IPL 2022: How the 10 skippers have fared so far this season

NEW DELHI: They say a captain is only as good as his or her team. But as the leader, it’s up to the skipper to lead from the front. So how have the 10 captains of the 10 IPL teams been doing in season 15 so far in terms of their individual performances?

Remember we have quite a few first time captains. While some of the captains of the 10 franchises have been outperforming on individual levels, and that has reflected in their teams’ overall performances as well, there are a few skippers who have not lived up to their reputations and that has in turn played a role in the downfall of their sides. With the inclusion of two new franchises, the IPL this year has become more competitive than ever before and with each passing match, the race for a top four finish is intensifying.

With the business end of the tournament now in progress, TimesofIndia.com here takes a look at the individual performances of the captains, their win-loss records, the roles they have played as skippers and more so far in IPL 2022:

((All numbers reflected in this article are till after Match 58 on May 11 between the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals))

Hardik Pandya (Gujarat Titans

)One of the alleged ‘villains’ of India’s disastrous T20 World Cup campaign last year, Hardik Pandya was under the radar and faced some sharp criticism in the last few months. Apart from his steadily declining batting prowess, his inability to bowl due to fitness issues became a major factor in him receiving flak from cricketing pundits. But the 28-year-old has bounced back with a bang in this year’s IPL.

Since October last year, Hardik has been rigorously working on his fitness and he has come out all guns blazing this IPL season. Captaining a new franchise — the Gujarat Titans — Hardik has impressed everyone with his leadership skills too, with the debutant side currently sitting at the top of the points table with a staggering 9 wins in 12 matches.

The Titans, on May 10 also officially became the first team to qualify for the play-offs after they crushed Lucknow Super Giants by 62 runs. One of the big reasons for Titans’ blockbuster performance has been Hardik himself, who has been leading by example. With 344 runs in 11 matches, Hardik is currently the ninth highest run-getter in the competition this season and is averaging over 38, with a strike rate of 131.80. Relishing his new batting position up the order (No.4 and No.3), Hardik the batsman seems to be blooming along with Hardik the captain.

Hardik indeed can be called the batting backbone of his side. He already has three fifties this season under his belt. On the bowling front, it’s really good to see Hardik bowling regularly. It’s also great news for the Indian cricket team, with the T20 World Cup coming up later this year.

Hardik so far has 4 wickets at an impressive economy rate of 7.58. But more than anything else, the most pleasing sight for the fans has been to see Hardik running in full throttle and bowling at around the 140 kph mark, showing that he is fully fit and perhaps ready to break back into the Indian team as a first choice all-rounder.

Hardik Pandya in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 11; Runs: 344; Average: 38.22; SR: 131.80; Fifties: 3; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 36 Sixes: 8; Wickets: 4; Econ: 7.58

Rohit Sharma (Mumbai Indians)

In the midst of an entirely forgettable season, Mumbai Indians last week became the first team to officially bow out of the play-offs race and have anchored themselves at the bottom of the table. The five-time champions have produced horrible performances as they have now lost a record 9 out of their 11 matches that also include 8 straight defeats at the start of the season.

We are almost at the end of the league phase of the tournament and the most successful IPL franchise of all time has only a handful of 2 wins to their name this season. The team as a whole has played some irresponsible cricket and the underperformance of their skipper Rohit Sharma can be pointed out as one of the biggest reasons for their abysmal performance.

With scores of 41, 10, 3, 26, 28, 6, 0, 39, 2, 43 and 2 Rohit has so far scored a mere 200 runs in 11 matches and that has negatively affected the side. With no big partnerships at the top between Rohit and Ishan Kishan, Mumbai has been left to play a lonely catch-up game this year. And along with low scores, Rohit’s strike rate of just 125.00 too has been a major concern.

Mumbai have looked completely out of sorts and so has their skipper Rohit. With the playoffs hopes already over for this year, Mumbai and Rohit will now look to salvage some pride and can only aim to play party spoilers for some of the other teams in their remaining 3 games.

Rohit Sharma in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 11; Runs: 200; Average: 18.18; SR: 125.00; Fifties: 0; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 22; Sixes: 9

Sanju Samson (Rajasthan Royals)

A revamped Rajasthan Royals have been on a roll this season. Firing with both bat and ball, Rajasthan currently look like one of the hot favourites for the title and a complete package. Both the Orange and Purple caps are with Rajasthan players currently and that has been the case for a while now in season 15.

Jos Buttler is the leading run getter of the tournament (625 runs in 12 matches), while the Purple Cap sits on the head of Yuzvendra Chahal (23 wickets in 12 matches). And one of the major reasons for Rajasthan’s superb run so far has been the way their skipper Sanju Samson and the way he has led the side.

Cool as a cucumber, even in highly tense situations, Sanju has been the glue that has brought the team together. Although the wicketkeeper-batsman has not really been firing on all cylinders with the bat himself, he definitely has been compensating for it with his superb captaincy and keeping skills.

