IPL captains report card: MS Dhoni, Rohit Sharma top list; Virat yet to make a mark

The upcoming Indian Premier League (IPL) will be more interesting as it will be played right before the much-awaited World Cup. Ever since inception, the tournament has seen various captains leading the teams. While some faded away, few only managed to retain the hype. In 2018, there was greater interest among fans, as ‘Captain Cool’ MS Dhoni was making his comeback as a captain.

Here’s a look at how IPL 2019 captains have performed so far

Rohit Sharma (MI) (2011 to Present)

Rating: Good

Mumbaikar Rohit Sharma took charge of Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2011 from Master-blaster Sachin Tendulkar. Since then, there was not looking back for the franchise as they have managed to win IPL trophy trice (2013, 2015 and 2017). Rohit is known as a bowlers’ captain. He has also been consistent as a batsman. Although he’s an opener, since joining the MI, Rohit has batted at No 3 or sometimes No 4.

MS Dhoni (CSK) (2009 to Present)

Rating: Very Good

AFP PHOTO / ARUN SANKAR

What to say about the ‘Thala’! MS Dhoni-led CSK has always managed to be in the top-four and has made it to the IPL final 7 times, winning it thrice. Skipper MS Dhoni is key to the side. Last year, the CSK returned to the league post suspension, with Dhoni again leading the side. ‘Thala’ made it even more memorable to fans by guiding his side to its third title. Dhoni is the most successful captain of IPL, with 150 wins.

Virat Kohli (RCB) (2013-At present)

Rating: Average

RCB captain Virat Kohli stands on the pitch during the match. / AFP PHOTO / Manjunath KIRAN / GETTYOUT

Team India skipper and ‘Run Machine’, Virat Kohli will again be leading the team in 2019 with an aim to lift the maiden title. Kohli is leading RCB since 2013, after taking over from Daniel Vettori. As a captain, Kohli holds the record of hitting most centuries in IPL, with 4 smashing tons. Kohli has led his side to runners-up position in 2016 where the run-machine scored over 900 runs.

Kane Williamson (SRH) (2018 to present)

Rating: Good

AFP PHOTO / NOAH SEELAM / GETTYOUT

The Kiwi record holder, Kane Williamson, was appointed as skipper of 2016 winning team after regular skipper David Warner was banned following the ball-tampering scandal. The newly-crowed captain led his side to the finals with the skipper himself being the highest run-scorer (737) of the season.

Dinesh Karthik (KKR) (2018)

Rating: Average

AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR / GETTYOUT

It came as a big surprise last year when Bollywood star Shah Rukh Khan-owned Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) appointed Dinesh Karthik as its captain when Gautam Gambhir refused to stay in the franchise. When the announcement was made, several questioned the move but Karthik proved critics wrong and put up brilliant performances, leading his side to the semi-finals, beating Mumbai Indians.

Ajinkya Rahane (RR) (2018)

Rating: Average

AFP PHOTO / Dibyangshu SARKAR / GETTYOUT

With Steve Smith unavailable due to ball-tampering ban, Rajasthan Royals (RR) chose Rahane to lead the side. With Smith likely to join Royals from the start, there are high chances Rahane would be relieved of captain’s responsibility. However, in 2018, Rahane impressed very much with his decision-making and tactics and the franchise could go ahead with Rahane (as Captain) to further polish his captaincy skills.

Ravichandran Ashwin (KXIP) (2018)

Rating: Average

Kings XI Punjab cricketer Ravichandran Ashwin during the 2018 IPL match . / AFP PHOTO / PUNIT PARANJPE / GETTYOUT

No one would have thought that Ashwin would lead an IPL side. Since start of the tournament, Ashwin played under Dhoni (CSK) and Suresh Raina appointed as his deputy, hence there was no question of Ashwin becoming a captain. But in 2018, when was picked by Kings XI Punjab (KXIP), the franchise quickly announced him as a captain.

Although he couldn’t led the side properly, he might get another chance this year.

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