Top 5 most successful captains in the history of IPL

In the 16-year rich history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), multiple individual and team records are formed throughout the year. One such record is winning the IPL trophies the most times.

Harsh Adwani
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Rohit Sharma-MS Dhoni (Source: Twitter)

Rohit Sharma-MS Dhoni (Source: Twitter)

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In the 16-year rich history of the Indian Premier League (IPL), multiple individual and team records are formed throughout the year. One such record is winning the IPL trophies the most times. Based on that Mumbai Indians (MI) as well as Chennai Super Kings (CSK) are the team who have won the trophy for the maximum number of times. 

In addition, Rohit Sharma and MS Dhoni are two such captains who have won the title on five occasions for their franchises respectively. Apart from these two cricketing brains, several other captains have been phenomenal in leading their side.

Let us look at the top five captains who have led their teams to the most number of wins:

5. David Warner (Delhi Capitals/ Sunrisers Hyderabad)

David Warner

The legendary Australian batter David Warner has been one of the best foreign players who have played the IPL over the years. Warner has been around the tournament for a long time and throughout his career in the league, the left-hand batter had the opportunity to lead the Delhi Capital as well as Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH). 

In the 83 games in which the Australian legend has led the franchise, he led the team to victory on 40 wins. The win percentage for the team under his captaincy was 49.39. It was under his captaincy that SRH won their only title to date in 2016.

4. Gautam Gambhir (Delhi Capitals and Kolkata Knight Riders)

Gautam Gambhir

One of the most famous captains as well as the successful captain who has won the title twice in the history of the tournament. Gautam Gambhir was a different beast altogether when it came to captaincy in IPL. It was under his captaincy that the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) won the IPL twice in the years 2012 and 2014 respectively. The former India batter was then bought by Delhi Capitals in the 2018 edition. 

But somehow Gambhir’s Midas touch was missing that edition which unfortunately led him to quit all forms of cricket in the year 2018. In the 129 games, where the legendary India batter has led the franchise, he has been successful in winning 71 matches. In addition to it, his win percentage throughout was 55.42.

3. Virat Kohli (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Virat Kohli

The former India skipper Virat Kohli has been a legendary figure in the tournament. One of the reasons apart from his cricketing abilities is his loyalty toward the franchise. In the entire history of the tournament, the modern master has only played RCB and no other franchise. After a poor inaugural season, the team went through a transition with Virat Kohli being the only constant during that phase. 

Moreover, it was in the year 2013 when the star India batter was handed over the responsibility of leading the franchise. Under his captaincy, the team saw the best phase when Virat single-handedly, took the RCB through to the finals with a record-breaking year in 2016. Apart from that RCB fans as well as the franchise did not have the best of the runs under his regime. In the 143 games in which the legendary batter has captained the franchise, he was able to guide the team to victory on 66 occasions. Virat had a win percentage of 48.56.  

2. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

Rohit Sharma

The star India batter Rohit Sharma has been one of the most successful captains in the history of the tournament. The current India captain has been nothing short of demigod mode when it comes to leading the franchise in the IPL. Similar to Kohli, Rohit Sharma also became captain of the franchise in the year 2013. 

Straight away after being appointed as the skipper, he did wonders for the franchise as it was in the 2013 season of the IPL where the MI were successful in winning their first-ever title. However, this was only the start of the illustrious journey of Rohit Sharma as the skipper for MI. The MI team went on to win the title on four occasions post their 2013 winning campaign. Rohit repeated his heroics and helped MI win the title in 2015, 2017, 2019 and 2020.

1. MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings and Rising Pune Super Giants)

MS Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably the best captain that the world has ever seen. After winning the trophy in every format for India, the former India wicketkeeper replicated his heroics even in the IPL. Under his captaincy, the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) franchise was able to win the title on five occasions. After winning the title in back-to-back years in 2010 and 2011, the franchise saw a low phase where they just qualified for the playoffs but eventually lost. After being banned from IPL in the 2016 and 2017 editions, the Chennai-based franchise made an arousing comeback in the 2018 edition where they made a comeback and won the season. 

The MS Dhoni-led side has won the tournament in the years 2021 and 2023. They are also the most successful side in the history of the tournament as they have reached 10 finals and have also qualified 12 times out of the 14 times they have played under Dhoni. Moreover, in the 226 matches in which Dhoni has led the side, he has managed to win 133 matches with a healthy win percentage of 59.37.