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Who Will Lead Their Teams to Glory?

March 22, 2024 14:59 IST

IPL 2024 captains

IPL 2024 is here, and a fresh wave of leadership is set to take charge.

From familiar faces to surprising picks, each team has entrusted a captain to steer them towards glory.

From seasoned veterans to emerging talents, each captain brings a unique blend of leadership, skill, and ambition to the field.

The Mumbai Indians enter a new chapter with the aggressive Hardik Pandya at the helm, while the Chennai Super Kings hand the reins to their young prodigy, Ruturaj Gaikwad.

Rishabh Pant makes a triumphant return to lead the Delhi Capitals, while Shubman Gill steps up as the young gun for Gujarat Titans.


Let's meet the captains who are ready to leave their mark on T20 cricket's biggest stage.

Mumbai Indians Set Sail Under Hardik

Hardik Pandya

Replacing the highly successful Rohit Sharma, who led MI to five IPL titles, Hardik Pandya's captaincy has sparked strong reactions amongst the franchise's fans.

The charismatic all-rounder returns to his former team after a two-season stint with the Gujarat Titans. His aggressive style and leadership qualities are seen as crucial for reviving the former champions who had a disappointing IPL 2022 and 2023.

Can Pandya lead MI to new heights, or will Rohit's absence leave a leadership void?

CSK Shakes Up Leadership

Ruturaj Gaikwad

A day before their IPL opener, the Chennai Super Kings named rising star Ruturaj Gaikwad as their new captain, succeeding the legendary M S Dhoni.

Gaikwad, a young talent with experience playing for India, joined CSK in 2020. He has quickly become a vital cog in the team's batting line-up, amassing 52 IPL appearances. Last season, he showcased his brilliance by scoring 590 runs at a blistering strike rate of 147.50 across 16 games.

With Dhoni expected to call it a career this season, this strategic move allows for a smooth transition in leadership while Dhoni remains a valuable player for CSK. All eyes now turn to Gaikwad as he leads the team into a new era, building upon the legacy established by Dhoni.

Pant Powers Up for Captaincy Return

Rishabh Pant

Rishabh Pant is back, and he's ready to roar! The explosive wicketkeeper-batsman returns to lead the Delhi Capitals after a remarkable 14-month recovery from a serious car accident.

The fearless leader will electrify the team with his signature brand of aggressive batting and infectious energy.

Pant hasn't played competitively since December 2022, but his absence only fueled his determination. Over the past year, he dedicated himself to a grueling rehab process, documented on social media for fans. After months of training at the National Cricket Academy in Bengaluru, Pant is back wielding the willow and donning the gloves.

In 2023, the Delhi Capitals, led by David Warner, struggled. They finished near the bottom of the IPL standings, winning only 5 out of 14 matches. The return of their inspirational captain brings renewed hope for thecoming season.

Young Gun Gill Takes Aim at Gujarat Titans Captaincy

Shubman Gill

Shubman Gill steps up to the plate as Gujarat Titans's new captain following Hardik Pandya's MI move. The 24-year-old prodigy will be tested, aiming to maintain the team's championship calibre.

Gill, with limited captaincy experience (twice for Punjab in 2019), inherits a team missing key players like Pandya, Mohammed Shami, and a recovering Rashid Khan. These were all crucial members in Gujarat's 2022 title run and near-miss in 2023.

The 2023 season showcased Gill's adaptability. He can anchor innings or switch gears for rapid scoring, earning him the Orange Cap and a career-best strike rate of 158. This form has translated to the national team, with consistent runs in limited-overs formats and blossoming success in Tests.

Gill's batting prowess is undeniable, especially at Ahmedabad. His 669 IPL runs there dwarf any other player's tally. Two of his three IPL centuries came on this ground, boasting a phenomenal strike rate of 159.

Now, he faces a new challenge -- captaincy. His ability to translate his talent into team success will define his Gujarat Titans legacy.

Iyer Aims for KKR Glory as Captain Returns

Shreyas Iyer

Shreyas Iyer is back at the helm for the Kolkata Knight Riders, seeking to recapture the magic of their 2021 final run. His calm leadership and aggressive batting will be vital for KKR's title aspirations.

After a 2023 injury layoff, Iyer returns with a point to prove. Partnered with experienced team mentor Gautam Gambhir (who led KKR to its two IPL titles), the Knights are poised for a strong comeback.

Iyer's experience (101 IPL matches, 2,776 runs) will be crucial. His ability to anchor the innings and inspire on the field will be key during challenging moments. His recent 95 run knock in the Ranji Trophy final win for Mumbai showcases his in-form batting.

Excluded from the BCCI central contracts and criticised for missing matches, Iyer will be eager to silence critics with a stellar IPL performance. He looks to solidify his captaincy and, alongside Gambhir, guide KKR to their first title in a decade.

