Captains played a very crucial role in changing the fortunes of their IPL teams. Captains like Shane Warne and Dhoni inspired their teams with their leadership qualities while Dravid and Laxman buckled under pressure with poor batting and unimaginative captaincy. Unlike Dravid, Laxman at least sacrificed money and iconic status.
Analysis of Indian Premier League captains:
1. Shane Warne: He is the coach, captain, magician, God, motivator and saviour for underdogs Jaipur. He inspired young Jaipur team to sensational victories.
2. MS Dhoni: Ice Man Dhoni showed his immense potential against Bangalore with his hard hitting and cool captaincy. Indian cricket is in the safe hands of this “Ice Man”. We will know his real potential in the coming matches where Chennai will miss the services of Mathew Hayden, Michael Hussey and Jacob Oram. Can he inspire his team like Warne?
3. Virender Sehwag: One superb inning against Hyderabad and nothing else.
4. Yuvraj Singh: He is playing consistently well in all the Mohali IPL matches. But team lost some matches due to bad selection and unsettled batting order. Indian vice-captain need to prove his captaincy skills.
5. Sourav Ganguly: He is an inspirational leader but poor batsman. Kolkata fans love the passionate combination of Sourav-Shahrukh but Ganguly needs to score runs.
6. Rahul Dravid: Why is he playing in this tournament? What can he do in Twenty20 games? He should sit at home and watch matches. Poor leader but good man.
7. VVS Laxman: You should pick your best players to win tight Twenty20 games. You can’t bat; you can’t see potential in young men; you can’t take bold innovate decisions; you can’t field; you can’t say no “Recommendation candidates”. Critics at last found answers for eternal questions like why he wasn’t picked by one day selectors.
8. Sachin/Harbhajan/Pollock: Sachin hides injuries for money/advertisements. Harbhajan slaps opposition players. Pollock is waging lone battle. How can you expect match winning performances from Mumbai IPL team?
Best captain: Shane Warne.
Cool captain: MS Dhoni. Chennai won two tight matches against Mumbai and Bangalore under cool Dhoni’s captaincy.
Worst captains: Harbhajan Singh and VVS Laxman.
Worst decision: Laxman gave last over to Andrew Symonds against Rajasthan Royals.
Best moment: Shane Warne hit 2 sixers and 1 four in the last over to destroy Hyderabad hopes.
Verdict: Why can’t India able to produce great leaders like Australia? Sachin, Dravid and Laxman are good batsmen but poor captains. Ganguly and Dhoni are the only world class captaincy materials from India. Anil Kumble is an intelligent captain.