When Stephen Fleming walks out for the toss with Younis Khan in New Zealand's Champions Trophy fixture against Pakistan, he will set a new world record - surpassing Arjuna Ranatunga's tally of 193 matches as captain. His first ODI as captain was against Sri Lanka in March 1997 and now his closest current counterpart is Ricky Ponting who's led Australia 127 times. Among past New Zealand captains, Geoff Howarth is closest with 60 games
Fleming and Ranatunga are the only two to have a win-rate of less than 50% among those who have captained in over 100 matches. As similar as their records look, it must be remembered that Ranatunga revived Sri Lanka from the doldrums and turned them into World-Cup winners.
A country conspicuous by its absence in the table is England. Nasser Hussain's 56 matches is the highest for an English captain, the second being Graham Gooch's 50. It is the lowest among all major cricket countries behind even Zimbabwe whom Alastair Campbell led 86 times.
|A Ranatunga (SL)||1988-1999||193||89||95||1||8||48.64|
|SP Fleming (NZ)||1997-2006||193||85||95||1||12||47.50|
|AR Border (Aust)||1985-1994||178||107||67||1||3||61.78|
|M Azharuddin (India)||1990-1999||173||89||76||2||6||54.54|
|SC Ganguly (Asia/India)||1999-2005||147||76||66||0||5||53.52|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||1982-1992||139||75||59||1||4||56.34|
|WJ Cronje (SAf)||1994-2000||138||99||35||1||3||74.25|
|RT Ponting (Aust/ICC)||2002-2006||127||96||23||2||6||81.51|
|ST Jayasuriya (SL)||1998-2003||118||66||47||2||3||59.29|
|Wasim Akram (Pak)||1993-2000||109||66||41||2||0||62.61|
Mike Brearley is the only player to captain in every game he played with a minimum of 20 matches as captain. During his 25-match stint, England reached the final of the 1979 World Cup. However, success eluded England on that occasion and such has been the case for all their captains in major one-day tournaments.
Another New Zealander, Lee Germon had a curious tenure as captain. He made his debut in a one-dayer against South Africa in 1994 as a wicketkeeper - he caught Roshan Mahanama off the first ball of the match - while Adam Parore played as a batsman. After an absence of a year, Germon was selected for New Zealand's tour of India and was named as Ken Rutherford's successor as captain even though he had played just one ODI and no Tests. However, after a career of 37 matches Germon averaged only 19.96 and was dropped from both the captaincy and the team, leaving Fleming to begin his long stay at the helm.
|JM Brearley (Eng)||1977-1980||25||25||0||100.00|
|LK Germon (NZ)||1994-1997||37||36||1||97.29|
|CH Lloyd (WI)||1973-1985||87||84||3||96.55|
|GP Howarth (NZ)||1975-1985||70||60||10||85.71|
|MA Atherton (Eng)||1990-1998||54||43||11||79.62|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||1974-1992||175||139||36||79.42|
|LRD Mendis (SL)||1975-1989||79||61||18||77.21|
|GC Smith (Afr/SAf)||2002-2006||92||70||22||76.08|
|SP Fleming (ICC/NZ)||1994-2006||255||193||62||75.68|
|WJ Cronje (SAf)||1992-2000||188||138||50||73.40|
Hansie Cronje has the biggest difference between win-rate as captain and win-rate when not captain. South Africa had won just 18 out of 50 ODIs when Cronje was a player in the team. However, under his captaincy they won a whopping 99 out of 138. The name of at the opposite end of the table is Sachin Tendulkar. As a player, Tendulkar has participated in 162 victories out of 295 games which is 58%. As captain he has a horrendous record winning just 23 out of 73 matches, 35.60, the difference of 22.40 being the poorest for a player who has captained more than 50 times.
|WJ Cronje (SAf)||1992-2000||138||99||74.25||50||18||37.50||36.75|
|Habibul Bashar (Bang)||1995-2006||45||14||31.11||42||0||0.00||31.11|
|A Ranatunga (SL)||1982-1999||193||89||48.64||76||16||22.53||26.10|
|MP Vaughan (Eng)||2001-2005||48||25||61.90||26||9||36.00||25.90|
|DPMD Jayawardene (Asia/SL)||1998-2006||24||18||78.26||202||109||56.41||21.85|
|N Hussain (Eng)||1989-2003||56||28||50.90||32||9||30.64||20.26|
|MW Gatting (Eng)||1977-1993||37||26||70.27||55||28||52.77||17.49|
|AR Border (Aust)||1979-1994||178||107||61.78||95||38||44.76||17.01|
|ADR Campbell (Zimb)||1992-2003||86||30||37.80||102||23||24.74||13.06|
|Saleem Malik (Pak)||1982-1999||34||21||68.75||249||133||55.83||12.91|
What's this formidable Pakistan team got in common? Aamir Sohail, Saeed Anwar, Rameez Raja, Javed Miandad, Saleem Malik, Rashid Latif, Moin Khan, Imran Khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Younis, Abdul Qadir. All of them were former Pakistan captains and Ijaz Ahmed played under each of them during his 250-match career. However, he never captained Pakistan in a single match.
|M Muralitharan (Asia/ICC/SL)||1993-2006||281||0||281||0.00|
|Ijaz Ahmed (Pak)||1986-2000||250||0||250||0.00|
|CZ Harris (NZ)||1990-2004||250||0||250||0.00|
|JN Rhodes (SAf)||1992-2003||245||0||245||0.00|
|ME Waugh (Aust)||1988-2002||244||0||244||0.00|
|MG Bevan (Aust)||1994-2004||232||0||232||0.00|
|Shahid Afridi (Asia/ICC/Pak)||1996-2006||231||0||231||0.00|
|J Srinath (India)||1991-2003||229||0||229||0.00|
|GD McGrath (Aust/ICC)||1993-2006||227||0||227||0.00|
|Abdul Razzaq (Asia/Pak)||1996-2006||218||0||218||0.00|
% is calculated by ignoring no results, and by counting ties as half a win.
Travis Basevi is the man who built Statsguru. George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo