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The most successful Test captains of all-time

Last updated on: January 29, 2013 17:03 IST

The most successful Test captains of all-time

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Rajneesh Gupta

As Graeme Smith sets out to become the first player to lead in 100 Test matches, Rajneesh Gupta figures out the most successful captains of all-time.

Graeme Smith will become the first player to captain a side in 100 Test matches when South Africa take on Pakistan in the first Test at Johannesburg.

Smith made his captaincy debut for South Africa at the age of 22 years 82 days. Only the Nawab Pataudi had led a Test side at a younger age at that time.

Who is your best captain? Tell us

Since then, Smith has played a very important role in South Africa's remarkable success in the longer version of the game, taking them to the No 1 position in the ICC Test rankings. And all this while not letting the captaincy burden affect his batting.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

99

47

26

26

0

47.47

1.81

at home

45

25

13

7

0

55.55

1.92

abroad

54

22

13

19

0

40.74

1.69

Note: Smith's tally includes one Test in which he captained ICC World XI against Australia


Image: Graeme Smith
Photographs: Cameron Spencer/Getty Images

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Allan Border

When he took over the captaincy reins from Kim Hughes, the Australian team was in tatters. It was Border who transformed the side into a world-class side.

- Who is your best captain? Tell us

Border captained Australia in 93 Tests at a stretch - a record that still stands and is highly unlikely to be broken anytime soon.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

93

32

22

38

1

34.41

1.45

at home

51

19

11

21

0

37.25

1.73

abroad

42

13

11

17

1

30.95

1.18


Image: Allan Border
Photographs: Ben Radford/Allsport

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Stephen Fleming

Figures don't really show how shrewd was Fleming as a captain. The lack of resources at his disposal did not allow Fleming to go for the kill as he would have liked at times.

His man-management along with his ability to perform under pressure earned him the respect from fellow-teammates and opponents.

- Who is your best captain? Tell us

Shane Warne praised him as the best captain in world cricket and Graeme Swann recently said that Fleming was one of the two best captains he has ever seen.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

80

28

27

25

0

35.00

1.04

at home

38

18

11

9

0

47.37

1.64

abroad

42

10

16

16

0

23.81

0.63


Image: Stephen Fleming
Photographs: Phil Walter/Getty Images

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Ricky Ponting

The Australian side under Ponting changed the way Test cricket is played. It was Ponting who made winning a mantra for his side. Whatever be the circumstances, his side always played for a win.

- Who is your best captain? Tell us

Between 2005 and 2008 a Ponting-led Australia won 16 Tests on the trot - longest winning sequence for any captain in Test cricket.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

77

48

16

13

0

62.34

3.00

at home

39

29

5

5

0

74.36

5.80

abroad

38

19

11

8

0

50.00

1.73


Image: Ricky Ponting
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Getty Images
Tags: Australia

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Clive Llyod

No other team in cricket history dominated as completely as the West Indies under Lloyd did. There was an aura around this team that would just intimidate the opponents.

Though some critics argue that his only role was to rotate his bowlers, it was Lloyd who managed to unite individuals from the disparate nations of the Caribbean into a harmonious team.

- Who is your best captain? Tell us

Such was the dominance of this side that they played a record 27 Tests without defeat between 1982 and 1984. Between March and November 1984, they won a then-record 11 Tests in a row including England's 5-0 whitewash in England -- the first and only 5-0 whitewash by a touring side.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

74

36

12

26

0

48.65

3.00

at home

24

13

2

9

0

54.17

6.50

abroad

50

23

10

17

0

46.00

2.30


Image: Clive Llyod
Photographs: Adrian Murrell/Allsport

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Steve Waugh

The Australian team was going through a transition when Steve Waugh took over the reins from Mark Taylor. Waugh was lucky to inherit some excellent cricketers from Taylor and find several more emerging ones.

- Who is your best captain? Tell us

It was to Waugh's credit that he recognised their talent and propelled them to ever higher levels of achievement. This Australian team set a few benchmarks for themselves. Trying to win every match was a given.

Scoring 300 runs in a day soon became a norm. This Australian side just brushed aside opponents. Between 1999 and 2001 they won 16 Tests in a row, before coming across a strong Indian side.

Captaincy record:

 

Mts

Won

Lost

Drawn

Tied

Win%

W/L

Overall

57

41

9

7

0

71.93

4.56

at home

29

22

2

5

0

75.86

11.00

Abroad

28

19

7

2

0

67.86

2.71


Image: Steve Waugh
Photographs: Hamish Blair/Allsport

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