10. Graeme Smith
Tall, well developed, and recognized as the ‘Biff’ for his skill to break the leather off the ball, Graeme Smith was pushed into the captaincy duties at a very young age. He handed over the reins at 22 – which made him his country’s youngest captain and tasked with reinstating his countrymen’s faith after Hansie Cronje had torn whatever was staying with his wrong hand in the match-fixing scandal. As a captain, Smith showed the way by example, a case in point being the Sydney test in 2009 when he approaches the stadium and bat with a broken hand to save the game. He was unsuccessful in this, but won unanimous praise and applauds for this act of braveness. Frequently standing at 1st slip, chewing his gum, Smith is a brutal and spontaneous skipper who backs his team to the hilt. We know him to be an aggressive and hostile sledger too. In return, he had copped a fair amount from the Aussies early on when he was new to international cricket. He led his team to earn a test series victory in Australia on two different occasions (2008-09 and 2012-13).
Graeme Smith is the only cricketer in the history of Test cricket to captain a team in 100 or more Tests. The history of the selection of Smith as the skipper of South Africa is fascinating. South Africa was knocked out of the 2003 World Cup in the group stages. The team management searched for a younger leader who could guide and lead the team for an extended period, and Smith was the chosen one.
9. Ricky Ponting
Ricky Ponting is an Australian ex cricket team captain and is regarded as one of the game’s best batsmen. Rick has led Australia to two World Cup victories and was also their highest run-scorer in ODIs and Tests. Ponting was called “Punter” by his teammates, made his First-Class debut for Tasmania at 17-years old. He became Australia’s captain in 2002, as Steve Waugh was abandoning the captain’s role. His aggressive captaincy gained him many fans but also was blamed for his hard play. Ponting has played the maximum number of ODIs as captain. He even wins the most matches as captain in ODIs and both the formats combined with 165 and 213 wins, respectively. Likely to be the best player of the pull shot, Ponting played almost all the textbook shots to perfection. He is famous for the twin centuries in his 100th Test match, a unique world record.
8. Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh, the former Australian cricketer, and the captain were born on 2nd July 1965 in Canterbury, Sydney. Waugh is one hundred Australian Living Treasures, a catalog accumulated by the National Trust of Australia. He batted number nine on his first-class debut. He made a significant 71 in the Sheffield Shield final of the season while batting with the tail to help New South Wales win the tournament. After the retirement of Mark Taylor, Cricket Australia (Australian Cricket Board) selected Steve Waugh as a captain of Australia in the 1999-00 season. Under his captaincy, Australia won 41 out of 57 test matches and 67 out of 106 ODI games. Steve Waugh’s legacy is as much as a batsman as it was the captain of ‘The Invincibles.’ Blessed with a group who come together but once in a lifetime. He was the leader of a hard cricket philosophy in which no quarter was known, and none asked for, in which the team was above individual milestones.
7. Mahendra Singh Dhoni
MS Dhoni, the former Indian Men’s Cricket Team member, was named as captain for the inaugural ICC T20 CWC in 2007. It led his team to win the T20 WC for his side with bravery and innovative decisions. Went to the T20 CWC with a young side and led them to the victory and crowned as T20 Champions. Later, became the captain for limited-overs cricket and test. In the 2011 CWC, MSD also led the team to the glorious victory, making the team win CWC after 28 years. By winning the Champions Trophy in 2013, Dhoni named the only captain to win all ICC Trophies in cricket history. Also made the team as No.1 in Test and ODI Cricket during his captaincy. Regarded as the most successful Indian Cricket Captain. His captaincy’s unique quality is handling pressure in the utmost abnormal situations, which made him special.
6. Clive Lloyd
Clive Lloyd is the former West-Indies Cricketer who captained for his side from 1974 to 1985. During his captaincy, the team rose as a dominant Test cricket nation. Under Clive Lloyd captaincy, West-Indies had won 27 Test matches with no defeat, including 11 successive wins. Lloyd earned 100 international caps, the first West Indian player to achieve. Led the team in 3 Cricket World Cups, in which two were won, i.e., in the year 1975, which is inaugural and 1979. In 1983, led to team up to the final of the tournament. Lloyd recorded the winning percentage of 77. 71 in which West Indies won 64 matches out of 84 games by losing only 18 games. Clive Lloyd was known for his ammunition and firepower, which made his team as the aggression team. His strategic thinking helps to understand the team and situations make Lloyd one of the best captains. Considered as one of the successful captains in Cricket history.
