The most traditional of cricket is test cricket and we all are pretty much aware of it. Over the years, we have seen numerous test sides that have been led by phenomenal captains.
Every nation has had a leader who helped its nation reach new heights. This is what we're going to focus on today. Cricwizz presents to you a list of the most successful captains of all the top nations.
Australia- Steve Waugh
Steve Waugh captained the Australian national side in test cricket from the year 1999 until 2004. His mental strength was a huge reason why he was so successful and his record is the best evidence to showcase his skills as a leader on the pitch.
However, another captain who actually has more wins and was a leader who will always have a part in most of Australia's glory days is Ricky Ponting. He led the Australian side for six-year, captained in 77 games, where Australian won 48, lost 16, and drew 13. His win% was 62.33.
Steve Waugh's record
India- Virat Kohli
While some may debate that it was MS Dhoni who helped India achieve so much in test cricket, the numbers suggest something else. India may have reached the top of the ICC rankings in tests under Dhoni, but it was under Kohli's reign that India stayed there longer. The margin between Kohli and Dhoni is very less but Kohli's numbers prove why he is India's most successful Test captain.
South Africa- Graeme Smith
Smith was perhaps the best Proteas captain and his 11-year reign is the evidence. He played 109 tests as the South African skipper and helped South Africa progress in every department.
His batting at the top was exceptional be it in terms of explosiveness or technique. Smith knew how to change gears and very few bowlers managed to trouble him.
Let's have a look at his test numbers as a skipper.
England- John M. Brearley
John Brearly was England's captain between 1977 and 1981 and his record as a captain (Win %) is still the best after 40 years for England.
A player with over 25,000 first-class runs, Brearley was one of the players who never scored a century in Test Cricket. However, his leadership qualities were second to none.
Apart from Brearley, Joe Root and Michael Vaughan also have a tremendous record as English skippers. Tied at 26 wins, Michael Vaughan did manage to lose fewer matches, but Joe Root has already surpassed him in a number of matches and it won't be too far before we see surpassing him in a total number of wins too.
New Zealand- Kane Williamson
Another great batsman, who is known for his technique, discipline, sportsmanship, and his abilities as a captain, Kane Williamson looked like the captain from his very first Test match.
Having lost two World Cup finals back-to-back, you wouldn't find many like Williamson who are still going strong without any fuss.
His batting and leadership qualities helped his side win the World Test Championship Final against India, who were the favorites and that was a reward Williamson and co. reaped after transforming into a great Test side. Stephen Fleming was in charge of the Kiwi side for nine years, starting from 1997 running upto 2006, and had a huge influence on New Zealand's team. However, statistically, he wasn't there.
Misbah made his mark right from the beginning when Pakistan lost the inaugural ICC World T20 against India in the final over. However, what we saw next was a more mature player.
A captain who always knew what had to be done and someone who grinded results from a team that wasn't their best. Misbah-ul-Haq led by example and led the Pakistan side for seven years, from 2010 to 2017.
Sri Lanka- Sanath Jayasuriya/Mahela Jayawardene
To clear all sorts of bewilderment from the start, the reason why Sri Lanka have two names on the list is that two of their greatest batsmen were also exceptional captains. It is fair to say that a list of batsmen who were great captains for Sri Lanka could be longer, but it was these two who backed their skills with numbers. Jayasuriya led the Lankan lions from 1999 to 2002, while Jayawardene took charge from 2006 until 2013.
**Note: Both have an identical record as captains.
Bangladesh- Mushfiqur Rahim
Rahim led the Bangla tigers from 2011 until 2017 and was in charge of 34 test matches. Bangladesh are still developing themselves in the oldest format of the game but they have shown growth.
Rahim may not be responsible for it directly but his contribution cannot be ignored. Taking over from Shakib Al-Hasan, Bangladesh did show progress and even though the losses were a considerable amount, it's the increase in wins that marked their progress.
Zimbabwe- Heath Streak
Well, the world remembers Brendan Taylor as an impactful player from Zimbabwe but we tend to forget Streak who was a phenomenal leader and perhaps the most successful Zimbabwe skipper.
An all-rounder who has almost 2000 runs in test cricket, with 216 wickets as well to his name, there couldn't have been any doubts when it came to Streak's potential.
During his reign, Zimbabwe were at their best and it surely gave an impetus for the future captains, especially Brendan Taylor.
Who is your favorite captain from the current lot? Also, let us know your favorite from the ones who have retired. We'd love to know them. Follow Cricwizz on Instagram and Twitter. We bet you won't be disappointed.
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