Who are the most successful captains?
So Chris Gayle doesn't want to captain West Indies forever. Surrendering the Wisden Trophy after a 2-0 thrashing will hardly have increased his love for the job either. West Indies' report card under Gayle reads: two drawn series, three lost, and one won. This week we've looked at captains who have the best and worst win-loss records in Test series. Never mind if they loved leading or not.
He had a more pronounced swagger than Gayle, and shared a penchant for bruising bowlers, but Viv Richards captained West Indies for a decade and did it with success. Richards stood in for the injured Clive Lloyd in his first two Tests as captain, at Headingley in 1980 and in Trinidad against Australia in 1984, and West Indies won both those series. He eventually took over permanently and West Indies won nine out 14 series under his watch and drew the other five.
Among current captains, MS Dhoni has yet to lead India in a series they've lost. In his first match as captain, Dhoni led India to victory and drew the home series against South Africa in 2008. Thereafter he's led India to wins against Australia, England and New Zealand.
Australia won all four series in which Adam Gilchrist captained in at least one Test. His first assignment - the Adelaide Test in 2000 - helped secure the Frank Worrell Trophy. His greatest achievement, however, was leading Australia to a series win in India in 2003-04 in the absence of an injured Ricky Ponting. Gilchrist captained the team in the first three Tests and won the four-Test rubber 2-0 before Ponting returned.
Ponting, however, has the highest percentage of series wins as captain, among those who have led in even one Test in a minimum of five series. The recent 2-1 series win in South Africa was Ponting's 17th win in 20 series as captain. The three defeats he's suffered were in the 2005 Ashes, the Border-Gavaskar Trophy in 2008, and the home series against South Africa in 2008-09.
|RT Ponting (Aus)||2004-2009||56||38||9||9||20||17||0||3||85.00|
|DR Jardine (Eng)||1931-1934||15||9||5||1||6||5||1||0||83.33|
|SM Pollock (SA)||2000-2003||26||14||7||5||10||8||1||1||80.00|
|J Darling (Aus)||1899-1905||21||7||10||4||5||4||0||1||80.00|
|WM Woodfull (Aus)||1930-1934||25||14||4||7||5||4||0||1||80.00|
|DG Bradman (Aus)||1936-1948||24||15||6||3||5||4||1||0||80.00|
|Saleem Malik (Pak)||1994-1995||12||7||2||3||5||4||0||1||80.00|
|MA Taylor (Aus)||1994-1999||50||26||11||13||14||11||0||3||78.57|
|CH Lloyd (WI)||1974-1985||74||36||26||12||18||14||2||2||77.77|
|JM Brearley (Eng)||1977-1981||31||18||9||4||9||7||1||1||77.77|
|Javed Miandad (Pak)||1980-1993||34||14||14||6||11||8||0||3||72.72|
|SR Waugh (Aus)||1999-2004||57||41||7||9||18||13||3||2||72.22|
|R Benaud (Aus)||1958-1963||28||12||11||4||7||5||2||0||71.42|
|PBH May (Eng)||1955-1961||41||20||11||10||10||7||1||2||70.00|
|WJ Cronje (SA)||1994-2000||53||27||15||11||19||13||2||4||68.42|
|R Illingworth (Eng)||1969-1973||31||12||14||5||9||6||1||2||66.66|
|WG Grace (Eng)||1888-1899||13||8||2||3||6||4||0||2||66.66|
|JDC Goddard (WI)||1948-1957||22||8||7||7||6||4||0||2||66.66|
|L Hutton (Eng)||1952-1955||23||11||8||4||6||4||2||0||66.66|
|IVA Richards (WI)||1980-1991||50||27||15||8||14||9||5||0||64.28|
|MP Vaughan (Eng)||2003-2008||51||26||14||11||16||10||1||5||62.50|
|IM Chappell (Aus)||1971-1975||30||15||10||5||8||5||2||1||62.50|
|CA Walsh (WI)||1994-1997||22||6||9||7||8||5||1||2||62.50|
|GP Howarth (NZ)||1980-1985||30||11||12||7||10||6||1||3||60.00|
|Wasim Akram (Pak)||1993-1999||25||12||5||8||10||6||1||3||60.00|
|JWHT Douglas (Eng)||1911-1924||18||8||2||8||5||3||0||2||60.00|
|APF Chapman (Eng)||1926-1931||17||9||6||2||5||3||0||2||60.00|
|AL Hassett (Aus)||1949-1953||24||14||6||4||5||3||1||1||60.00|
|JV Coney (NZ)||1984-1987||15||5||6||4||5||3||1||1||60.00|
Geoffrey Boycott captained England in four Tests across two series, both of which were drawn. He stood in for Mike Brearley, who had broken his arm, in Karachi in 1978 during a three-Test series that ended 0-0. Boycott led England in the three-Test tour of New Zealand immediately after, a series which was drawn 1-1.
