One-day international cricket has been around for a good 50 years and is one of the game’s most popular formats. More than 4000 One Day Internationals have been played so far which includes 12 ODI World Cups as well.
Cricket, unlike Football, is a sport where the captains play a huge role in how a team functions. Generally, the captain of a team is the best player and has a huge say right from the final playing XI, bowling changes, batting order, and so on.
Many star players in cricket have shown the world that they are the best in their field. Some are well known for their batting and bowling.
However, some gained massive popularity due to their fielding skills but there are many few from the beginning who surprised cricket fans with their exceptional captaincy careers.
So, who is the Most Successful Captain in ODI Cricket?
5 Most Successful International Captains in ODI Cricket
Matches as captain 230 | Wins: 165 | Losses: 51 | Tie/NR: 2/12 | Win% 75.6
When we talk about the most successful captain in ODI, the name Ricky Ponting generally props up. He has been one of the most influential captains the game has ever seen and took Australia to heights few captains can dream of and is one of the best captains in ODI in the world.
Ponting led Australia in 230 ODIs, won 165 matches, lost only 51 matches while 14 games either ended in a tie or was a washout. A winning percentage of 75.6 over a span of 230 matches is unprecedented and a feat that might not be achieved ever again. Ponting holds the record of captaining most matches for a single side in ODIs.
Ponting along with Clive Lloyd are the only two captains to have led their side to two ODI Cricket World Cup wins. Overall, Ponting was part of three World Cup wins, 1999 (as a player), 2003 and 2007 (as captain).
Ponting retired from ODIs as one of the best captains in ODI, scoring 13,704 runs in 375 matches averaging 42.04 which included 82 half-centuries and 30 tons. He is also regarded as the highest winning captain in ODI cricket of all time and the best cricket captain in the world.
Matches as captain 138 | Wins: 99 | Losses: 36 | Tie/NR: 0/3 | Win% 73.3
In the 1990s, Hansie Cronje served as captain of the South African national cricket team. Despite being banned from cricket for life for the notorious match-fixing scandal in 2004, he was voted the 11th greatest South African in 2004. Many still dubbed him among the greatest cricketers who retired too early for various reasons. Unfortunately, an airplane crash killed him in 2002.
As the captain of South Africa, Cronje achieved 99 wins in 138 matches, a win percentage of 73.3%. He is the most successful captain for South Africa in ODI cricket and was a key component in helping the side get back to its feet in the mid-nineties.
Cronje took over the reins as captain during South Africa’s 1994-95 tour of Australia. He holds the record for most consecutive ODI matches as a captain and is the only player to play in 100+ consecutive ODI matches as the captain making him one of the best cricket captains in the world.
Cronje’s calm demeanour and excellent reading of the game made him a great leader. Moreover, he excelled in all three facets of the game. Sachin Tendulkar once famously said that he could face the fastest bowlers in the world and score heavily but always had trouble against Cronje.
Matches as captain 200 | Wins: 110 | Losses: 74 | Tie/NR: 5/11 | Win% 58.2
One of the most successful captains in ODI Cricket from India, MS Dhoni achieved the feat of maximum wins as captain. Often batting in the middle order, Dhoni plays as a wicketkeeper-batsman. He is not only dubbed as the best finisher in the cricket world but also as one of the greatest wicket-keepers of all time.
Once Dhoni took over, India started winning trophies at the ICC events. Under him, India won the inaugural T20 World Cup in 2007, but the biggest win certainly was the 2011 ODI World Cup. Dhoni himself was at the forefront as India lifted the World Cup after 28 years. India then also won the Champions Trophy in 2013 and qualified for the semifinal of the 2015 World Cup under Dhoni.
He led India in 332 games, of which India won 178 matches and lost 120. With a winning percentage of 53.61, MS Dhoni is also the most successful captain India has ever produced.
