Most successful captain in Twenty20 International cricket

T20 captain Span Matches Wins/Loss Win/loss %
Sarfraz (PAK) 2016-18 33 29/4 87.87/12.12%
A Stanikzai (AFG) 2015-18 38 29/9 76.31/23.68%
G Smith (RSA) 2005-10 27 18/9 66.66/33.34%
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-18 37 22/15 59.45/40.54%
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%
P Collingwood (ENG) 2007-11 30 17/11 56.66/36.66%
K Williamson (NZ) 2012-18 33 17/15 51.51/45.45%
Criteria: Minimum 20 matches; most successful based on win percentage

Last update: 5 Nov 2018

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

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

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

Kane Williamson: Led the Blackcaps to the semi-finals of the 2016 World T20

Faf du Plessis: Led the Proteas in the 2016 ICC World T20

Kumar Sangakkara: Led the Lankan Lions to the semi-finals of the 2010 World T20

Mohammad Hafeez: Led the Pakistanis 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

Peter Borren: Led the Dutch into the group stage of ICC World Twenty20 2014

Paul Collingwood: Led England to 2010 ICC World Twenty20 title

Top 10: Most matches as T20 captain

T20 captain Span Matches as captain
MS Dhoni (IND) 2007-16 72
W Porterfield (IRE) 2008-17 56
D Sammy (WI) 2011-16 47
S Afridi (PAK) 2009-16 43
A Stanikzai (AFG) 2015-18 38
P Borren (NED) 2010-17 37
F du Plessis (SA) 2012-18 37
K Williamson (NZ) 2012-18 36
Sarfraz (PAK) 2016-18 33
P Collingwood (ENG) 2007-11 30
M Hafeez (PAK) 2012-14 29

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

Decision making and willingness to take gambles are two of the key elements of T20 captaincy. You might argue that it’s the same across all three formats, but because of the lack of time for batsmen, bowlers and the captains, recovery isn’t always possible if you make bad decisions or your decisions backfire. And so, to be a successful T20 captain, you have to be able to think on your feet and make good decisions at least seven out of ten times.

MS Dhoni tasking Joginder Sharma with bowling the final over of the Inaugural World T20 Final and his decision helping the Men in Blue lift the trophy, is a classic case of a captain’s gamble paying off. Dhoni, who was just 26 years old back then, audaciously opted for Joginder over the more experienced Harbhajan Singh, who, however, had conceded 36 runs off his three overs and wasn’t having a good day at the office. This was one of the popular decisions of Dhoni’s 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 T20 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—Marlon Samuels, Carlos Brathwaite, Samuel Badree, Andre Russell, and Chris Gayle, among others—at his disposal and his own ability to manage his egoistic team-mates. Make no mistake, the boys from the Caribbean have been a motivated bunch, particularly at the World T20 championships, with the mismanagement of the WICB and the snide remarks made by former and current Australian cricketers being the causes for the added motivation. The West Indian cricketers have indeed thrived on the siege mentality.

Dhoni has the most wins as a captain in T20 cricket and also holds the record for most matches as T20 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. The former Indian skipper should, however, be afforded the benefit of the doubt for his T20 batting record because as a No. 5 or No. 6 batsman, the chances of his making big scores are and have been minimal.

Pakistan captain, Sarfraz Ahmed, has the highest win percentage for a T20 international captain (87.87). He has only lost four of the 33 matches in which he has led his country.

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