The table of captains who've never led their teams to a series win is dominated by New Zealanders - there are four in the top five. John Reid heads the list, having led his country in 10 series between 1956 and 1965 of which New Zealand drew three and lost the other seven. Ken Rutherford is a close second, with nine series as captain without a win. He nearly had a 100% defeat record, but the one-off Hamilton Test against India in 1994 was drawn, leaving Rutherford with eight series defeats out of nine as captain. Two Bangladesh captains, Khaled Mashud and Mohammad Ashraful, have lost all their six series while leading the side.
|Khaled Mashud (Ban)||2001-2004||12||0||0||12||6||0||0||6||100.00|
|Mohammad Ashraful (Ban)||2007-2009||13||0||1||12||6||0||0||6||100.00|
|AC MacLaren (Eng)||1897-1909||22||4||7||11||5||0||0||5||100.00|
|T Taibu (Zim)||2004-2005||10||0||1||9||5||0||0||5||100.00|
|KR Rutherford (NZ)||1993-1995||18||2||5||11||9||0||1||8||88.88|
|Habibul Bashar (Ban)||2004-2007||18||1||4||13||9||1||0||8||88.88|
|S Chanderpaul (WI)||2005-2006||14||1||3||10||5||0||1||4||80.00|
|A Flower (Zim)||1993-2000||20||1||9||10||9||0||2||7||77.77|
|KJ Hughes (Aus)||1979-1984||28||4||11||13||7||1||1||5||71.42|
|CL Hooper (WI)||2001-2002||22||4||7||11||7||2||0||5||71.42|
|JR Reid (NZ)||1956-1965||34||3||13||18||10||0||3||7||70.00|
|ADR Campbell (Zim)||1996-2002||21||2||7||12||12||2||2||8||66.66|
|RES Wyatt (Eng)||1930-1935||16||3||8||5||6||1||1||4||66.66|
|BE Congdon (NZ)||1972-1975||17||1||9||7||6||0||2||4||66.66|
|BS Bedi (India)||1976-1978||22||6||5||11||6||1||1||4||66.66|
|LK Germon (NZ)||1995-1997||12||1||6||5||6||0||2||4||66.66|
|Moin Khan (Pak)||1998-2001||13||4||7||2||6||1||1||4||66.66|
|HH Streak (Zim)||2000-2004||21||4||6||11||11||2||2||7||63.63|
|WL Murdoch (Aus)||1880-1890||16||5||4||7||8||3||0||5||62.50|
|MW Gatting (Eng)||1986-1988||23||2||16||5||8||1||2||5||62.50|
|DL Vettori (NZ)||2007-2009||19||4||6||9||8||2||1||5||62.50|
|IWG Johnson (Aus)||1954-1956||17||7||5||5||5||2||0||3||60.00|
|DJ McGlew (SA)||1955-1962||14||4||4||6||5||0||2||3||60.00|
|HP Tillakaratne (SL)||1999-2004||11||1||6||4||5||1||1||3||60.00|
Hanif Mohammad drew three out of his five series as Pakistan captain; his draw percentage of 60 is the highest among captains who have led in five or more series. Hanif led Pakistan in 11 Tests and drew a home series against Australia before drawing away series in Australia and New Zealand in 1964-65.
|Hanif Mohammad (Pak)||1964-1967||11||2||7||2||5||1||3||1||60.00|
|KC Wessels (SA)||1992-1994||16||5||8||3||6||2||3||1||50.00|
|RB Simpson (Aus)||1964-1978||39||12||15||12||11||3||5||3||45.45|
|Imran Khan (Pak)||1982-1992||48||14||26||8||14||5||6||3||42.85|
|MJK Smith (Eng)||1964-1966||25||5||17||3||7||2||3||2||42.85|
|GT Dowling (NZ)||1968-1972||19||4||8||7||7||1||3||3||42.85|
|JG Wright (NZ)||1988-1990||14||3||8||3||7||2||3||2||42.85|
|DJ McGlew (SA)||1955-1962||14||4||4||6||5||0||2||3||40.00|
|Zaheer Abbas (Pak)||1983-1984||14||3||10||1||5||2||2||1||40.00|
|IVA Richards (WI)||1980-1991||50||27||15||8||14||9||5||0||35.71|
|SM Gavaskar (India)||1976-1985||47||9||30||8||12||4||4||4||33.33|
|DPMD Jayawardene (SL)||2006-2009||28||15||6||7||12||6||4||2||33.33|
|LRD Mendis (SL)||1982-1987||19||2||9||8||9||1||3||5||33.33|
|N Kapil Dev (India)||1983-1987||34||4||22||7||9||2||3||4||33.33|
|WR Hammond (Eng)||1938-1947||20||4||13||3||6||3||2||1||33.33|
|L Hutton (Eng)||1952-1955||23||11||8||4||6||4||2||0||33.33|
|AH Kardar (Pak)||1952-1958||23||6||11||6||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|Intikhab Alam (Pak)||1969-1975||17||1||11||5||6||1||2||3||33.33|
|BE Congdon (NZ)||1972-1975||17||1||9||7||6||0||2||4||33.33|
|MH Denness (Eng)||1974-1975||19||6||8||5||6||2||2||2||33.33|
|Mushtaq Mohammad (Pak)||1976-1979||19||8||7||4||6||3||2||1||33.33|
|LK Germon (NZ)||1995-1997||12||1||6||5||6||0||2||4||33.33|
|CH Gayle (WI)||2007-2009||14||3||6||5||6||1||2||3||33.33|
Click here for the full tables.
If there's a particular List that you would like to see, email us with your comments and suggestions.
George Binoy is a senior sub-editor at Cricinfo