In all, Dhoni captained India in 200 ODIs during which India won 110 matches with a win percentage of 58.2. Dhoni retired from ODI cricket in 2020 as one of the best finishers the game has ever seen. Under him, India had a glorious run where they won all over the world.
Matches as Captain 178 | Wins: 107 | Losses: 67 | Tie/NR: 1/3 | Win% 61.1
One of the greatest Australian Test batsmen, Allan Border is still dubbed for his cricketing legacy. He achieved the most consecutive test series wins as the captain and made his debut against England in 1978. It was bittersweet for Border to score his first century in Tests.
The man who led Australia to their first-ever World Cup win in 1987, Allan Border was initially not too keen on taking up the role. But once he did, he changed the landscape of Australian cricket and paved the way for the sport to reach the masses.
Border was first made captain of the Australian cricket team during the 1984-85 season and from thereon, he took the side to more prominent heights. Cricket was always a popular sport in Australia but only after Border took over it, the game became a household name. Border commanded respect and being the best batsman in the side, he certainly got it.
The Australian side went into the 1987 ODI World Cup as dark horses. Not many gave them a chance especially since the tournament was held in the subcontinent. But they proved everyone wrong by beating the arch-rivals England in the final by seven runs. The win helped Border achieve cult status in Australia.
Overall, Border captained Australia in 178 ODIs winning 107 matches, which is a win percentage of 61.1 making him one of the most successful captains in ODI Cricket Australia ever had and one of the best cricket captain in the world.
Matches as Captain 218 | Wins: 98 | Losses: 106 | Tie/NR: 1/13 | Win% 48.04
Stephen Paul Fleming played cricket in all three formats for New Zealand and captained the team. Throughout New Zealand’s Test history, he has been one of the most successful cricket captains. Originally from Christchurch, Fleming was one of the best top-order batsmen on the team.
During his 10-year stint that spanned between 1997-2007, Fleming guided the Kiwis to 98 ODI wins. He led the Black Caps to three WC and progressed to the semis of two of them before losing out.
Who are the Top 10 Most Successful Captains in ODI Cricket Ever?
Former Australian cricket team skipper, Ricky Ponting is the most successful ODI captain. During his 10-year tenure as a captain, the Aussie won 165 of his 230 matches while losing just 51 times.
Here, we take a look at the 10 most successful ODI captains in the history of cricket.
Most successful Captains in the World: Top 10 by Win Percentage
|R T Ponting||1995-2012||230||165||51||14||71.74%|
|W J Cronje||1992-2000||140||99||37||4||70.71%|
|G C Smith||2002-2013||150||92||51||7||61.33%|
|A R Border||1979-1994||178||107||67||4||60.11%|
|M S Dhoni||2004-2019||200||110||74||16||55.00%|
|S C Ganguly||1992-2007||147||76||66||5||51.70%|
|S P Fleming||1994-2007||218||98||106||14||
Most Successful Captains in ODI Cricket for India
The list of most successful Indian captains features some of cricket’s most famous names. There are various parameters to rank them, but one of the most important is the win percentage of Indian captains. So, while Virat Kohli is the highest winning captain in ODI cricket or MS Dhoni has the most ICC trophies, there’s one best cricket captain in India whose win rate is better than all.
Let’s find out the most successful captain Indian ODI captain.
Most Successful Captains in India: Top 10 by Win Percentage
|10||Nawab of Pataudi||1962-1975||40||9||19||0||12||
Top 5 Most Successful Captains in ODI Cricket for India
Rohit Sharma : 86.04 – Win Percentage in 43 matches
An elegant batsman and a proven leader, Rohit Sharma is the current all-format captain of India.
Rohit Sharma was India’s go-to backup captain during the Virat Kohli era. He led India to overseas Test wins and even the 2018 Asia Cup. When not captaining, he proved to be an excellent deputy to Kohli. So, when Kohli gave up captaincy earlier this year, Sharma was the obvious choice.
