In recent years, captaincy has become more of a project-based appointment. These projects are usually defined by considering the subsequent ICC tournaments. However, we have also been witness to instances wherein teams have changed their captains frequently. This alone gives an idea as to the current situation of the unit. In this article, we take a look at five teams with the most captains since 2017 in ODI cricket.
5) West Indies – 4
Kieron Pollard, Jason Holder, Jason Mohammed, and Rovman Powell
Probably very few countries have seen talent go down the drain due to conflicts with the board. That said, things are returning to normal now and there is positivity in the West Indies group.
West Indies have had four captains since 2017. In 2015, Jason Holder became the youngest ever captain of his nation. He held the position until 2019. Since then, Kieron Pollard has been the ODI captain for West Indies. Jason Mohammed and Rovman Powell had short captaincy stints against Bangladesh, in 2020 and 2018 respectively.
4) Pakistan – 6
Shoaib Malik, Azhar Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Mohammad Hafeez, Imad Wasim, and Babar Azam
Pakistan has won 33 games out of the 70 encounters that they have been part of since 2017. During this period, they hit the peak point of this era when they defeated India to lift the Champions Trophy in 2017. Yet, the subcontinent giant has had six captaincy changes since then.
After Misbah-ul-Haq stepped down, it was Azhar Ali who became the ODI captain of Pakistan. However, prior to the Champions Trophy in 2017, Sarfaraz Ahmed took over the reins, who also led the team in the 2019 World Cup. While Hafeez became the skipper when Azhar Ali was injured in 2017, Shoaib Malik returned to the captaincy in 2019 when Sarfaraz was banned due to racist comments. However, Malik himself got injured in this series and Imad Wasim became the captain. That said, since then, Pakistan has been consistent on this front with Babar Azam at the helm.
3) Zimbabwe – 6
Hamilton Masakadza, Brendan Taylor, Graeme Cremer, Peter Moor, Chamu Chibhabha, and Sean Williams
Zimbabwe’s situation has been grim in recent years. A team that was consistently defeating teams like India back then, they failed to even qualify for the 2019 World Cup. Issues regarding the board have been one of the primary reasons behind this slump.
With six different captains, the African team finds mention in this list of teams with the most captains since 2017 in ODI cricket. Experienced cricketers like Brendan Taylor and Hamilton Masakadza have held the role, apart from Graeme Cremer who captained for 35 games.
2) South Africa – 6
AB de Villiers, Faf du Plessis, Aiden Markram, Quinton de Kock, JP Duminy, and Temba Bavuma
Although South Africa has been decent on the field since 2017, they still feature in this list of teams with the most captains since 2017 in ODI cricket. The Proteas have had six different captains in the last four years.
AB de Villiers led South Africa for 16 ODI games in 2017, including at the Champions Trophy in England. After he stepped down from the role, the baton went to Faf du Plessis. When Faf was in reign, Aiden Markram and JP Duminy got chances to lead the squad when Faf was ruled out due to injuries. After Faf’s tenure ended, Quinton de Kock became the captain of the squad, and recently, Temba Bavuma has replaced QDK as the skipper of the unit.
1) Sri Lanka – 10
Angelo Mathews, Dinesh Chandimal, Lahiru Thirimanne, Upul Tharanga, Chamara Kapugedra, Lasith Malinga, Thisara Perera, Dimuth Karunaratne, Kusal Perera and Dasun Shanaka
Out of the 79 ODI games since 2017, Sri Lanka has managed to win only 22 of them. The losses have also come against lesser established cricketing countries like Afghanistan, Zimbabwe and Bangladesh. It can be pointed that one of the reasons for this dismal performance has been the frequent change in leadership.
The 1996 World Cup winners have had as many as ten captains since 2017. While the primary cause for these changes is the results on the field, some other factors have been related to contract issues with the board, as well. The likes of Angelo Mathews, Lasith Malinga and Thisara have all captained during this period. Even experienced players, Malinga failed at their job with zero per cent win in nine encounters. The team is currently being led by Dasun Shanaka.