The Top Most Underrated Captains of England Cricket Team 

In this article, we will discover the top ten most underrated captains of England cricket team in detail.

England has an elongated and illustrious history in cricket, dominated by iconic captains such as Johnny Douglas, William Gilbert Grace, Mike Brearley, and many others. However, in all the hoopla around these well-known captains, there are a few unsung heroes who quietly contributed to England’s cricketing history in a very significant way. Although they may not have received as much recognition as their more prominent counterparts, these underappreciated leaders surely made a significant impact on English cricket. They achieved notable triumphs and shaped the future of the England cricket team by exercising resilience, strategic intelligence, and unrelenting drive in their leadership.

Kevin Pietersen

Despite being a captain of England for a brief time, Kevin Pietersen’s leadership qualities have left the cricket aficionados wondering about their prominence. It is indeed difficult to evaluate and compare Kevin Pietersen’s leadership to others because he only led the team for three Test matches in 2008. Being among the most devastating batters of his day, Pietersen’s dynamic and daring manner with the bat sometimes overshadowed his leadership qualities. His unconventional charm and outspoken demeanor may have influenced Kevin Pietersen’s underappreciated reputation as a captain, which caused some controversy. Even though Pietersen’s term as captain was brief, it leaves a lasting legacy for England’s cricket history.


Mike Atherton 

Often overshadowed by more successful successors, Mike Atherton’s tenure as captain was unquestionably underappreciated. Atherton assumed charge of England in 1993 when the team was experiencing several losses, notably the Ashes whitewashes of 1994–1995 and 1997–98. These difficulties lessened the apparent significance of Atherton’s accomplishments. Even yet, Atherton’s record as captain is impressive, having led the team to 26 victories in 54 Test matches, including a series triumph in the West Indies in 1993–94. Atherton’s significance in rebuilding the England squad after the 1990s Ashes whitewashes cannot be understated; he was a strong and strategically adept captain. England’s cricketing history has benefited much from Atherton’s modest leadership.

Andrew Strauss 

Despite his incredible accomplishments, Andrew Strauss’ captaincy is sometimes underappreciated for some reasons. When Strauss held the England captaincy in 2009, the squad was battling its share of testing times and going through a difficult transitional phase. Even though Strauss was instrumental in assisting the squad to rebuild and establish a winning culture, the effects did not show up right away. Also, Strauss’ achievements were overshadowed by the subsequent glory of captains such as Alastair Cook and Joe Root. Though it was a major factor in England’s victory, Strauss’s sharp tactical sense wasn’t always given the credit it deserved by the fans and media. In addition, Strauss had three major series defeats in his Ashes career, which contributed to his underappreciated reputation even if he did win a series in Australia in 2010–11. However, despite his absence, Strauss’s captaincy legacy is legendary, with 24 wins in 50 Test matches.

Alec Stewart

Despite his remarkable accomplishments, Alec Stewart’s leadership is sometimes underappreciated for a variety of reasons. Stewart was not as flashy as some other captains, but he was a firm and uncompromising commander. Although Stewart was respected by his teammates, his approach may have turned off certain people and spectators, which added to his underappreciated position. In 1998, Stewart also became the captain of England’s cricket team following a humiliating Ashes rout. Overseeing England at a period of transition, he was crucial in transforming the squad into a formidable contender. However, the process was protracted, which could have contributed to his accomplishments being eclipsed by the subsequent triumphs of captains like Michael Vaughan and Nasser Hussain.

Joe Root 

Despite his many triumphs, Joe Root’s captaincy is sometimes disregarded for several reasons. Root took over the leadership in 2016 while the squad was having difficulties, and he did so amid the testing times for English cricket. A new generation of players was being nurtured and the transition was perfectly teered by Root. However, it took a while, and his accomplishments were somewhat eclipsed by those of his great predecessors, such as Michael Vaughan and Alastair Cook. Additionally, Root’s captaincy was often viewed as being overly submissive. 

Nasser Hussain 

Although Nasser Hussain has achieved a lot, his captaincy is sometimes underappreciated for several important reasons. Hussain’s appointment to the position in 1999, following the team’s humiliating Ashes rout, came amid challenging situations for English cricket. Hussain was crucial in bringing the squad back to life and making it a formidable force, guiding England through this difficult time. Moreover, as an extremely strict and demanding leader, Hussain was not as well-liked as other more showy or charming captains. Despite his respectability, these qualities may have alienated certain players and supporters, which added to his underappreciated position. Nevertheless, Hussain’s impact on English cricket persisted despite this.

Alastair Cook

For a variety of reasons, Alastair Cook’s leadership frequently doesn’t get the credit it deserves. Cook assumed the position amid an important time of change in English cricket, leading the squad through adjustments and difficulties. Although Cook was not the most showy or charismatic captain, his unwavering leadership was evident in his astute strategies and commanding presence. Cook led England to the most victories of any England captain throughout his stint as captain, with 59 triumphs in 133 Test matches. However, Cook did not have the same degree of success in the Ashes series as some of his predecessors and successors. Cook’s role in elevating England to the status of a dominant cricketing force in the globe and leading the team to victory in the 2015 Ashes series justifies his receiving greater praise.

Graham Gooch 

Several notable blunders were made by England cricket captain Graham Gooch throughout his tenure. During the 1988/89 Ashes series, Gooch’s contentious decision to leave the squad following a bad start was interpreted by some as a show of weakness and eventually led to England’s series defeat of 4-0. Gooch was severely criticized for continuing to play an underperforming squad in the 1990–91 Ashes series, which resulted in a 3-0 loss. Gooch’s reputation suffered a major blow during the 1992–1993 Ashes series when he lost his temper and got into arguments with officials and Australian players. Apart from these particular instances, Gooch’s style of leadership was seen as too defensive and critical, with charges that it inhibited his players’ originality.

Jonny Bairstow

Despite his impressive achievements, Jonny Bairstow has been labeled as underappreciated for numerous reasons. First off, in just 10 games in 2022—seven of which Bairstow clinched—he served as captain for a relatively brief period. Despite his stellar record, there were just too few games in his career to evaluate his captaincy abilities in detail. Secondly, Bairstow’s outstanding batting accomplishments took center stage under his captaincy, as he amassed over 400 runs and is considered one of the most exciting batters in the world. 

Chris Broad 

Chris Broad surely enjoyed a few remarkable successes as a captain, but he also had an inevitable share of blunders. When Broad left the team for the third Test in the 2013–14 Ashes series after a bad start, Broad’s move sparked criticism and was interpreted as a display of weakness. The contentious decision was a factor in England’s crushing series defeat of 5-0. England lost the 2015 Ashes series 3-1 in part because Broad continued to lead a poorly performing side despite criticism from the public and media. In addition, the ICC fined Broad for his contentious remarks made regarding umpire Marais Erasmus during the 2014 Test series against India. Additionally, Broad’s fielding performance in the 2014 Test series against Sri Lanka was criticized, as England lost the series 1-0.