Most Successful Captains in IPL History

Most Successful Captains in IPL: IPL sees some of the best cricketers competing for the coveted title. With so much at stake, the role of the captain becomes extremely crucial in a team’s success.

Over 16 seasons, many captains have tried their hand at leading IPL franchises. But only a few have enjoyed long and successful stints. Let’s look at the most successful captains in IPL history based on matches captained and win percentage:

Most Successful Captains in IPL History

Most Successful Captains in IPL

1MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)2008-20232261339159.37
2Rohit Sharma (MI)2013-2023158876756.32
3Virat Kohli (RCB)2011-2023143667048.56
4Gautam Gambhir (DC/KKR)2009-2018129715755.42
5David Warner (DC/SRH)2013-202383404149.39
6Adam Gilchrist (DC/KXIP)2008-201374353947.29
7Shreyas Iyer (DC/KKR)2018-202255272650.90
8Shane Warne (RR)2008-201155302455.45
9Virender Sehwag (DC/KXIP)2008-201553282453.77
10KL Rahul (KXIP/LSG/PBKS)2020-202351252450.98
11Sachin Tendulkar (MI)2008-201151302158.82
12Rahul Dravid (RCB/RR)2008-201348222645.83
13Kumara Sangakkara (DC/KXIP/SRH)2010-201347153034.04
14Kane Williamson (SRH)2018-202246222348.91
15Sanju Samson (RR)2021-202345222348.88
16Dinesh Karthik (DC/KKR)2010-202043212150.00
17Steve Smith (PWI/RPS/RR)2012-202043251759.52
18Yuvraj Singh (KXIP/PWI)2008-201143212150.00
19Saurav Ganguly (KKR/PWI)2008-201242172540.47
20Suresh Raina (CSK/GL)2010-201934141844.11
21George Bailey (KXIP)2014-201530141646.66
22Mahela Jayawardene (DC/Kochi/KXIP)2010-201330101935.00
23Hardik Pandya (GT)2022-20233122970.96
24Rishabh Pant (DC)2021-202230161355.00
25Ravichandran Ashwin (KXIP)2018-201928121642.85
26Faf du Plessis (RCB)2022-202327141351.85
27Anil Kumble (RCB)2009-201026151157.69
28Ajinkya Rahane (RPS/RR)2017-20192591636.00
29Eoin Morgan (KKR)2020-202124111247.91
30Shane Watson (RCB/RR)2008-20172481339.13

As seen above, Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the most successful captain in the history of the Indian Premier League, having led his cricket teams (CSK and RPS) in 226 matches spanning 2008-2023. Under his captaincy, CSK/RPS have won 133 matches. Rohit Sharma comes second with 158 IPL matches captained for Mumbai Indians.

Most Successful IPL Captains by Win Percentage

Win percentage is one of the major parameters to judge a captain’s success in the IPL. The table below ranks the captains with the highest winning percentage in the IPL, considering a minimum of 20 matches as captain:

PositionPlayerSpanMatOverall Win %
1Hardik Pandya (GT)2022-20233173.33
2Steve Smith (PWI/RPS/RR)2012-20204359.52
3MS Dhoni (CSK/RPS)2008-202322559.19
4Sachin Tendulkar (MI)2008-20115158.82
5Anil Kumble (RCB)2009-20102657.69
6Rohit Sharma (MI)2013-202315856.32
7Shane Warne (RR)2008-20115555.45
8Gautam Gambhir (DC/KKR)2009-201812955.42
9Rishabh Pant (DC)2021-20223055
10Daniel Vettori (RCB)2011-20122254.54
11Virender Sehwag (DC/KXIP)2008-20155353.77
12Faf du Plessis (RCB)2022-20232751.85
13KL Rahul (KXIP/LSG/PBKS)2020-20235150.98
14Shreyas Iyer (DC/KKR)2018-20225550.9
15Dinesh Karthik (DC/KKR)2010-20204350
16Yuvraj Singh (KXIP/PWI)2008-20114350
17Harbhajan Singh (MI)2008-20122050
18David Warner (DC/SRH)2013-20238349.39
19Kane Williamson (SRH)2018-20224648.91
20Sanju Samson (RR)2021-20234548.88

Hardik Pandya sits atop with an incredible win record of over 73% in matches as a captain while leading debutants Gujarat Titans to the IPL trophy in 2022. MS Dhoni occupies the second spot ahead of Rohit Sharma. Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, and David Warner round off the top 5 names.

Check also: IPL Teams who Qualified Most Times for Playoffs

IPL Captains with Multiple Title Wins  

Winning the IPL crown once is an enormous achievement. But only a few match-winning captains in IPL history have managed to lift the coveted trophy multiple times, and among them is MS Dhoni, the captain of Chennai Super Kings, who has an exceptional record with five IPL titles (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, 2023).

MS Dhoni – 5 IPL titles (2010, 2011, 2018, 2021, 2023) 
Rohit Sharma – 5 IPL titles (2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, 2020)
Gautam Gambhir – 2 IPL titles (2012, 2014)  

Dhoni captained one of the teams with the best cricketers, CSK, to glory in 2010, 2011, and then again in 2018 after serving a 2-year suspension. Under his sharp leadership, the Super Kings, who spend crores every IPL auction, once again emerged IPL champions in 2021 and 2023 – proving that Dhoni is the most successful IPL captain.

A good captain can take over and transform a team into champions, as seen when Rohit Sharma took over Mumbai Indians’ captaincy in 2013, leading them to five trophy wins.

When it comes to bowling in the IPL, economy rate plays a crucial role, and some bowlers have stood out as the most economical in IPL history. On the other hand, a poor captain will waste opportunities, emphasising the impact that good and bad captains can have on a team. Kolkata Knight Riders won their IPL titles in 2012 and 2014 under the captaincy of the dynamic Gautam Gambhir, showcasing the influence a captain can have on the team’s success.

Key Stats

* Over 16 IPL seasons, MS Dhoni has led his teams (CSK & RPS) in a record 226 matches.
* Dhoni also has the second-best win percentage (59.19%) after Hardik Pandya.
* Rohit Sharma is the second most capped IPL captain with 158 matches.
* Dhoni, Rohit and Gambhir are the only captains to win the IPL more than once.  
* Dhoni holds the record for the most IPL title wins (5) as a captain.

Clearly, MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma stand out as the most successful captains in IPL history through their consistency, longevity and multiple trophy wins. The 2024 IPL season is underway, and it will be interesting to see if these records are challenged by a new breed of superstar captains like Hardik Pandya and Shreyas Iyer.

Who is the best captain in IPL history?

MS Dhoni, often referred to as MS, is considered the best IPL captain ever through his 5 title wins, longevity as a leader, and incredible success rate.

Who has the highest win percentage as IPL captain?

Hardik Pandya boasts the highest winning percentage among IPL stats, with an impressive 73.33% wins after captaining Gujarat Titans to the title in their debut 2022 season.

Who has won the most IPL trophies as captain?

MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma jointly hold the record for most IPL wins as captain, having lifted the IPL trophy five times each in the history of the tournament.

Who is better captain in IPL – Kohli or Rohit?

Rohit Sharma has clearly proven himself to be a better and more successful IPL captain than Virat Kohli. Rohit has led MI to 5 title wins compared to none for Kohli’s RCB.


Editor at  The Premier Cricket News Hub Providing Exclusive Updates on Cricket Events Worldwide, Including IPL, PSL, and More.