Most successful captain in T20I cricket

T20I captain Span Matches Wins/Loss Win/loss %
A Afghan (AFG) 2015-present 52 42/9 80.76/17.30%
Ahmed (PAK)
2016-19 37 29/8 78.37/21.62%
G Smith (SA) 2005-10 27 18/9 66.66/33.33%
E Morgan (Eng) 2012-present 68 43/24 63.23/35.29%
V Kohli (Ind) 2017-present 50 30/16 60.00/32.00%
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-19 40 24/15 60.00/37.5%
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%
Criteria: Minimum 20 matches; most successful based on win percentage; wins don’t include matches decided by super over

Last update: 8 Nov 2021

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 International cricket

Sammy: Won two World T20 titles for the West Indies

Sarfaraz Ahmed: Led Pakistan to 10 consecutive T20I series wins

Afghan: Led Afghanistan into the group stage of the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 and has the highest win percentage (80.76) for a T20I captain

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
E Morgan (Eng) 2012-present 68
W Porterfield (Ire) 2008-17 56
A Afghan (Afg) 2015-present 52
K Williamson (NZ) 2012-present 49
D Sammy (WI) 2011-16 47
V Kohli (Ind) 2017-present 50
A Finch (Aus) 2014-present 44
S Afridi (PAK) 2009-18 44
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-19 40

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.

Afghanistan’s Asghar Afghan holds the record for most matches as captain in T20 International cricket. He is also the most successful captain in T20I cricket with 42 wins in 52 matches, having surpassed Dhoni’s 41 wins from 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.

Afghan also has the highest win percentage for a T20I skipper with 80.76.