Captaincy comes with a plethora of responsibilities and in the oldest form of the game, there is much to ponder upon as a captain. Test cricket is not only a careful melange of superlative batting, bowling and fielding skills but also needs ideal leadership.
Captains are required to put all their resources into efficient functioning, in a way that derives maximum results. When a captain falters each department falls like domino cards. The captain is the face of the team, he/she leads and supports.
2019 has been an interesting year for cricket. From The World Cup finals to current New Zealand versus England test series, every match has been nail-biting. Skippers have stood up for their teams and delivered the best. Following is a ranking of the top 10 current test captains:
1) Virat Kohli. 9/10:
Team India has been No.1 the test rankings for more than a year now. The World Test Championship leaderboard also looks lopsided with India attaining 360 points after winning all the 7 tests played.
One main reason for the Indian team’s success in the longest format is its captain, Virat Kohli. The 32-year old’s tenure as a captain has been very exciting especially after a series of victories at home. Virat’s aggressive leadership has helped pacers live up to crucial moments and win every ball in the test match.
2. Kane Williamson. 8.5/10:
Kane is known as the most ideal skipper in any format. His cool head and rational decision making give him an edge over other captains. Williamson hasn’t only improved as a batsman after taking over the full-time captaincy but has also shown signs of a great player.
The Kiwis are doing quite well under their skipper and their success can be measured with the recent tournament successes New Zealand cricket has witnessed.
3. Tim Paine. 7/10
One can blame him for calling off Warner’s innings earlier than he should have, he can also be blamed for not scoring consistent runs or below par wicketkeeping but no one can ignore the fact that Australia’s test cricket revamp has only one constant and that is Tim Paine’s leadership.
Tim Paine faced all the axes when his team wasn’t doing well after the sandpaper scandal but his determination led to a regroup of players and their domination now. Neither Steven Smith’s comeback nor Marnus Labuschagne’s discovery would be possible if it weren’t for Tim Paine.
4. Joe Root. 6.5/10:
Following the resignation of Alastair Cook, he was named England’s Test captain in 2017 and since then has handled the post well.
His decisions were questioned at times, but there’s no one better than Root to lead a growing English side. Joe has shown a fighting spirit and has managed veterans like Cook and Moen Ali in the squad with youngsters like Mark Wood and Rory Burns. His tenure as a captain is underestimated and his absence will only be realized when the right-handed batsman misses a series, leaving the English test team in a severe leadership crisis.
5. Jason Holder. 5/10:
At 23 years and 72 days, Holder became the youngest captain of the West Indies. He had really big boots to fill with Darren Sammy and Viv Richards featuring in the list of Windies captains and Jason has managed only to replicate a little from what his predecessors did by winning a few tests here and there.
West Indies cricket is going through a tough phase now, and it’s only an ideal leadership that can save them. He had to give up the limited over the captaincy for Kieron Pollard but still is the West Indies’ test skipper.
6) Faf Du Plessis. 5/10:
The South African skipper is having a tough time with the transition his team is going through. Their golden band of cricketers has stepped down and the younger crop is taking time to adjust.
Faf and company had a very low, below-average outing in India when they were whitewashed owing to a streak of poor performances. However looking at Du Plessis’s determination and belief, his side may make a comeback anytime soon.
Bangladesh, Afghanistan and Pakistan skippers are not included in this list as they’ve just started their tenures and can’t be judged so soon.