The upcoming 14th season of the Indian Premier League (IPL) will feature two new captains. Rishabh Pant will helm the affairs for Delhi Capitals, while Sanju Samson will lead the Rajasthan Royals. Among the remaining six captains, some have considerable experience under their belts as they have been leading their teams for a long time, while some were handed reins of the team just ahead of the previous season and have fared well too.
Here we look at how the eight skippers fared in the 13th season of IPL, which was held in the UAE.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni – Chennai Super Kings
The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) would want to forget the IPL 2020 edition completely. Their talismanic captain, MS Dhoni also had a below par outing with the bat in the UAE. In the 14 matches, Dhoni batted in 12 games, scoring 200 runs, without a significant score or a single half-century. He averaged at 25, had a strike rate of just above 116 and managed to hit just seven sixes and 16 boundaries.However, the legendary cricketer was at his best as a wicketkeeper, taking 15 catches and a sole stumping. The Chennai franchise under Dhoni’s leadership won six, lost eight matches from the 14 played.
Virat Kohli – Royal Challengers
Team India and Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) skipper Virat Kohli, who’s been with the franchise since the first IPL season, finished as the ninth highest run getter in IPL 2020. Kohli batted in all 15 matches that his side played and scored 466 runs, with the help of three fifties and a highest score of 90 not out. He averaged at 42, with a strike rate of over 121 and went on to hit 23 fours and 11 maximums.Perennial title hunters RCB finished fourth after the league stage, before going down against Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Eliminator match. Under Kohli’s captaincy, the Bangalore franchise won seven, lost eight of their 15 IPL games in IPL 2020.
Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians
Rohit Sharma emerged as the most successful captain in the tournament’s history. With five titles under his belt, Sharma led the Mumbai Indians (MI) to a record fifth title in IPL 2020. The stylish opener played/batted in 12 of the 16 games for the Mumbai franchise and scored 332 runs. He averaged over 27 and had a strike rate of almost 128.In the process, Sharma scored three half-centuries and a highest score of 80. The Indian vice-captain smashed 27 fours and 19 6s in the tournament last year and under his leadership, MI won 12 of the 16 matches last season.
Eoin Morgan – Kolkata Knight Riders
Other than being one of the two foreign captains in the upcoming IPL season,the English ODI and T20 formats captain is an astute cricketer. Morgan was named as captain of the Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) midway, after Dinesh Karthik decided to step down. As a batsman, Morgan batted in 14 games and scored a total of 418 runs. With one fifty, he averaged at just over 42 and a strike rate of just above 138. He also pummelled 32 fours and a staggering 24 sixes in the last season and his highest score was an unbeaten 68.Meanwhile, under his captaincy, KKR won three of their seven games. The Kolkata franchise’s earlier chances of not managing to seal wins cost them a playoff berth last year.
KL Rahul – Punjab Kings
Punjab Kings, formerly known as Kings XI Punjab’s captain KL Rahul didn’t have a great outing last year. They finished sixth after winning six and losing eight of their 14 league stage matches. While the captain didn’t manage to get his side go up the IPL standings, but as a batsman, he was the winner of the Orange Cap in IPL 2020. Rahul batted in all 14 games and scored a record 670 runs, with the help of five fifties and one century. His highest score was an unbeaten 132 and had an incredible average of 56. The wicketkeeper-batsman also smashed as many as 58 fours, 23 sixes and also took 10 catches.
David Warner- Sunrisers Hyderabad
The Sunrisers Hyderabad (SRH) captain David Warner is the second foreign player to lead the southern franchise. He is one of the all-time best batsmen in the tournament’s history and will be hoping to get their second IPL title since 2017. Under Warner’s captaincy, SRH won and lost eight matches each last season. They finished third after beating RCB and KKR on net-run-rate (NRR) of 14 points. They even defeated Kohli-led RCB in the Eliminator but lost out in the Qualifier 2 match against Delhi Capitals. Other than being an explosive batman, Warner is the third highest run getter in the history of the tournament with 5,254 runs. He batted in all 16 games and was the highest run getter for SRH and overall third highest last season with 548 runs. The southpaw smashed four fifties and had a highest score of 85 not out. With a batting average of almost 40, he had a strike rate of almost 135. During the course of the tournament, the Aussie opener smashed 52 fours and 14 sixes.
Sanju Samson – Rajasthan Royals
Sanju Samsonis the other talented Indian wicketkeeper batsman, who will lead the Rajasthan Royals (RR) franchise this year. Samson was handed the reins of the team after RR released Steve Smith. In the last IPL season, the 26-year-old batted in 14 games, scored 375 runs with three fifties. With a batting average of close to 29 and a strike rate of almost 159, the right handed batsman hit 21 fours and 26 sixes. He also excelled in his wicket keeping duties with nine catches and two stumpings. However, it needs to be seen if the explosive batsman will find the consistency while helming captaincy at RR.
Rishabh Pant – Delhi Capitals
Rishabh Pant forms the quad of talented Indian wicketkeeper-batsman-captain (Dhoni, Rahul and Samson) league in IPL 2021. The upcoming season will see him perform the duties of a captain as well as a wicketkeeper and key batsman, after he was handed reins of Delhi Capitals (DC) team. After a superb run in the international cricket arena, Pant is expected to carry the sameform this IPL season. In the last season, Pant batted in 14 of 17 DC’s matches, scoring 343 runs, with an average of just above 21. He could score just one fifty and had a highest score of 56 and managed to hit 31 fours and nine maximums. With the gloves, the 23-year-old took 13 catches in IPL 2020.