Best Cricket Captain in the World: List of Most Successful Skippers Across Formats

| Posted on July 27, 2023

Great cricket teams always need a leader who is fearless and ready to marshal their troops to victory. 

A leader maximizes their resources and brings the best out of their players. They excel at field placements, bowling changes, and changing tactics midway to turn the tide in their favor. 

Throughout the history of cricket, we have witnessed some of the finest cricketing minds who, through their tactics, class, and skills, have managed to create an impact on their national teams. 

In this quick piece, we will discuss the best captain in the world, from MS Dhoni to Allan Border. 

Let’s begin!

The List of Best Cricket Captain in the World

The position of captain is filled with so much responsibility and pressure, yet some players rise to the occasion and fulfill their duties with flying colors and have taken their national teams to unbelievable heights. 

Here is the list of the best captains in the cricket world. 

PlayerTeamMatchesWonLostWin Percentage
Ricky PontingAustralia3242207767.9
MS DhoniIndia33217812054.61
Graeme SmithSouth Africa2861638956.99
Allan BorderAustralia2711398951.29
Virat KohliIndia2131356063.38

Now, we will expand on how these players came to be legends in the cricketing world. 

Ricky Ponting – 220 Wins in 324 Matches

Ricky Ponting in Australian Attire

The former Australian captain is at the top, and the numbers are there to prove it. Statistically, Ponting is considered the best captain in cricket in the world, winning an impressive 220 matches out of 324 matches. 

During Ponting’s captaincy, the Australian cricket team enjoyed a golden era, and they seemed almost invincible. Ponting led his team to back-to-back 50-over world cup trophies, solidifying Australia’s dominance in world cricket. When Ponting took over the reins from Steve Waugh, he was determined to build upon Steve’s legacy and continue the team’s success. 

MS Dhoni – 178 Wins in 332 Matches

MS Dhoni in Indian Attire

The name MS Dhoni alone is enough for cricket fans to understand the kind of leader and most successful Captain for India. From the moment he took charge of the Indian team, everyone had one constant impression of him – his ability to remain calm and composed even in the most challenging circumstances. In his first assignment as India captain, he led the team to victory in the T20 World Cup in 2007, which took place in South Africa. Believed to be the best wicket keeper in the world, MS Dhoni has done enough to be the best captain in Indian cricket history. 

During his tenure as captain, India became the number-one ranked test team in 2009-2010. To date, he is considered the best captain in cricket India has ever had. Fans and experts nicknamed him ‘Captain Cool’ due to his calm and composed behavior on the field. 

Dhoni played an important role in shaping the current Indian team after winning the ODI World Cup in 2011. Most of the players you see today excel in all departments, such as Virat Kohli, Ravindra Jadeja, and Rohit Sharma, who emerged from the Dhoni School of Cricket.

Graeme Smith – 163 Wins in 286 Matches

Graeme Smith in South African Attire

Graeme Smith, a top-class player from South Africa, held the reins of his national cricket side for a long time, and boy, was he good! He was a well-built and muscular lad with an imposing presence on the field. 

His extraordinary personality and the ability to hit the cricket ball out of the park was something every cricket lover would remember. He was handed the captaincy at the very young age of 22, making him South Africa’s youngest captain. In Test matches, he holds the distinction of being the only captain that played over 100 matches and achieved 53 victories. His records make him a strong contender for the world’s no 1 captain in cricket.  

Allan Border – 139 Wins in 271 Matches

Allan Border in Australian Attire

In the mid-80s, the Australian team was in a decline when the legendary Australian all-rounder was appointed as captain. With his acumen and skills, Border played a pivotal role in reviving the fortunes of the Australian team. Under the leadership of Allan Border, Australia became one of the strongest teams on the planet, known for its fierce nature and competitive spirit. 

Border’s captaincy continued to bring success in the 90s for the team. He led the mighty Australian team in 178 ODIs, second only to Ricky Ponting. Out of 178 ODIs, he won 107 matches, including a World Cup trophy as well. His remarkable achievements in the cricket field make him one of the best fielder in the world and also the finest cricket captains on the planet. 

Virat Kohli – 135 Wins in 213 Matches

Virat Kohli in Indian Attire

There is another Indian captain on this list of extraordinary captains in the cricket world. Virat Kohli is a renowned and famous name in India and probably the world, also known as the GOAT of cricket, king of cricket, & the King of IPL as well, there is a reason why his fans call him King Kohli. Following in the footsteps of MS Dhoni, he has emerged as one of the most successful captains in Indian cricket history.

Kohli began his captaincy career in 2014 when he took over mid-tour in Australia when MS Dhoni resigned from the captaincy. Kohli Showcased his abilities to perform at the highest levels with 4 centuries on that tour. 

After that, there was no turning back; he started a revolution of fitness in the team and changed many things. Suddenly, Indian fast bowlers were menacing, fielders were quick and agile, and batsmen adapted swiftly to new environments. In the Kohli era, the Indian bowlers, in particular, have become a talking point and are considered among the most dangerous bowlers in the world. 

Who is the No. 1 Cricket Captain in the World

The no 1 cricket captain in the world is a subjective choice, but looking at numbers, we can easily say that Ricky Ponting is at the top. With an impressive win percentage throughout his long-spanning career, Ricky Ponting stands as one of the most successful captains in cricket history.

However, some would argue that MS Dhoni is the best captain in cricket in world. Known for his tactical acumen and ability to deliver remarkable performances, MS Doni has left a lasting impact on the game. Now that he has retired, Virat Kohli leads the team, you can check out the India cricket schedule for 2023 & 2024, and follow the young captain’s journey. 

Suggested Read: Worst Team in IPL History

Concluding Remarks 

In this list of captains, we have witnessed different kinds of characters, from those who remain calm and composed even in dire situations to those who always wear their hearts on their sleeves. However, one thing remains common among them all, the hunger to perform for their country. 

These individuals gave their all to motivate their teammates and lead their country to victories. As for who the best captain is, it is subjective and can vary based on personal opinions. 

Who do you think is the best captain among these? Our favorite is listed in the FAQs section. Check out the FAQs and tell us your thoughts on this article. 

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Ans: Well, according to me, MS Dhoni is the number one captain in the world. His brain makes him the automatic choice; there is nothing to think about

Ans: For me, Graeme Smith is the best captain in the world because he became captain of a national team at a very young age. 

Ans: Statistically, Ricky Ponting is the most successful captain in the world, with 220 overall wins in all formats of the game.

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