Even as Rohit Sharma, Indian Premier League’s most successful captain, returns to lead Mumbai Indians, the Royal Challengers Bangalore, in a first since 2013, will see a change of role after Virat Kohli decided to step down after last season.
While four franchises this season have chosen to go with new leaders, the two newly-inducted sides have also chosen star Indian players as skippers.
Who are the captains of all the 10 franchises ahead of IPL 2022?
1. Ravindra Jadeja (Chennai Super Kings)
Dhoni has handed over CSK’s captaincy to Ravindra Jadeja. The southpaw is only the third player to lead CSK. Dhoni boasts a winning record of 59.6 per cent as captain. He has led CSK to nine finals, winning the title on four occasions – in 2010, 2011, 2018 and 2021.
2. Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)
MI’s five titles in 2013, 2015, 2017, 2019, and 2020 have come under Rohit’s captaincy. He is the most successful captain – among those who have featured in more than six games — in the T20 league. He also walks into the tournament in great form; India has won all the T20I matches after the T20 World Cup 2021 with him at the helm
3. Shreyas Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders)
Having let Eoin Morgan go, KKR broke the bank for Shreyas, acquiring his services for Rs. 12.25 crore from the marquee list during the IPL 2022 auction. Shreyas also has considerable experience leading a T20 side, having skippered the Delhi Capitals into its first playoffs in seven years in 2019. He did one better the next season, finishing as the runner-up.
4. Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)
The explosive middle-order batter took over from Shreyas after the latter picked up an injury. Since then, Pant has gone from strength to strength. He has led DC to nine wins in 16 matches in his first and only season as captain (2021). Coach Ricky Ponting says: “Rishabh’s level of maturity in the last couple of seasons has just gone through the roof. When I first joined the Delhi Capitals camp, Rishabh was just starting to burst onto the scene. He’s done a terrific job as captain so far.”
5. Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)
du Plessis takes over from Kohli as captain. Under Kohli, RCB had won 64 of its 140 matches while losing 69. The right-hander, bought for Rs. 7 crore, was pivotal to CSK’s title victory in 2021, racking up 633 runs to finish the second-highest run-getter. du Plessis was also the leading run-scorer for Chennai in IPL 2020.
“The opportunity to be the captain of a franchise like RCB is massive and a role I was glad to accept. As a leader of the team, I’ll look to lead from the front and make sure we turn out to be the best,” he said.
Although du Plessis is signing up for a leadership role in the IPL for the first time, he has led South Africa to success on multiple occasions in the limited-overs format between 2012-19, recording a 63.51 per cent success rate in Twenty20 Internationals.
6. Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)
2022 is the first season in which Williamson starts as a full-time IPL captain. Having led his national team, New Zealand, to the final of the T20 World Cup last year, Williamson will be looking to lay the ghosts of IPL 2021, when his side finished at the very bottom of the table. He has captained the side in 33 games, winning 16 and losing as many.
7. Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)
Despite a dismal outing last season, Rajasthan has decided to show its faith in Samson. The first player to score a century on captaincy debut, Samson needs to become consistent and in turn, score more runs for the team.
8. Mayank Agarwal (Punjab Kings)
Although Mayank lost the only game as captain – after former captain KL Rahul dropped out of IPL 2021 due to an appendicitis surgery – the PBKS management has reposed faith in him. The right-handed Karnataka batter has played 100 games and scored 2131 runs in the IPL. This will be Mayank’s first stint as full-time captain of an IPL side.
9. KL Rahul (Lucknow Super Giants)
Although his captaincy records don’t make for a good read, his batting average of 59 is the best by a captain in the IPL.
10. Hardik Pandya (Gujarat Titans)
Hardik has never led a team before. Adding to that, the Gujarat skipper’s form is still under the scanner as he continues to struggle post recovery from a back niggle. Whether he will be rolling his arms over this season is also not clear.