Even though the numbers aren’t really big for Sanju, he still has got 327 runs in 12 matches and has played a couple of scintillating knocks. When he gets going it’s very difficult for any team or bowler to stop him and that is reflected in his strike rate, which stands at 155.71 currently, with the skipper relishing his new role of finisher. Sanju has already smashed an incredible 21 sixes in IPL 2022. Rajasthan so far have 7 wins in 12 games and are placed third on the points table.

Sanju Samson in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 12; Runs: 327; Average: 29.73; SR: 155.71; Fifties: 2; Fours: 27; Sixes: 21

KL Rahul (Lucknow Super Giants)

Along with Rajasthan Royals’ Jos Buttler, KL Rahul is having a dream season this year with the bat. Over the last few seasons, the IPL is a tournament where Rahul has been in scorching form and this season is no different.

With a couple of hundreds and fifties already, Rahul has hit a purple patch again and is currently the second highest run-scorer in the competition with 459 runs in 12 matches. And Rahul’s solid performances have been reflecting in his captaincy as well as he has managed to keep his newly-formed franchise Lucknow in the top two of the standings for a while now.

The confidence of having runs under his belt is also visible in Rahul’s leadership as Lucknow have registered 8 wins in their 12 matches so far, have a total of 16 points and are on the verge of play-offs qualification. Although Rahul has been dismissed for three ducks this season as well, he has managed to bounce right back from those setbacks and has led his team from the front with some sensational batting performances.

In his 12 innings so far Rahul has scored — 0, 40, 68, 24, 0, 103*, 30, 103*, 6, 77, 0 and 8. The 30 year-old is currently averaging over 45 and has a strike rate of 140.36 in 8 matches. Rahul has also already hit 20 sixes in IPL 2022.

KL Rahul in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 12; Runs 459: Average: 45.90; SR:140.36; Fifties: 2; Hundreds: 2; Fours: 39; Sixes: 20

Faf du Plessis (Royal Challengers Bangalore)

Former South African skipper Faf du Plessis currently has one of the toughest jobs in the cricketing world. Captaining a side that has big names like Virat Kohli, Glenn Maxwell and Dinesh Karthik in it and one which is still searching for that elusive maiden IPL title. And so far, du Plessis has passed with flying colors when it comes to leading the side.

What has been great to watch is du Plessis the batsman not getting bogged down by the captaincy responsibilities. He has led by example thanks to some solid individual performances, which has also earned him the respect of his teammates. Du Plessis the batsman has been one of the biggest factors in RCB hovering around the top four of the points with the business end of the tournament in motion.

With 389 runs in 12 games, Du Plessis is currently the fourth highest run-getter so far this season (averaging 35.36) and has managed to lead his side from the front. With a strike rate of over 132 and a highest score of 96, the 37-year-old has been on song at the top of the order and has been an inspiration for his side.

Barring their match against the Sunrisers Hyderabad, where RCB collapsed to 68 all out, which can definitely be called an aberration, Du Plessis has been highly impressive both as a batter and a leader. Bangalore so far have 7 wins and 5 defeats in 12 matches.

Faf du Plessis in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 12; Runs 389: Average: 35.36; SR:132.36; Fours: 39; Sixes: 13

Shreyas Iyer (Kolkata Knight Riders)

Kolkata Knight Riders have had a roller coaster of a season so far. With a new captain in Shreyas Iyer, KKR have seemingly struggled with their combinations and are barely clinging on to their hopes of a play-offs qualification. With 5 wins and 7 defeats in 12 games, Kolkata have been one of the most inconsistent teams this season. New leader Shreyas too, like the team itself, has had a mixed season so far.

With scores of 20*, 13, 26, 10, 54, 28, 85, 12, 42, 34, 6 and 6, the 27-year-old has looked good on certain days, but has had problems with his consistency, which is also something the two-time champions are struggling with. There have been a few supernatural individual performances from KKR this season but their failure to come together as a unit has resulted in them producing average performances as a team.

Shreyas the batsman has scored 336 runs in 12 matches so far, at an average of just over 30 and a strike rate of 129.23, but he himself would be the first to admit that he has not been at his best yet and one big factor that seems to have contributed to that is the pressure he is facing with the likes of Nitish Rana, Ajinkya Rahane, Venkatesh Iyer and others not really stepping up to the plate as batsmen.

So far this season, Shreyas has scored two fifties. With now just 2 games to go in the league stage, the Shreyas-led side have got to pull up their socks if they are to end up in the top four in this highly intense battle for the playoffs.

Shreyas Iyer in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 12; Runs 336: Average: 30.55; SR:129.23; Fifties: 2; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 35; Sixes: 8

Mayank Agarwal (Punjab Kings)

Retaining just a couple of players before the auction, Punjab Kings focussed on completely revamping their side IPL 15 onwards and they managed to do so as well with some great buys and successfully building a new powerhouse unit. But as the season has progressed, the team, which is packed with power-hitters, has looked strong only on paper and are languishing at the bottom of the table alongside Mumbai Indians and Chennai Super Kings.

