The captain is the side’s most prominent member, and he is accountable for all of his team’s tactics and plans. With so many insights entering into the game, the duty of a skipper is getting increasingly tough, especially in the shortest format. Previously, all judgments were dependent mostly on the captain’s intuition, but today they relied on match-ups and several other factors.
It is a known tradition that the leadership of a team is usually granted to the team’s best batter. However, there have been a few Indian bowlers who have captained their respective IPL teams in the past.
On that note, let’s take a look at five Indian bowlers who have captained an IPL franchise.
1. Harbhajan Singh
Veteran off-spinner Harbhajan Singh was the first-ever Indian bowler to lead an IPL franchise. He was a part of Mumbai Indians in the inaugural IPL season and the absence of marquee player Sachin Tendulkar saw him being appointed as the captain.
Harbhajan led Mumbai in their first IPL match, in which they had to suffer a five-wicket loss to Royal Challengers Bangalore.
Later, he went to lead the side in 20 matches from 2008-2012 and guided them towards victory in ten matches with a win percentage of 50.
2. Zaheer Khan
Over the past several years, Delhi Daredevils (Delhi Capitals) are known for giving exposure to young talents and for bringing the best out of them. In 2016, Indian speedster Zaheer Khan was appointed as the captain of Delhi by Rahul Dravid and management.
Delhi had several young faces in their squad, with Zaheer as their skipper. They missed out on a playoff spot by whiskers after losing their last encounter. The player’s record as captain was not decent as he managed to win only ten matches out of 23, but he surely did nurture many youngsters like Rishabh Pant, Sanju Samson, Shreyas Iyer, and many more.
3. Anil Kumble
Anil Kumble was one of the most experienced players in the Royal Challengers Bangalore squad. After a poor run in IPL 2008, RCB management appointed Kumble as their captain for the 2009 edition of the tournament.
Kumble was exceptional as a captain as well as with the ball as he guided RCB through to the finals, which unfortunately they lost by six runs to Deccan Chargers. Overall, he led RCB in 26 games, winning 15 and losing 11 with an incredible win percentage of 57.69.
4. Ravichandran Ashwin
Ravichandran Ashwin is entering the league of the most versatile bowlers in Indian cricket and is known for his smart wit on the field.
The player’s ability to read the batsman was one of the reasons that led him to be appointed as the skipper of Kings XI Punjab (now Punjab Kings) ahead of the 2018 IPL.
Punjab have always struggled to make it to the playoffs in the IPL and were hoping to turn things around after Ashwin’s arrival.
Unfortunately, Ashwin managed to win only 12 games out of the 28 games across IPL 2018 and IPL 2019 and thus he was released later on by Punjab.
5. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
Bhuvneshwar Kumar was handed over the leadership of Sunrisers Hyderabad in IPL 2019 due to the absence of Kane Williamson and a ban on the captaincy for David Warner. He was a stand-in captain and was not given a regular role to lead the side.
With the experience Bhuvenshwar possesses, he was the only alternative available for SRH. Bhuvi however had a poor run and his team managed to win only two matches of the six he captained them in.