Is Azharuddin the Best ODI Captain in India Lanka Rivalry!

Mahendra-Singh-Dhoni

In the 136 ODIs played between them, India and Sri Lankan team have been led by 24 captains. Only 4 of them, 2 for both, have captained in more than 25 ODIs. Ranatunga and Mahela accompany Dhoni and Azharuddin in the special category. Interestingly, Indian captains, except Tendulkar, have overall better record against the Sri Lankan counterparts. Azhar, Kapil and Dhoni are the top contender for the best captain in the ODI bilateral series against Sri Lanka.

Data captured before the start of India-SL ODI series, 2012
Ind vs SL ODI History
India in Sri Lanka 2012 Series Fixture and Results

Indian team has seen 14 captains, while Sri Lankan team has provided 10 captains. Venkataraghvan for India and Warnapura for Sri Lanka were the captains in their first match. Warnapura also led the Sri Lankan team in their first ODI series against India, which was captained by Kapil Dev.

Captains in Maximum Matches
Legendary Sri Lankan captain Arjuna Ranatunga has led in 43 matches, the maximum by any captain from both teams. Dhoni is on second place with 34 matches. Azharuddin with 29 and Mahela Jayawardene with 27 matches are next in numbers.

Most Successful by Impact
12 of these have captained in less than 5 matches each. 8 of them have captained in 10-25 ODIs. Only 4 of them has crossed 25 matches in captainin their team. Considering the statistics of captains with more than 10 matches, Kapil Dev has the maximum impact.

In 13 matches, he won 10 and lost only 2. His success rate of 83.33 is way ahead. Sehwag with 75% success rate comes close to him. But, he has captained only in 4 ODIs.

Only Jayasuriya has 50% record against India. With his batting and bowling he also had the maximum impact against India as a captain.

Top 5 Performers

    Kapil 83.33%
    Azharuddin 62.96%
    Dhoni 60.93%
    Dravid 57.14%
    Jayasuriya 50%

Most Successful by Number of Wins
Despite captaining in record 43 ODIs, Ranatunga could win only 19 matches, the same number which Dhoni achieved in 34 ODIs.
Note: Winning the first ODI of the series has made Dhoni the most successful captain in terms of number of wins.

Maximum Wins

    19 each Dhoni (34 matches) and Ranatunga (43 matches)
    17 Azharuddin in 29 matches
    10 Kapil Dev in 13 matches
    8 each Mahela (27 matches) and Dravid (16 matches)
    7 each Jayasuriya and Sangakkara in 16 matches each
    6 each Ganguly (16) and Atapattu (13)

Maximum Losses
Under Mahela, Sri Lanka has lost the maximum matches, while Tendulkar has the worst record as captain for India in terms of success rate. The top four captains in terms of number also share the top spot for losers, as they have captained in more than 25 matches.

The two stalwarts of both countries Dilip Mendis and Sachin Tendulkar has been the worst captains in the bilateral series.

Maxium Losses

    21 Ranatunga (43 matches)
    15 Mahela Jayawardene (27 matches)
    12 Dhoni (34 matches)
    10 Azharuddin (29 matches)
    9 Tendulkar (13 matches with 2 wins)
    8 Dilip Mendis (11 matches), Ganguly and Sangakkara in 16 matches each
    7 each by Jayasuriya (16 matches) and Atapattu (13 matches)

Who is the Best!!
Azharuddin with 17 wins in only 29 matches lays the claim. But he neither is most impactful nor has maximum wins to show. While Kapil’s 10 win in 13 matches has the maximum impact, Dhoni is certainly the best captain with 19 wins in 34 matches.

For Sri Lanka although their legendary captain Ranatunga holds the record for captaining in maximum matches, the legendary allrounder Jayasuirya with maximum impact is the best captain.

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