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27 February 201407:28

Top Ten: Most Successful Captains

Cricket is full of inspirational leaders and masterful tacticians, and the ICC Cricket World Cup has provided a stage for many of them to display their finest traits. This month we take a look at the captains who have consistently led their teams to victory in World Cup cricket.

Top Ten: Most Successful Captains - Cricket News

One of the great players of the modern era, Ricky Ponting won three consecutive World Cups with Australia, captaining his country to greatness in 2003 and 2007

*Minimum eight games as captain, in order of winning percentage (no results not included in percentage).

1. Ricky Ponting (Australia)
92.85% - 29 matches, 26 wins, two losses and one 'no result'. Three ICC Cricket World Cup wins (two as captain)

One of the great players of the modern era, Ricky Ponting won three consecutive ICC Cricket World Cups with Australia, captaining his country to greatness in 2003 and 2007. Ponting scored an undefeated 140 to be awarded player of the match honours in the 2003 final, led his team through an undefeated ICC Cricket World Cup 2007 campaign and played a major role in Australia’s record 34-match unbeaten World Cup run.

2. Clive Lloyd (West Indies)
88.23% - 17 matches, 15 wins, two losses. Two ICC Cricket World Cup wins (both as captain)

Legendary all-rounder Clive Lloyd captained the West Indies to three ICC Cricket World Cup finals, attaining ultimate success at Lords, the home of cricket, in both 1975 and 1979. Lloyd carved a breathtaking century in the first ever ICC Cricket World Cup final at quicker than a run a ball to lead his team to victory against Australia in 1975.

3. MS Dhoni (India)
83.33% - nine matches, seven wins, one loss, one tie. One ICC Cricket World Cup win (as captain)

Current India captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni began his ICC Cricket World Cup captaincy career in style, leading his nation to victory in the most recent tournament (2011). Dhoni got a taste of World Cup cricket in 2007, and after a modest tournament with the bat, he produced an unbeaten 91 as India chased down Sri Lanka’s 274-6 in the 2011 final.

4. Sourav Ganguly (India)
81.81% - 11 matches, nine wins, two losses

India icon Sourav Ganguly fell just one win short of ICC Cricket World Cup triumph, taking his country to the 2003 final against Australia. Ganguly scored three centuries in the 2003 tournament, including an undefeated 111 in the semi-final against Kenya. He also featured in the 1999 and 2007 ICC Cricket World Cups, smashing 183 against Sri Lanka in 1999.

5. Martin Crowe (New Zealand)
77.77% - nine matches, seven wins, two losses

Martin Crowe led New Zealand to the semi-finals at the ICC Cricket World Cup in 1992 on home soil, where his side was narrowly defeated by Pakistan after topping the round-robin stage. Crowe’s enterprising captaincy stood out – opening the bowling with off-spinner Dipak Patel – and he had a superb tournament individually as the leading run scorer (456) and man of the series.

6. Hansie Cronje (South Africa)
76.66% - 15 matches, 11 wins, three losses, one tie

The late Hansie Cronje had a controversial career as South Africa captain, a suspension for match-fixing detracting from a relatively successful ICC Cricket World Cup captaincy stint. Under Cronje’s guidance, South Africa won more than three quarters of their ICC Cricket World Cup matches, tying with Australia in the ICC Cricket World Cup 1999 semi-final and losing to the West Indies in the 1995 quarter-finals.

Equal 7. Steve Waugh (Australia)
75% - 10 matches, seven wins, two losses, one tie. Two ICC Cricket World Cup wins (one as captain)

Two-time ICC Cricket World Cup winner and long-serving Australia skipper Steve Waugh had a massive impact on his country’s success on cricket’s main stage. Waugh featured in Australia’s 1987 ICC Cricket World Cup win against England, played a key role in Australia’s record 34-match unbeaten ICC Cricket World Cup run and scored one of his three ODI centuries as captain in Australia’s successful 1999 campaign.

Equal 7. Kumar Sangakkara (Sri Lanka)
75% - nine matches, six wins, two losses, one 'no result'

Sri Lanka’s veteran batsman/wicketkeeper enjoyed leadership success in the most recent ICC Cricket World Cup, leading his country to its second World Cup final in succession. Kumar Sangakkara contributed a century and three half centuries in nine matches, plus an important 48 in the final, but MS Dhoni’s India won with 10 balls to spare in Mumbai.

Equal 7. Shahid Afridi (Pakistan)
75% - eight matches, six wins, two losses

Power-hitting Pakistan all-rounder Shahid Afridi also enjoyed success as a leader in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011. A veteran of four World Cups and more than 360 ODIs, Afridi starred with the ball in the 2011 tournament, taking an equal-high 21 wickets. His side reached the semi-finals but fell 29 runs shy of sub-continent rivals and eventual winner, India.

10. Kapil Dev (India)
73.33% - 15 matches, 11 wins, four losses. One ICC Cricket World Cup win (as captain)

Finally, superstar India all-rounder Kapil Dev captained his country at both the 1983 and 1987 ICC Cricket World Cups. He scored an unbeaten 175 as captain against Zimbabwe at the 1983 event, in which India defeated the highly-fancied West Indies side by 43 runs in the final to secure their first of two ICC Cricket World Cup triumphs.

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