IPL 2022 – 5 players who stepped down from captaincy mid season in the history of the IPL
The most recent IPL headline was Ravindra Jadeja relinquishing the captaincy of Chennai Super Kings to MS Dhoni. The Chennai Super Kings announced on Saturday (30th April) that Dhoni will lead the Yellow brigade once more. Under Jadeja’s captaincy, the team was not living up to the expectations it had set for itself. They appeared to be entirely out of sync.
The burden of captaincy was definitely reflected in Jadeja’s game, as he looked nothing like the Jadeja we know. After a string of failures, he handed over the captaincy to the greatest in the industry, and CSK won the first game handily after Dhoni’s return.
Meanwhile, this was not the first time a captain had to be replaced in the middle of a season. Numerous times, IPL franchises have elected to delegate responsibilities to a different player and in this article, we are going to talk about 5 such players who stepped down from captaincy in the middle of the season.
Number 1. Kevin Pietersen (2009) – Replaced by Anil Kumble – Royal Challengers Bangalore
In 2008, Rahul Dravid captained the Royal Challengers Bangalore. However, the batter opted to step down as captain once the first season was over. RCB paid INR 1.55 million for big show Kevin Pietersen ahead of the 2009 IPL season, and the organization immediately designated him captain for the season.
The IPL is the most difficult cricket tournament in the world. The challenges and hustle that come with captaining a franchise are not easy to deal with. Under Pietersen’s leadership, RCB lost four of its first five games. Vijay Mallya, the owner of the RCB at the time, lost patience and dismissed Pietersen from the captaincy.
Anil Kumble, an Indian leg spinner, has been nominated as Pietersen’s replacement. Under his direction, the franchise performed admirably, winning eight of the next ten games and reaching the finals. However, they were defeated in the final by the Deccan Chargers.
Number 2. Ricky Ponting (2013) – Replaced by Rohit Sharma – Mumbai Indians
Ricky Ponting took over as MI’s captain in 2013, but things did not go as planned. MI had lost four of their first five games of the season and was out of form. Ricky Ponting opted to step down as captain, and MI named Rohit Sharma as his replacement.
The tournament changed dramatically after Rohit took over as captain, as MI went on to win the cup. That was Sachin Tendulkar’s final IPL season, and the team dedicated the victory to the superstar himself.
The selection of Rohit as captain signaled the start of something special, as Mumbai went on to develop a history under the Hitman. MI went on to win four more IPL titles after that, and Rohit became the IPL’s most successful captain.
Number 3. Gautam Gambhir (2018) – Replaced by Shreyas Iyer – Delhi Capitals
Gautam Gambhir was the most successful skipper for KKR, winning two trophies. Before the 2018 IPL mega auction, the reliable southpaw decided to end his IPL career with his home side Delhi Daredevils (now Delhi Capitals). Gambhir was appointed captain of Delhi immediately after re-joining the franchise, as having an experienced captain was a boon to the club.
Gambhir, for whatever reason, was unable to win right away. Delhi won only one of their first six games, and Gambhir resigned as captain. Shreyas Iyer, a young Indian batter, was named Delhi’s captain in the midst of the season and performed admirably.
Under Iyer’s leadership, Delhi won four of the next eight games. They did not make the playoffs, but Iyer captained the squad for two more years. Iyer was injured prior to the IPL 2021, and Rishabh Pant was selected, as captain. Iyer went to the IPL 2022 mega auction, where KKR purchased him and named him as their new captain.
Number 4. Ajinkya Rahane (2019) – Replaced by Steve Smith – Rajasthan Royals
Steve Smith was captaining the Rajasthan Royals and doing well, but the Sandpaper issue in 2018 resulted in a one-year ban and his removal as Australia’s captain. Following the punishment, the RR management decided to remove Ajinkya Rahane from the IPL leadership as well. However, captaincy did not suit Rahane, and he was never able to settle as one.
RR lost six of their first eight IPL matches in 2018, and Rahane opted to step down because he was unable to turn things around. Later, RR re-appointed Steve Smith as captain of the Jaipur-based franchise because he was an experienced captain who had led Australia.
Even after the captaincy change, Rajasthan finished second-to-last in the points table, winning only five of their 14 league games. Smith captained the Royals for one more season before hanging up the captaincy to Sanju Samson. Smith did not sell in the IPL 2022 mega auction, and he is not participating in the current season of the IPL.
Number 5. David Warner (2021) – Replaced by Kane Williamson – Sunrisers Hyderabad
David Warner was fantastic throughout his time with the Hyderabad-based club. As the captain of SRH, he won three orange caps and an IPL trophy in 2016, scoring 848 runs. Warner was a true Orange Army soldier.
SRH did not meet expectations during the IPL 2021 season, winning only one of their first seven games. The team’s poor performance led to a squabble between Warner and the SRH administration, which culminated in Kane Williamson being named captain.
The change in leadership had little effect on the outcome, as SRH concluded the season at the bottom of the table. Warner was seen cheering for SRH from the stands, demonstrating his devotion to the franchise. SRH did not sign him before the 2022 IPL mega auction. The Delhi Capitals purchased the pocket-sized dynamo for the 2022 IPL season.