A captain is essentially the ‘leader’, the one who decides the path to be taken and has unwavering faith in oneself and the team and is committed to it completely. They have proven themselves with hard-work and dedication and intend to pass it on to those below them, in order to empower and enlighten. There are wins and losses and they manage to sail through it all to yield greater results. Such leaders are continually looked up to and go down in history. It is for us, as cricket fanatics to see now, if the captains of IPL 2018 fulfill these credentials and can prove themselves as true captains and leaders. 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni 

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has been the beloved captain of not only Chennai Super Kings but also Team India for over 11 years now. We have never seen him lose his cool and decisions taken by him are always patiently done and with care. A great player, he holds the record for the most international stumpings: 161. He is number 8 in IPL with the highest number of runs: 3,561. He has led CSK into the IPL finals four times, winning two out of those in 2010 and 2011.  He was the first Indian and the fifth in line to have hit 200 sixes in ODI. Team India has won 177 games under his captaincy in the ODI and won the World Cup in 2011 after 1983 when they had first won it, seven world cups earlier. It was a huge moment for everyone. 

Virat Kohli 

Virat Kohli is undoubtedly a great batsman and showed his captaincy traits at a very young age when he captained the Under-19 to victory in 2008, Under-19 World Cup. He was appointed the captain of Royal Challengers Bangalore in 2013. Naturally aggressive and fast in his batting, Kohli has raced to the top of the scoreboard for IPL, only to be trumped by Suresh Raina, having a record of 4,418 runs. He topped the list of the highest runs in ODI in 2011 and 2017. His captaincy though, has been questioned on several occasions, RCB has never won a match, let us hope that this curse breaks next year!

Rohit Sharma 

Mumbai Indians is the only team that has been able to win the IPL 3 times: In 2013, 2015 and 2017, alternate years, under the captaincy of Rohit Sharma. He has successfully crossed the 4000 run mark by making 4,207 runs that very few batsmen have. He is known for ending the game dramatically, with sixes. He had the highest record of sixes: 66, in 2017. He was made the Indian team captain briefly in December 2017 when Kohli as resting and under him they won the ODI series 2-1, marking the eight series win. Undoubtedly, he is a great captain and deserves to be every year. 

Gautam Gambhir and Shreyas Iyer

Delhi Daredevils has not been the best performer since the IPL season has begun. They were unable to reach the finals even once. However, the choice of Captain this season was hopefully changing the game for them – Gautam Gambhir, who has lead KKR into victory three times in 2012 and 2014. He has an IPL score of 4,132, clearly landing himself amongst the top-most batsmen. He has shown great signs of captaincy and Daredevils were in dire need of someone like him. He did make a daring move by choosing to lead them. Having always been on the winning end, he jumped to the other side. Unfortunately, he stepped down, because of an embarrassing loss in 5 matches out of 6. Shreyas Iyer took over. Only 23 years old, he has become the youngest captain to head the DD team. He performed great this time, with 93 off 40 deliveries and 10 sixes. 

Kane Williamson

Kane Williamson has garnered a lot of attention this year because of his incredible performance and the manner in which his team, Sunrisers Hyderabad made it to the top. Kane Williamson has had a great history and has has been an important asset to the New Zealand team. He is the third New Zealander with the highest strike rate and scored a great 161 runs against West Indies in 2014 in a test match. He pushed the New Zealand team into score their 99th ODI against Pakistan in 2015. This year he is an important contender for the orange cap, with a score of 544. 

Dinesh Karthik 

Dinesh Karthik, captain of Kolkata Knightriders, who have won on several occasions, he does have a certain amount of pressure on his head for making the team win. His start in the IPL was great, with a strike rate of 135.51 and scoring 145 runs in 24.16. He is a great scorer in the IPL with a total of 2,903 runs made in 152 games. 

Ravichandran Ashwin 

Kings XI Punjab, much like Delhi Daredevils was in dire need of reformation. It continually finds itself in the lower half every time and it was high time KXIP is pulled up by someone capable. Ravichandran Ashwin, a popular and strong off-spinner has made his name in the cricket arena by continually proving himself. Having scored 100 wickets in 111 games, he certainly would be refining the changing the bowling team as well.

Ajinkya Rahane 

Captain for Rajasthan Royals, Ajinkya Rahane is one of the few who have taken up captaincy for the first time. He was a part of the Pune franchise in 2016 and 2017 and has scored 3,057 runs and has a strike rate of 120.59. He was the first batsman to score four sixes in an over in IPL and set a record of scoring centuries in each innings of a test match, being the 5th Indian batsman to have done so. 

Certainly, a captain is not born, one is made with years of hard work, struggle, patience and will to prove oneself time and again. Kudos to these 8 captains whose effort should be commended despite their team’s level on the points table. 

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