A captain is a very important part of a cricket team especially. Cricket is such a team game, where the captain needs to make decisions for his team at every moment of the match. His choices in the match can make or break a game. And this captaincy needs the backing of instincts from the captains. Many captains have come and go in the game of cricket but very few could make a mark there. At the first spot comes Ricky Ponting who has won the most number of matches (165) in the history of ODI cricket. MS Dhoni (110) comes at the second position followed by Stephen Fleming (98) of New Zealand. Let’s have a look at the top 10 most successful captains in ODIs.
Ricky Ponting has won the most number of matches (165) as a captain in ODI format. Ponting has played 18 years of international cricket for Australia (1995-2012). He captained the side for 11 years (2002-2012). In 230 matches he has won 165 matches, having a win percentage of 76.14. Under Ponting’s leadership, Australia has won 2 World Cups (2003&2007) and a Champions Trophy (2009).
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni is also one of the most successful captains in the history of ODI cricket among captains with more than 200 matches. Dhoni played ODI cricket for 15 years (2004-2019) and captained the side from 2007-2017. Dhoni has won 110 matches out of 200 matches with a win percentage of 59.52. Dhoni has also appeared in the most number of matches (332) as a captain across all-formats in international cricket. Under his captaincy, India has won ICC World Cup 2011 and 2013 Champions Trophy.
Ex Kiwi skipper Stephen Fleming has also made his name on the list of the most successful captains in the ODIs among the captains with more than 200 ODIs. Fleming was a part of the national side from 1994-2009. He has led the side for 10 long years (1997-2007). His win percentage is 48.04, as he has won 98 matches out of 218 matches. But unfortunately, he couldn’t fulfill New Zealand’s dream of winning the World Cup.
Former South African skipper Graeme Smith is also one of the captains in the One Day Internationals among the captains with more than 150 ODIs. Smith is also the best captain South Africa has ever had. His ODI career was of 12 years (2002-2014). In his 8 years of ODI captaincy career, he has won 92 out of 150 matches with an excellent win percentage of 64.23.
Australian legend Allan Border is also regarded as one of the best captains in ODI cricket among the players which captained more than 150 matches. Border began playing for Australia in 1978 and played till 1994. He started leading Australia in 1984 and retired as a captain in 1994. He captained India in 178 matches and won 107 out of them with a win percentage of 61.42.
Ex-Indian skipper Mohammad Azharuddin was renowned for his brilliant captaincy in ODIs. Azhar played ODI cricket for 15 long years (1985-2000). He was an outstanding batsman cum captain, who won 90 matches out of 174 matches as a captain for India. His win percentage is 54.16. Unfortunately allegations of match-fixing ruined his career, but he will always be one of the best in terms of winning ODIs.
Srilankan legend Arjuna Ranatunga has also made his name in international cricket in terms of captaincy. Ranatunga made his ODI debut in 1982 but was handed over the leadership in 1988 and went on to retire as a captain in 1999. He won 89 matches out of 183 as a captain with a good win percentage of 48.37. Ranatunga also led the Srilankan team to win the ICC 1996 World Cup.
Wessel Johannes Cronje
Wessel Cronje has to be one of the best captains the game has ever seen, as he has 99 wins in 138 matches during his ODI career. Cronje has a win percentage of 73.70, which is the highest among captains who have played above 100 matches in ODIs. Cronje’s ODI career was of 8 years (1992-2000), but he got the responsibility of South Africa in 1994 and led the team till his last day in international cricket (2000). Under Cronje’s leadership, South Africa won the 1998 Champions Trophy also. But unfortunately, in 2002 Cronje died in a plane crash.
Former Pakistani all-rounder Imran Khan has also made his name on the list of the top 10 most successful captains in ODIs. As a player he was phenomenal and one of the best the game has ever spectated. Khan played from 1974-1992. He took the captaincy in 1982 and retired as a captain in 1992. Imran Khan is the best captain in the history of Pakistan cricket. He helped Pakistan to win 75 matches out of 139 matches with a win percentage of 55.92. He also led Pakistan to win the ICC 1992 World Cup.
Current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly made the world notice his captaincy when he took over the captaincy in 1999 during the crisis of the Indian cricket team and did incredibly well. Ganguly played ODI cricket for 15 years (1992-2007). India won many tournaments during Ganguly’s leadership, including the 2002 ICC Champions Trophy. Ganguly managed to have a 53.52 win percentage (76 out of 146 matches). He is the man who changed the face of Indian cricket after the lifetime ban of Mohammad Azharuddin from cricket.