punjab)
Adam Gilchrist moved to the Kings XI Punjab as one of the only three overseas captains to win the IPL. However, his golden touch couldn’t be carried over to the Punjab franchise. Gilly was struggling with the bat, and the pressure was mounting on the prolific Australian as other talented overseas players were warming the benches. Gilchrist decided to sacrifice himself for the team. However, it didn’t do the team much good as KXIP finished at number 6 in the points table.
Daniel Vettori (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
Daniel Vettori is one of the best New Zealand players ever. The former Kiwi skipper was a great all-rounder and an even better captain. He took over the reins from Anil Kumble in 2011. RCB were having mixed results with Vettori at the helm. Mixed results weren’t enough as RCB boasted of talents such as Chris Gayle, Tilakaratne Dilshan, Muttiah Muralitharan, and AB De Villiers. Playing Vettori meant that one of those players had to sit out. This wasn’t possible for the team, and Vettori decided to give up his spot for the betterment of the team.
Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Capitals)
Gautam Gambhir began his IPL career with the Delhi Daredevils. So it was kind of poetic when he returned to the Delhi outfit in 2018. A lot was expected from the seasoned skipper. But it was not to be, as Gambhir had a string of poor performances. In a moment of introspection, Gambhir decided to step down as the captain and gave up his captaincy to a young Shreyas Iyer. Gambhir dropped himself from the team and stepped away from the format for good.