Mahendra Singh Dhoni stands tall among the nine captains in the IPL-6. He has led the Chennai Super Kings successfully two times in five outings. It is an enviable record. Among the captains who will lead in this edition are Gautam Gambhir (Kolkata Knight Riders), Mahela Jayawaradene (DelhiDaredevils), Adam Gilchrist (Kings XI, Punjab), Ricky Ponting (Mumbai Indians), Rahul Dravid (Rajasthan Royals), Virat
Kohli (Royal Challengers, Bangalore) and Kumar Sangakkara (Sunrisers). Although Michael Clarke was named to lead the Pune Warriors, the Australian skipper withdrew because of back injury and a new captain will be announced.
Chennai Super Kings is the only team which has persisted with Dhoni as he had been successfully delivering the goods. Under his leadership, CSK have lost the title only twice. The other teams have changed their captains ever since the IPL came into inception. Adam Gilchrist and Gambhir are the other two successful captains in guiding the now defunct Deccan Chargers and Kolkata Knight Riders to title triumphs.
The captains, who are leading the franchise, have wealth of experience. Of the lot, it will be for the first time that Ponting, who was with Kolkata Knight Riders in the previous editions, will lead a franchise in the IPL.
For Dhoni, he comes after leading India to a 4-0 ‘Brownwash’ of Australia. Dhoni has grown in stature when compared to last year when he was on a slippery ground with India losing the series 0-4 Down Under. He could not even defend the title as CSK lost to KKR in the final at Chennai. But Dhoni is on a high this year and it could be another edition of success.
Gambhir has a few things to prove. Having lost his place in the Indian team because of poor form, the left-handed opener has a chance to prove his mettle.
Gilchrist led the Chargers for two years and then moved to Kings XI. The former Aussie wicketkeeper will do the dual role as mentor and captain for his team. Gilchrist at 41 will be one of the old warriors in IPL.
Ponting will be the second Australian to lead a team in IPL. The former Aussie captain, who retired from international cricket last year, was roped in by Mumbai Indians. A fiercely competitive player, Ponting could bring aggressive style of play to the Mumbai Indian team.
Dravid like Gilchrist and Ponting has retired from international cricket but has played as captain for the Rajasthan Royals. He was impressive both as captain and as a player for the team last year.
Virat Kohli is the youngest captain in the IPL-6. The Royal Challengers have entrusted the captaincy to Kohli after New Zealand’s Daniel Vettori had led in the previous two editions.
Jayawardene and Sangakkara are the two Sri Lankans who have been given the charge of two contrasting teams. Jayawaradene played for Kings XI and the defunct Kochi Tuskers before moving over to the Delhi team.
Under a new franchise in Sunrisers, Sangakkara is hoping for a much better performance after his team finished last in the previous edition.