The job of a captain is not only to captain the side but he also has to do his job perfectly as a player. If he is a premier batsman of the team then he has to score runs at crucial junctures of the game. The captains have to lead from the front in the whole tournament and especially in the must-win or knock-out games. There are a few captains who have managed to score big in the Final, some of them have ended up on the winning side and some have ended up on the losing side. So, let’s have a look at the six captains who have scored fifties in an IPL Final.
6. Steve Smith – 51 for RPS in 2017
Rising Pune Supergiant was playing their second IPL season and they were in the Final against Mumbai Indians. RPS needed only 130 to win the game and Steve Smith came out to bat at No.3. For most of the innings, he was batting at less than a run a ball and he tried to cover up later as he scored 51 off 50 balls. He got out when his team needed 7 off 4 balls and RPS couldn’t score that once he got out. Unfortunately, Smith ended on the losing side and MI won the Final.
5. Virat Kohli – 54 for RCB in 2016
Royal Challengers Bangalore was playing their third IPL Final and SRH had put up this mammoth total of 208/7 on the board. Chasing 209, RCB got off to a flyer with Chris Gayle smashing the bowlers and Virat Kohli playing the anchor role. Kohli brought up his seventh fifty of that season which already had four centuries. Kohli got out on 54 and RCB’s batting just collapsed from there which meant they couldn’t win the game.
4. David Warner – 69 for SRH in 2016
In the same Final, batting first, David Warner scored 69 off just 38 balls with eight fours and three sixes to his name. He took on the RCB bowlers from the word go which helped them get off to a good start. It was a great attacking innings which put pressure on RCB. Warner’s innings and Cutting’s cameo helped them reach 208 which was enough in the Final to lift the trophy.
3. MS Dhoni – 63* for CSK in 2013
Chennai Super Kings and Mumbai Indians were facing for the second time in the Final. MI batted first and somehow got to 148/8 in their 20 overs. It seemed as if it would be an easy chase for CSK but they were in trouble at 39-6. MS Dhoni was at the crease and he scored an unbeaten 63 off 45 balls but got no support from the other batsmen. CSK lost the game by 23 runs and MS Dhoni’s effort went in vain.
2. Shreyas Iyer – 65* for DC in 2020
Shreyas Iyer became the youngest captain to score a half-century in the IPL Final against Mumbai Indians. He came at a difficult time when DC was struggling at 16-2. He made a partnership with Rishabh Pant and was at the crease till the end as he remained not out on 65 off 50 balls. Unfortunately, DC could only score 156 which was not enough against a strong MI batting line-up.
1. Rohit Sharma – 50 & 68 for MI in 2015 and 2020
Rohit Sharma is the only captain to score half-centuries in two different Finals. Sharma played his first IPL Final as captain in 2013 but it was in 2015 when he scored a half-century against CSK. He just went after the bowlers right from the start as he scored a 50 off just 26 balls with six fours and two sixes. MI crossed 200 and won that game easily. In 2020, while chasing a modest total of 157, Rohit Sharma played a captain’s knock as he scored 68 off just 51 balls which just sealed the deal for MI and as a result, they won their fifth IPL title.