Most of the cricketers when they start playing the sport one of their main dreams is to captain the country. Everybody’s dream can’t be fulfilled but some of those guys get the next best opportunity which is captaining an IPL side. Even though IPL is a domestic tournament the standard is as high as the international level. The best players come to play in the IPL and to captain, the best players is always a huge opportunity.
Not many players get the opportunity to captain an IPL side, but few players have got it at a very young age. There are players who have captained their IPL sides in the early 20s which is great for the game. Captaincy helps a player to mature, and it is better if he can do that at such a young age. So, let’s have a look at the five youngest captains in the history of the IPL.
5. Rishabh Pant – 23 years & 144 days
The Indian wicket-keeper batsman – Rishabh Pant who has been in stellar form in the last four months was appointed as the captain of the Delhi Capitals franchise ahead of IPL 2021. Shreyas Iyer who was their skipper for the last couple of seasons injured himself during the ODI series against England and was ruled out of the IPL.
It will be the first time Pant will lead an IPL side even though he has led the Delhi Ranji team. It will be a challenge for the youngster to captain the likes of Shikhar Dhawan, R Ashwin, Ajinkya Rahane, and Steve Smith. Pant will be the fifth-youngest captain in the history of the IPL when he takes the field against CSK on 10th April.
4. Shreyas Iyer – 23 years & 141 days
Shreyas Iyer who was supposed to captain Delhi Capitals this season is fourth on the list as he became the captain of an IPL franchise just a few days before Rishabh Pant. In IPL 2018, Gautam Gambhir was the captain of Delhi Capitals but midway through the season he stepped down and the DC management had no other option but to give it to Shreyas.
Iyer turned out to be a great option as he has been brilliant for Delhi Capitals in the last two seasons. Under his captaincy, DC reached the playoffs for the first time in six years in 2019, and in IPL 2020 they ended the season as the runners-up. DC would miss the services of their skipper for the upcoming IPL season.
3. Suresh Raina – 23 years & 112 days
Suresh Raina who has been an integral part of the Chennai Super Kings set up has been the third youngest captain in the history of the IPL. Raina was asked to captain CSK in IPL 2010 in the absence of MS Dhoni.
Raina has led CSK in five games, but his main job as captain was with Gujarat Lions. Under his captaincy, Gujarat Lions reached the playoffs in their first season in IPL 2016. Raina missed the last season of the IPL and will be back this season for CSK.
2. Steve Smith – 22 years & 344 days
Steve Smith who was one of the contenders for the Delhi Capitals captain’s role is the second-youngest player to have captained an IPL franchise. He is the only overseas player in this whole list.
Smith got the captaincy role at Pune Warriors India where he captained in just one game which they lost. He, later on, captained Rajasthan Royals and Rising Pune Supergiant in his IPL career. Smith is part of the DC squad for the upcoming IPL season.
1. Virat Kohli – 22 years & 187 days
The Indian captain has been the youngest captain in the history of the IPL at the age of 22 years and 187 days. Royal Challengers Bangalore retained only Virat Kohli before the 2011 Mega Auction and even though he didn’t get the captaincy in 2011, he was the captain from 2012.
Virat Kohli has led RCB since 2012 in 125 matches, and he has a win percentage of 45.60%. RCB hasn’t won the trophy under his captaincy, and they will be aiming to lift the trophy for the first time in IPL 2021.