5 Failed captaincy changes in IPL

A captain is very important for any team sport. The captain is supposed to lead the team to success. Over the years, there have been phenomenal captains in cricket. MS Dhoni, widely considered as arguably the greatest captain ever, still plays for and leads the Chennai Super Kings. However not many are cut form the same cloth and fail as captains. There have been many failed captaincy changes in the IPL.

Today, we will take a look at 5 unsuccessful captaincy changed in IPL history. Without further ado, let’s dig in…

#1. Cameron White

Cameron White became the captain of Deccan Chargers in the 2012 season of the IPL. He was handed the mantle after Kumar Sangakkara decided to step down after the team’s poor performance. White was entrusted with the job to turn things around for the struggling team. However things didn’t improve for Deccan chargers, as they won only two more matches from their next nine games. Deccan Chargers finished second last in the points table that year.


White was stripped of the captaincy the following year, and Shikhar Dhawan was appointed as the skipper in his place.

#2. Eoin Morgan

Eoin Morgan has had a terrible run as the captain of Kolkata Knight Riders. After he was handed the captaincy after Dinesh Karthik got injured mid-season, big things were expected of the English skipper. However it was not to be, as KKR has only struggled since. In this season alone, KKR has played 7 matches and lost 5 of them. Questions over the ability of Morgan are being raised. While the IPL is yet to finish, KKR have a long way to go. Till then, we can classify this as one of the 5 failed captaincy changes in IPL.

#3. Ravichandran Ashwin

Ravichandran Ashwin was bought by Kings XI Punjab in 2018, and was later named as the captain of the team. Expectations were high, as Ashwin was a senior player who had some captaincy experience. But Ashwin couldn’t meet those expectations. Punjab slumped to the second last position in the points table. Under Ashwin, KXIP won only 6 out of their 14 matches. Thus in the following season, Punjab handed over the captaincy to KL Rahul.


#4. Steve Smith

Steve Smith was already Rajasthan Royals’ captain when he got caught in the ball-tampering scandal. He had to step down and hand over the captaincy to Ajinkya Rahane. While Rahane had a phenomenal time leading the side to the playoffs, the following year was tough. Smith was handed back the reins of Rajasthan Royals in the 2019 season after a dismal showing that year.

But the return of Steve Smith as the skipper did little to uplift Rajasthan’s woes. Rajasthan Royals failed the following year and languished at the bottom of the table. From making it to the playoffs to in 2018 to the bottom of the points table in 2020 was quite the fall for RR. Thus Steve Smith was released by RR in 2021.

#5. Shikhar Dhawan

After Deccan Chargers’ abysmal showing in 2013, a rebranded Sunrisers Hyderabad appointed Shikhar Dhawan as their captain. Dhawan had a mediocre run as a captain for SRH. He had an average of just 29, and scored 377 runs in the season as captain. Under Dhawan’s leadership, SRH managed to get placed at 6th position in the points table.


Out of the 14 matches that they played, Sunrisers Hyderabad managed to win only 6 matches and a net run rate of -0.399. While this may have been a better performance than the previous year, it was still an abysmal performance given the talent in the team.

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