5. Allan Border
Allan Robert Border is a former Australian Men’s cricketer who also led his side for many years as a captain. Led the team in 93 Test matches consecutively, which was a record. He has scored the highest runs (6623) as a skipper in Test cricket. In so many ways, Allan had changed the entire structure and syntax of Australian cricket, which was now redefined. As said earlier, Border altered the phase of Australian cricket through the dominance followed for over a decade. Allan Border had made a solid foundation for the Australian team to achieve long-term success.
4. Kapil Dev
Kapil Dev started his captaincy for India from 1982 to 84 and reappointed as captain again from 1985 to 1987 CWC. Considered as the greatest captain of all times either in Test or in ODI’s. Led to the victory in 1983, CWC even though India joined the tournament as an ordinary team. In the final of 1983, CWC led the team against the West-Indian Cricket legends and made India crowned. In so many ways, Dev, by winning the 1983 World cup, had changed the Indian cricket face, and players like Sachin Tendulkar had inspired through that event. After 1983 WC, selectors dropped him as a captain for other reasons, and again reappointed as captain in 1985. Captained another time for India in CWC 1987, leading up to the semi-final match, and lost in that match. After the 1987 WC, Kapil Dev had not led the team again.
3. Hansie Cronje
Hansie Cronje was a South African Cricketer leading his team in International platforms from a young age and made remarkable changes as a skipper in South African cricket. Firstly, he was appointed as a vice-captain for the team in 1993 against Sri Lanka. As a captain for the next match, Hansie led as captain Wessels was not fit for the match and made the team victory. One year later, Cronje was appointed as captain against the series of New Zealand. He led the South African team in 53 Test matches by winning 27 and losing 11. In ODI’s, captained for 138 matches out of which 99 matches won and lost only 35. During his tenure as a captain, every match had seemed to be planned with perfection, on-field and off-field tactics, and target scores meticulously derived. Hansie’s tremendous focus on fitness influenced cricket in the way they have played around the world.
2. Arjuna Ranatunga
Deshamanya Arjuna Ranatunga is a former Sri Lankan cricketer who led his team to victory in the 1996 Cricket World Cup. Ranatunga had lifted the Sri Lankan cricket from the ordinary underdog status to one of the good cricketing nations in the world of cricket. Made his captaincy debut in the year 1988 and led the team over a decade. Also transformed the Sri Lankan Cricket team from a weakly and easily defeated team into a competitive and successful team. Ranatunga strategies were much recommended by many cricketers and also followed individually and also by their teams. The excellent strategy is scoring big runs in the 1st 10-15 overs of an ODI match. There will be field restrictions, and this strategy is still followed by many batsmen. He also was widely famous for defending his team players at any cost, regardless of what they did on-field. Dropped from captaincy after the 1999 WC as they did the poor performance in the tournament.
1. Michael Clarke
Michael John Clarke is a former Australian Cricket Player who is the first captain for Australia in T20 Cricket. A skipper led the team to win the 2015 CWC, which is a memorable achievement in his captaincy. In 2008, appointed as vice-captain for both Test and ODI’s. After the 2011 CWC, post-retirement of Ricky Ponting, Clarke had made the captain. During the Ashes and 2011 WC’s failures, Took the captaincy, then changed the team prepared and won the 2015 CWC as captain. Also won the Ashes Series in 2013-14 by whitewashing the England team. During his captaincy only, Australia made their lowest Test score ever, 47 in Test cricket history. Clarke had winning percentages of 51.06 in Tests and 70.42 in ODI’s as captain, respectively. We will remember him as a class batsman and a captain who took the game on victories and emerged as an excellent captain in Australian Cricket.