Most successful captain in T20 International cricket

T20 captain Span Matches Wins/Loss Win/loss %
A Afghan (AFG) 2015-18 49 39/9 80.61/18.36%
Sarfraz (PAK) 2016-19 37 29/8 78.37/21.62%
G Smith (SA) 2005-10 27 18/9 66.66/33.33%
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-19 40 24/15 60.00/37.5%
V Kohli (Ind) 2017-present 37 22/11 59.45/29.72%
K Sangakkara (SL) 2009-12 22 13/9 59.09/40.91%
M Hafeez (Pak) 2012-14 29 17/11 58.62/37.93%
D Sammy (WI) 2011-16 47 27/17 57.44/36.17%
MS Dhoni (Ind) 2007-16 72 41/28 56.94/38.88%
P Borren (Ned) 2010-17 37 21/15 56.75/40.54%
Criteria: Minimum 20 matches; most successful based on win percentage; wins don’t include matches decided by super over

Last update: 30 Aug 2020

T20 cricket world cup winning captains

  • MS Dhoni (2007)
  • Younis Khan (2009)
  • Paul Collingwood (2010)
  • Darren Sammy (2012)
  • Mahela Jayawardene (2014)
  • Darren Sammy (2016)

Achievements of the top 10 captains in T20 cricket

Sammy: Won two World T20 titles for the West Indies

Sarfraz Ahmed: Led Pakistan to 10 consecutive T20I series wins

Afghan: Led Afghanistan into the group stage of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20

Graeme Smith: Led South Africa to the semi-finals of the 2009 World T20

Faf du Plessis: Led South Africa in the 2016 ICC World T20

Kumar Sangakkara: Led Sri Lanka to the semi-finals of the 2010 World T20

Mohammad Hafeez: Led the Pakistan into the semi-finals of the 2012 World T20

MS Dhoni: Led India to the inaugural World T20 title in 2007, the final of 2014 ICC World T20 and the semi-finals of the 2016 ICC World T20

Top 10: Most matches as T20I captain

T20 captain Span Matches 
MS Dhoni (Ind) 2007-16 72
W Porterfield (Ire) 2008-17 56
E Morgan (Eng) 2012-present 49
D Sammy (WI) 2011-16 47
S Afridi (PAK) 2009-18 44
A Afghan (Afg) 2015-19 43
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-19 40
K Williamson (NZ) 2012-present 40
Sarfraz (PAK) 2016-19 37
P Borren (NED) 2010-17 37
V Kohli (Ind) 2017-present 37

What are the keys to being a successful captain in T20 cricket?

The keys to being a successful T20 captain are being proactive and being willing to take gambles under pressure. You might argue that it’s the same across all three formats, but the condensed nature of T20 cricket leaves little room for error.

MS Dhoni’s decision to have Joginder Sharma bowl the final over of the inaugural World T20 final is a classic case of a captain’s gamble paying off. Joginder got the nod over the more experienced Harbhajan Singh, who, however, had conceded 36 runs off his three overs and might not have been the right choice given that the right-handed Misbah-ul-Haq was on strike at the start of the final over. This was one of Dhoni’s watershed moments during his tenure as not just a T20 captain but an Indian captain.

Talking about T20 captaincy, Darren Sammy, with two World T20 titles (2012 and 2016), is indeed the most successful captain in T20I cricket. He has followed in the footsteps of Clive Lloyd, who won the West Indies two World Cups, in 1975 and 1979.

One of the keys to Sammy’s success has been the plethora of T20 specialists—Chris Gayle, Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Samuel Badree, Andre Russell, to name a few—he had at his disposal and his man-management skills. Make no mistake, the boys from the Caribbean have been a motivated bunch, particularly at the World T20 championships, with the mismanagement of the previous WICB administration and the snide remarks made by former and current Australian cricketers fuelling their desire. The West Indian cricketers have indeed thrived on siege mentality.

Dhoni has the most wins as a captain in T20 international cricket and also holds the record for most matches as T20 international captain, winning 41 of the 72 Twenty20 Internationals (T20Is) he captained India from 2007 to 2016. Like Sammy for the West Indies, Dhoni has enjoyed very little personal success, as a batsman in T20 cricket. As a No. 5 or 6 batsman, his success should be measured not by his batting average or the volume of runs but by his strike rate and impact.

Afghanistan captain, Asghar Afghan, has the highest win percentage for a T20 international captain (80.61), having lost only lost nine of the 49 matches in which he has led his country.

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