The following is a list of five of the youngest captains in Indian Premier League history who were given captaincy responsibilities at an early age and were able to display their captaincy skills over various IPL seasons.
List of Youngest Captains of IPL History
As part of their professional careers, some players got the opportunity to lead their team in the IPL teams of their respective countries in their early days. Most of the time, the cause is either an injury sustained by the regular skipper or a change of plans initiated by the franchise midway through the campaign. The reason behind it may not matter, but these cricketers have joined an elite group for becoming the youngest leaders in the history of the league.
1. Youngest Captain in IPL History: Virat Kohli – 22 years, four months, and six days
Besides his batting skills, he has also helped the country’s cricket to reach new heights. During his teenage years when he was captain of the U19 team in Australia, many cricketing pundits have said that he is a future captain. Because of this, even the Royal Challengers Bangalore handed him the charges as early as in 2011.
Kohli captained the team for three games during the 2011 edition when Daniel Vettori was injured. It was under his leadership that the team was able to win two games. At the same time, he also became the youngest captain in the history of the Indian Premier League. Although he wasn’t as successful as a batsman during his first stint with the team as skipper, there were early signs that he will be the future of the Royal Challengers Bangalore franchise.
With this, Virat Kohli became the youngest captain in the history of the IPL. In his debut as captain of RCB, Adil Rashid marshaled his squad to perfection, with the team beating RR by nine wickets in Jaipur that evening.
The record for the youngest IPL captain will be interesting to see if Virat Kohli can break it in the future.
2. Youngest Captain in IPL Steve Smith – 22 years, 11 months, and nine days
During the early phase of his career, Smith had his share of struggles, since he could not wow the Kangaroos with his spin, as he had not yet developed his skills as a premier spinner. After working on his batting skills, he went on to become a professional and has not looked back since. He is now considered one of the mainstays in the Rajasthan team’s batting even in the IPL competition. In the past few seasons, he has led them successfully as well.
At the beginning of the 2012 season, the Pune Warriors were captained by the veteran Indian all-rounder Sourav Ganguly.
Despite the poor performance, Ganguly decided to rest before the away match against Royal Challengers Bangalore.The Royal Challengers Bangalore captain Virat Kohli also walked out for the toss that evening, along with Smith.
A dominant Royal Challengers Bangalore beat their rivals at the M. Chinnaswamy Stadium as 22-year-old Steve Smith made an uneventful captaincy debut with Royal Challengers Bangalore.
3. Suresh Raina – 23 years & 112 days
Chennai Super Kings captain Suresh Raina, who has played an integral role in the franchise’s success, is the third youngest captain in the history of the IPL. Raina took over the captaincy of CSK during the 2010 IPL without MS Dhoni.
While Raina has led CSK in five games, he spent most of his time as Gujarat Lions captain. During the first season of the Indian Premier League in 2016, Gujarat Lions reached the playoffs under his captaincy. This will be Raina’s first season in the IPL, after missing the last one for the Chennai Super Kings.
4. Rishabh Pant – 23 years
After Shreyas Iyer suffered a knee injury prior to the start of the season, Rishabh Pant took over as the captain of the Delhi Capitals. In spite of this, Pant has proven he is an excellent captain after handing over the captaincy of Delhi Capitals to his successor this year.
Having joined the franchise at the young age of 23, he becomes the second-youngest captain of a franchise side after Shreyas. DC has won 10 games in 16 matches, while losing six, and Pant has captained the team for the last 16 games. It is worth mentioning however that Pant has successfully led his side to the playoffs of the IPL 2021. The Championship was again unable to be brought home by DC as they suffered back-to-back losses in the Qualifiers.
5. Rishabh Pant – 23 years & 144 days
As part of Delhi Capitals’ franchise ahead of the IPL 2021, wicket-keeper batsman Rishabh Pant has been appointed captain. Pant has been in outstanding form over the last four months. As a result, Shreyas Iyer, who has been the captain of the team during the last few seasons, has been ruled out of the Indian Premier League because of an injury sustained during the ODI series against England.
As far as Pant is concerned, this will be the first time he will lead an IPL side, despite being in charge of Delhi Ranji for more than ten years. A youngster like a youngster will be challenged to captain the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, Ajvinkya Rahane, and Steve Smith in the upcoming series. Taking the field against CSK in the 10th match of the IPL, Pant will be the fifth-youngest captain in the history of the tournament.
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