IPL: Six Occasions When Skippers Got Changed in the Midst of a Season
The ongoing edition of the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been full of glitz, drama and glamour. It has so far witnessed a super over apart from a hat-trick from Shreyas Gopal during the abandoned game between Royal Challengers Bangalore (RCB) and Rajasthan Royals (RR). The Bengaluru-based Royals had a horrible season despite winning three games on the trot. We’ve also witnessed an ushering of a new prime minister, in a bid to see teams vying for a good outcome. However, Delhi Capitals (DC) and Chennai Super Kings (CSK) have set an example by producing enticing results thus far.
Overall, this league has unfolded some dramatic moments which saw RCB losing first six games before Kolkata Knight Riders (RR) went on to lose six consecutive games to mess things up for themselves.
From the inception of the IPL in 2018 until the concurrent season, we have witnessed captains been removed before announcing the new leader to be at the helm of affairs.
Let’s take a closer look at such five instances when the new skippers were introduced during the mid-season of the IPL:
Steven Smith replaces Ajinkya Rahane – 2019:
Following a horrible start, Rajasthan Royals didn’t have a single chance to break into the top four. The wobbling start against Kings XI Punjab (KXIP) on March 25, has worsened their case for the Jaipur-based franchise.
However, following eight matches when Royals managed just two wins, saw the management removing Rahane from the captaincy post. With this, Steven Smith has taken the leadership role which saw results falling in their way.
In the last five matches, Royals have bagged three wins while losing out on a single game. Besides, a game got called off against RCB due to inclement weather on April 30 in Bengaluru.
Now, they have bagged 11 points in 13 matches and are left with a game in group stage fixtures.
Gautam Gambhir steps down to see Shreyas Iyer leading Delhi – 2018
Following a no-show with the bat, frustrated Gautam Gambhir has stepped down from his captaincy post. After a series of poor results, Gambhir maintained it’s time for the fresh approach.
In the first six matches, Gambhir led Capitals to win a single game before Shreyas Iyer won four out of eight remaining fixtures.
In the eleventh edition, Capitals finished on the bottom of the table with five wins in 14 matches.
However, in the ongoing season, Iyer has marshalled his troops well to qualify for the playoffs. So far, they’ve won eight out of 12 matches to top the points ladder.
Rohit Sharma succeeds Ricky Ponting – 2013
Rohit Sharma’s captaincy was a blessing in disguise for the Mumbai Indians (MI) in 2013. The three-time IPL Champions were in search of their first IPL title which took them six years to bag their maiden IPL trophy.
Following a close loss against RCB by two runs, Indians went on to win three fixtures, but Ponting as a batsman couldn’t do much which was the solid reason that he has had handed over the captaincy role to Rohit.
Thus, what unfolded has turned out to be a remarkable story for the star-studded franchise. Under the dynamic leadership of Rohit, Indians have clinched eight wins in 10 matches before routing CSK in the grand finale.
In 2013, they also lifted the now-defunct Champions League Twenty20.
Cameron White Dons Captain’s Hat while replacing Kumar Sangakkara – 2012:
Following a title triumph in the very second edition of the IPL, the now-defunct Deccan Chargers had faced a heat to finish seventh in the fourth edition of the IPL.
While playing under veteran Kumar Sangakkara’s captaincy, Charges were charging to win the game, but that had turned out to be a damp squib when they failed to produce consistent results.
However, Sangakkara had decided to step down as leader before the management has asked Cameron White to lead the side.
Furthermore, they finished on the bottom of the points table following a bleak show with bat and ball. Despite having top-performers in the squad including Dale Steyn, the Hyderabad-based outfit has failed to leave an impact.
Virat Kohli takes the guard to replace Daniel Vettori – 2012:
Following ending up second best in 2011, Daniel Vettori has led RCB to fetch some good results. In between, they have lost three games.
However, while riding on all-round performance, the side has claimed three victories to set sights on the playoffs.
Interestingly, RCB captain Vettori himself had to sit out to make way for veteran off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan. Thus, it saw Virat Kohli shoulder the responsibility to lead his team.
Before benching himself, Vettori has led RCB in eight fixtures. The introduction of Kohli as a leader has somewhat kept the crowd-favourite franchise in the contention for the playoffs, before falling short of the net run-rate after bagging 17 points to equal the CSK’s tally.
Back then, Kohli led RCB in six matches to win four games.
VVS Laxman makes way for Adam Gilchrist – 2008
However, following the unfortunate turn of events, Laxman has nursed an injury after featuring in six matches. Thus, owing to a forced change of guard, Chargers has handed over the captaincy role to the most senior player, Adam Gilchrist.
Eventually, it had appeared as the first instance when a captain got changed during the mid-season of an IPL.
After ushering the new leader, Gilchrist has led Chargers well. But they’ve overall Chargers have bagged a wooden spoon on finishing last on the points table with just two victories.
Tahir Ibn Manzoor
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