Rahul Leads LSG Charge for Title Shot

KL Rahul

K L Rahul, the stylish batter, returns to lead the Lucknow Super Giants in their quest for a maiden IPL title. His experience and big-hitting ability will be crucial for the young team, aiming to break their Eliminator jinx.

Despite missing the recent Test series due to injury, Rahul has been declared fit for the IPL. While initially focusing solely on batting due to recovery, his return bolsters the team's batting firepower.

LSG has reached the IPL 2022 and IPL 2023 playoffs, but fell short in the Eliminator.

Dhawan Aims to Lead Punjab Kings to Promised Land

Shikhar Dhawan

Shikhar Dhawan steps up as captain, determined to deliver Punjab Kings their first IPL title. His consistent opening and leadership qualities are key to their playoff push.

Punjab Kings enter the new season with renewed optimism under Dhawan's leadership.

At 38, Dhawan isn't just a seasoned opener, but also the driving force behind PBKS' success. Appointed captain in 2023 alongside Coach Trevor Bayliss, his leadership role is crucial. His focus on fitness and gameplay showcases a dedication to inspire his team through performance and determination.

A significant shift sees their home ground move to the brand new Maharaja Yadavindra Singh Stadium in Mullanpur.

Dhawan hopes the new venue brings a change in fortune, aiming to end their 16-year title drought. His positive outlook extends to the team's mentality, while acknowledging the support of their previous home, the Mohali stadium.

The franchise, known for underachieving, seeks to rewrite their narrative in 2024. With a new leader, a fresh playing field, and a positive mindset, can Dhawan finally guide them to the coveted IPL trophy?

Sanju Samson: Leading the Royals with Firepower and Flair

Sanju Samson

Rajasthan Royals' fiery wicketkeeper-batsman, Sanju Samson, charges into IPL 2024 as captain, aiming to leave his mark.

His explosive batting and charismatic leadership inspire his team to chase victory. With 45 matches under his captaincy, Samson sets his sights on surpassing Shane Warne's record of 31 wins for the Royals.

This season, Samson unveils a more aggressive approach. 'I want to create my own style,' he declares, emphasising his desire to dominate from the first ball.

This shift reflects his determination to stand out in India's competitive cricket landscape. 'A player from Kerala needs to do something special,' he acknowledges, showcasing his unwavering ambition.

Samson's relentless pursuit of excellence is evident in his development of powerful strokes, honed through dedication and unwavering support.

His drive to push boundaries fuels his desire to be spectacular. 'I'm never satisfied,' he asserts, embodying his boundless passion for the game.

Sanju Samson is poised to write his own chapter in Rajasthan Royals' history, leading them with both firepower and flair.

Royal Challengers Bengaluru: A New Chapter Begins

Faf du Plessis

Royal Challengers Bangalore is officially Royal Challengers Bengaluru! The team unveiled a new name and logo, aiming to deepen its connection with the city's passionate fans. Virat Kohli marked the occasion with a bang, declaring 'Idhu RCB ya hosa adhyaya' (This is the beginning of a new chapter for RCB).

Captains Faf du Plessis and Smriti Mandhana, alongside Kohli, presented the new red and blue jersey with gold accents, replacing the previous red, black, and gold combination.

The reveal coincided with a big win for the RCB women's team, who clinched the WPL trophy. Kohli congratulated the women's side, hoping the men's team can 'double it up with the trophies.'

Faf du Plessis, returning to Bengaluru 10 days ahead of the opener, echoes his 2022 captaincy announcement. The experienced leader, shaped by his time under Dhoni and Coach Stephen Fleming at CSK, brings calmness and a winning mentality to RCB.

While RCB finished 6th in IPL 2023, Faf's leadership and impressive 730 runs in 14 matches offer promise for the new season.

With a fresh look, strong leadership, and a renewed spirit, Royal Challengers Bengaluru is poised for an exciting new chapter.

Sunrisers Gamble on Cummins' Leadership Spark

Pat Cummins

Sunrisers Hyderabad have appointed Pat Cummins, the world's No. 1 Test bowler, as their IPL 2024 captain. This aggressive leader brings not only his bowling prowess but also his championship pedigree from Test and ODI wins with Australia.

Cummins' leadership is untested in T20 leagues, but SRH hopes his success in other formats translates in the IPL. He replaces Aiden Markram, who led the Sunrisers East Cape to back-to-back SA20 titles, but couldn't replicate that success in IPL 2023.

His all-round ability is undeniable -- 379 runs with a strike rate of over 150 and 45 wickets at a miserly economy rate.

The leadership changes extend beyond the captaincy. SRH also has a new head coach in Daniel Vettori.