Unsung Skippers: Exploring the Top 10 Most Underrated Cricket Captains 

Explore the most underrated cricket captains in the world. From Ben Stokes to Rahul Dravid, these underrated captains left a lasting impact on the game.

In the unpredictable world of cricket, a captain’s primary responsibilities include reading the opposition’s movements, planning clever bowling changes, and creating well-placed fields. Being the captain of the team is crucial to their success, however, it’s not always an easy job. The most well-known superstars in cricket history have frequently worn the captain’s hat, demonstrating their abilities beyond mere skill. However, the storied history of cricket has witnessed many captains whose outstanding captaincy has remained unrecognized and under-appreciated, their influential leadership hidden from the uninformed spectator. Operating in the background of the cricket arena, these underappreciated skippers have made a big contribution to the game of cricket while not being in the spotlight.

In this article, we will take a look at the top ten most underrated captains of cricket globally, 

1. Ben Stokes 


Ben Stokes took over as captain of England during a difficult time, but he has instilled a bold and aggressive mentality in his side, which has allowed them to overcome their recent record of only one victory in 17 test matches. Under Stokes, England adopted an aggressive style and frequently reached a run rate of more than six runs per over. With the home Ashes coming up, Stokes will have to make a crucial leadership decision as they rewrite the history of test cricket. The need for quick, flat surfaces creates the conditions for a test to see how much of an influence his captaincy has in a pivotal series.

2. Jason Holder 

Jason Holder became the youngest captain in West Indies history when he took over as skipper at the astonishingly young age of 23 years and 72 days. Holder managed a side that was changing while overseeing 32 Test matches, 86 ODIs, and 3 T20Is. In an era characterized by successful franchise leagues, Holder’s influence as the unifying factor in the West Indies dressing room cannot be overstated. This goes beyond win-loss records. In a time when athletes were more inclined to commit to a squad, Holder became the team’s unifying factor. Holder’s record as a skipper goes beyond numbers; it is an example of leadership in an ever-transforming cricket environment.

3. Michael Clarke 

Known for his off-field scandals, ‘Pup’ is the most controversial captain in Australia. Clarke sets himself apart on the field with an excellent record as a player and captain. With remarkable win percentages of 51.06 and 70.42 in test matches and 74 ODIs, respectively, Clarke led Australia to their sixth World Cup victory in 2015. Even while events off the field have an influence, Clarke’s behaviour must be kept apart from his significant legacy as captain. The honours Clarke received off the field, such as a World Cup win, highlight his leadership qualities and cricket skills, creating a story that goes beyond the scandals that dogged his career.

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4. Sanju Samson 

The fact that Sanju Samson is from Kerala, a state with a rich football history, casts a shadow on his reputation as an underappreciated player. Samson contributes to the myth that he is underappreciated by both fans and critics for his leadership of the Rajasthan Royals, who had previously underperformed. Under his captaincy, Samson has led the team to a respectable 19 wins in 36 games. Samson deserves to be given a chance to appear on the big stage, as evidenced by his protracted period of anonymity. It’s time to recognize his leadership abilities and capabilities and allow him to take centre stage in the cricket world.

5. Shane Warne 

One of the sharpest cricketers in history, Shane Warne has an unrivalled ability to read the game with pinpoint accuracy and predict the opposition’s next play. Even though Warne led Australia to win in 10 of the 11 ODIs in which he captained the team, his most memorable IPL success was leading the Rajasthan Royals—a team of ordinary players—to an unexpected title victory in the first season. Beyond his tactical genius, Warne possessed a charismatic, larger-than-life personality that made him the best captain Australia has ever officially had. Beyond numbers, Warne’s influence on the game establishes him as a famous captain and an icon of cricket.

6. Kumar Sangakkara 

Though few people know it, Kumar Sangakkara led an ordinary Sri Lankan team to two World Cup Finals in a row. Sangakkara’s leadership is sometimes overlooked. Sanga, who is constantly grinning, is one of the best players to have ever played. Despite his very short term as captain, Sangakkara carried out his duties with distinction and a constant smile, maintaining an impressive aggregate victory percentage of 54.3. Unfortunately, Sangakkara is sometimes disregarded, due to his relatively brief tenure as a captain, which hinders a more thorough understanding of his significant leadership accomplishments on the cricket field.

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7. Brendon McCullum 

Brendon McCullum is widely praised for his audacious and courageous style of play. Brendon McCullum is particularly notable for having guided his side to an ODI World Cup Final in 2015. McCullum’s value as a captain transcends the scoreboard, even in the face of a crushing loss to the Australians. Joy Bhattacharya praised him for being the first to address news conferences during the Kolkata Knight Riders’ difficult nine-game IPL losing streak, demonstrating his endurance as a leader. McCullum, affectionately referred to as “Baz,” established his image as a courageous and devoted leader by being prepared to walk through fire for his squad.

8. Aiden Markram

With his successful captaincy of the Under-19 squad in 2014, Aiden Markram is the first player from South Africa to have led a team to a World Cup triumph. Markram’s career had a rough beginning, but he is currently showing signs of improvement. When he was named the nation’s T20I captain in March 2023, it was more recognition of his leadership abilities. This choice was made soon after leading his team to win in the first-ever SA T20 league, where he was awarded Player of the Tournament in addition to leading them to victory. 

9. Hardik Pandya 

One of the most dynamic modern-day cricketers, Hardik Pandya has had a turbulent and contentious off-field life. Pandya was written off by some, but in the 2022 Indian Premier League, he made a glorious return, leading the newly formed Gujarat franchise to victory. Hardik had a calm demeanour the whole season, always smiling, even under trying circumstances. Pandya became known as Indian cricket’s new “captain cool” as a result of his cal: approach on the field. In addition to disproving doubters, Pandya’s leadership during the IPL tournament revealed a new side of himself and gave his cricket career a dose of resiliency and maturity.

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10. Rahul Dravid 

Rahul Dravid captained India’s ODI side for 79 matches throughout his tenure, winning 42 and losing 33, with an impressive win rate of 53.2%. Even though Rahul Dravid led in a lot fewer games, his victory percentage still exceeded that of Saurav Ganguly. Dravid’s impact went beyond the numbers. The team’s mentality saw a noticeable change under his leadership, especially when it came to chasing totals—an area in which India had historically underperformed. Although Dravid’s influence is sometimes underestimated, his guidance was crucial in moulding the future of Indian cricket. Dravid broke down barriers by winning Test matches abroad in addition to revolutionizing the team’s limited-overs strategy. Despite his retirement, Dravid continues to be the embodiment of humility, putting the team’s success ahead of his accolades, which makes his leadership legacy very noteworthy.