Sharma has also proven his abilities in the Indian Premier League, taking Mumbai Indians to five. Sharma’s strengths as a captain lie in his man-management and communication. It’s still early days, and Sharma has only led India in 43 matches, but statistically, he is India’s best captain.
Virat Kohli : 63.38 – Win Percentage in 213 matches.
While Rohit Sharma may be ahead according to the percentage, Virat Kohli left a much bigger impact as a captain. Among Indian captains who have led the team in 100+ matches, Kohli has the highest win rate of 63.38%.
He took over from MS Dhoni in 2014 and pushed India to the top from 7th in Test rankings. Under Kohli, India played aggressively and didn’t care about the opponent’s reputation.
Under Kohli, India won seven Tests in SENA (South Africa, England, New Zealand, and Australia) nations. In fact, he led India to their first Test series win in Australia and their first ODI series win in South Africa. India never lost a Test series at home (winning 11 out of 11) with Captain Kohli.
MS Dhoni : 53.61 – Win Percentage in 332 matches
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is the best captain in ODI the Indian team ever had the privilege to play with. In addition to several multi-nation series, Dhoni led India to an unprecedented three ICC titles – 2007 World T20, 2011 ODI World Cup, and 2013 Champions Trophy. Under his command, India won 110 out of 200 ODIs. In T20Is, he captained India to 41 wins out of 72.
The numbers make Dhoni the most successful captain in ODI cricket in India. He was also the most successful captain of T20 cricket in India. Dhoni also led India to 27 wins from 60 Tests, ranking only behind Kohli.
While numbers tell the story, India’s most successful captain was also about building up a new generation and giving them confidence. Such traits he displayed as IPL captain, too, taking Chennai Super Kings to 9 finals and 4 titles. His heroics won India the inaugural World T20 title after a horrific World Cup in 2007. The 2011 World Cup ended the 28-year wait for an ODI world title.
Sourav Ganguly : 49.74 – Win Percentage in 195 matches
MS Dhoni brought India great success. Virat Kohli gave India aggression but it was ‘Dada’ who truly gave India self-belief and courage. Sourav Ganguly took over the captaincy during Indian cricket’s lowest point – the 1999 match-fixing scandal. After that, he arguably became the best captain in Indian cricket history.
His 28 overseas wins are second only behind Kohli’s 29. He was also the first Indian captain to draw a Test series in Australia. More than the on-field successes, however, Ganguly was instrumental in bringing up young talents.
One of his great achievements was taking India to the 2003 World Cup final, where they finished second-best to an invincible Australia. India finished the World Cup 2003 as runners-up under Ganguly, before which they defeated England in the final of the NatWest Trophy in 2002.
Overall, India won 76 out of 146 ODIs under the southpaw, while losing 65. Ganguly scored 11 ODI centuries as captain of India, which is the 4th-most in the world. Ganguly is also the only captain to score three centuries in a single edition of the World Cup (2003) and three centuries in the Champions Trophy (2004).
Rahul Dravid : 48.07- Win Percentage in 104 matches
Mr. Dependable Rahul Dravid took up the role in 2006. Dravid had previously led the team in Ganguly’s absence, most notably during the 2003-04 Test series in Pakistan. In the first match, captain Dravid helped India win their first Test in Pakistan.
Although Rahul Dravid’s captaincy reign was not too long, it had its share of highs. Dravid led India in 104 matches, winning 48.07% of those. Dravid was appointed the captain at a time when the team was in turmoil. There was a rift between Greg Chappell and Ganguly before the latter was eventually removed from captaincy.
After becoming a full-time captain, Dravid led India to historic wins in West Indies and England. He also won his first four ODI series as a captain. Rahul Dravid has a positive win-loss record as a captain, winning 8 out of 25 Test matches. In ODIs, Dravid led India to 42 wins in 79 games, which is the 5th-best record by an Indian captain.
Rahul Dravid was the captain during India’s disastrous 2007 World Cup campaign. The previous edition’s runners-up, India, crashed out in the group stage, and Dravid gave up captaincy soon after.