And one thing that has bogged them down a fair bit is the underperformance of their skipper Mayank Agarwal. Still looking to crack the code of being a successful batsman and captain, Mayank has not been upto the mark in either department. With the bat, Mayank only has 176 runs in 10 outings with an average of 19.56 and one fifty. He also missed out on a game for his side against Sunrisers Hyderabad with a toe injury.

The underconfidence in his batting is certainly affecting his leadership skills as well, as Punjab has managed to register just 5 wins in their 11 matches so far and are currently in 8th spot on the points table. There have been a few good individual batting and bowling performances from Punjab Kings but the team has not yet clicked as a unit.

With the race for top four heating up, it will be essential for Punjab that Mayank leads from the front with the bat and gets some runs at the top to give confidence to his side.

Mayank Agarwal in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 10; Runs 176: Average: 19.56; SR:127.53; Fifties: 1; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 20; Sixes: 6

MS Dhoni (Chennai Super Kings)

When MS Dhoni stepped down as the captain of Chennai Super Kings and passed on the baton to the most deserving candidate next in line, Ravindra Jadeja, the veteran would have never expected that he would be handed the reins back, right in the middle of the season. But such has been the curious case of Chennai that has forced Dhoni back at the helm.

An out of sorts Jadeja crumbled under the pressure of captaincy and gave the leadership mantle back to Dhoni. A rib injury has forced Jadeja to end his season and with that, Dhoni is all by himself and with the very difficult task of making his team qualify for the play-offs, who is currently languishing at the ninth spot. But all is not gloomy for Chennai and the most positive thing for them at the moment is that Dhoni has been on song with the bat this season.

The talisman has turned back the clock and has been flourishing with the bat and that will certainly help Dhoni — the skipper. To go with that, the openers in the last few matches have been outperforming and so has been the depleted bowling attack.

Dhoni himself has aggregated 163 runs in 11 matches and is playing the finisher role to perfection. Chennai are currently languishing at the bottom of the table currently but unlike Mumbai Indians they are not completely out of the race for the play-offs. Although their chances of qualifying are very slim, nothing less than a whole-hearted fight can be expected with Dhoni leading the side.

In the 11 matches played so far, Chennai have 4 wins and need to register outright victories in their remaining 3 games to stay alive in the contest. To go with that, they also have to depend on the results of the other teams if they are to get to the fourth spot by the end of the league stage.

MS Dhoni in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 11; Runs 163: Average: 32.60; SR: 139.31; Fifties: 1; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 16; Sixes: 7

Ravidra Jadeja in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 10; Runs: 116; Wickets: 5

Rishabh Pant (Delhi Capitals)

Delhi Capitals is another such franchise where their captain and the team have underperformed at the same time. While Rishabh Pant has got some runs under his belt, they have definitely not been upto the standards he has set for himself.

With scores of 1, 43, 39*, 27, 34, 44, 2, 44, 26, 21 and 13*, Rishabh has managed 294 runs in 12 outings (innings), with no fifties yet, and it has been a worrying sign. The Covid outbreak in the DC camp also hasn’t helped matters and overall the team has looked inconsistent, despite getting quite close on certain occasions. But with their latest win against the Rajasthan Royals in Match 58, Capitals have improved their chances of qualifying for the play-offs as they now have 6 wins in their 12 games and are currently placed fifth on the table.

One of Rishabh’s weak moments as a skipper was also visible during their encounter against Royals, when he was almost willing to concede the match over what looked like an umpiring error. Hit with a 100 percent match fee along with a lot of criticism that followed, Rishabh and co. have regathered themselves and are now back in the race of play-offs qualification.

Rishabh Pant in IPL 2022: Matches: 12; Runs 294: Average: 32.67; SR:156.38; Fifties: 0; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 31; Sixes: 14

Kane Williamson (Sunrisers Hyderabad)

Among all the 10 franchises in this year’s IPL, Kane Williamson’s Sunrisers Hyderabad is the only team which has done well, despite their skipper struggling at an individual level. With just 199 runs to his name in 11 matches, Williamson has had a tough season so far and has struggled for runs at the top.

The 31-year-old is currently averaging a mere 19.90 and has had scores of 2, 16, 32, 57, 17, 3, 16*, 5, 47, 4 and 0. But his own performances with the bat have not affected the team on a larger scale. Especially Williamson’s bowling unit, which has led from the front and has been a breath of fresh air this season, especially young Umran Malik, who consistently clocks speeds of 145kmph plus.

Incredibly, over 90% of his deliveries this season have been bowled at over 140kmph. Sunrisers started off slowly with 2 straight defeats and then bounced back in style, winning 5 consecutive games. But 4 defeats after that have put them in a pickle as they are now in the middle of the table and are in a tight contest with four other teams of a play-off berth. With their grip over the play-offs spot loosening, Sunrisers need Williamson to fire. If the Kiwi finds his touch again, the battle for the play-offs spot will get really very interesting.

Kane Williamson in IPL 2022 so far: Matches: 11; Runs 199: Average: 19.90; SR: 96.13; Fifties: 1; Hundreds: 0; Fours: 14; Sixes: 8

((All numbers reflected in this article are till after Match 58 on May 11 between the Rajasthan Royals and the Delhi Capitals))