1. Ricky Ponting
Mumbai Indians struggled in the first five seasons in the Indian Premier League. They had changed as many as four captains-Sachin Tendulkar, Harbhajan Singh, Shaun Pollock and Dwayne Bravo. In 2013, Ricky Ponting was bought by MI to solve the captaincy problems. MI made a good start to the tournament winning three out of first four matches. But their opening partnerships weren’t working well. Ponting was struggling to keep his strike rate according to the t20 format. Ponting wasn’t looking in good form so he decided to step down and handed the opportunity to young Rohit Sharma. Sharma scored 538 runs in that season and also helped MI clinch the title for the first time in 2013. Since then, there’s no looking back. MI have won five IPL trophies under skipper Rohit Sharma who is currently the most successful captain in the league.
2. Gautam Gambhir
In 2018 Delhi Capitals decided to bring Gautam Gambhir in their squad and eventually made him the skipper. Gambhir had previously won two IPL trophies with KKR as a captain. Gambhir gave a good start to the tournament scoring 50 runs in the first match. But he started struggling with form and scored 30 runs in the next five matches. DC lost 5 of their 6 matches. Gambhir was under a lot of pressure so he decided to step down as the captain and handed the responsibility to young Shreyas Iyer. Iyer scored a fabulous 93 runs off 40 deliveries in his first game as a captain. In 2019 Delhi qualified for playoffs for the first time in six years.
3. Shikhar Dhawan
In 2014 Sunrisers Hyderabad retained only Dale Steyn and Shikhar Dhawan. They bought talented players like KL Rahul, David Warner, Aaron Finch and Bhuvneshwar Kumar. Dhawan was made the captain of the squad after a good run with the bat in international cricket. Dhawan was declared as the man of the series in the ICC Champions Trophy in 2013. He also made a test century in his debut match. However, the results weren’t coming as it was expected of the skipper. Dhawan was also struggling with the bat. Dhawan was feeling the pressure so he decided to hand over the duty to Darren Sammy. The decision worked well for Dhawan. He scored two consecutive fifties in the next two matches. However, it was too late for SRH to qualify for the playoffs.
4. Kumar Sangakkara
In 2012 BCCI terminated Deccan Chargers from the IPL and was soon replaced by a new team named Sunrisers Hyderabad. Tom Moddy was appointed as the coach and the management decided to make Kumar Sangakkara as the captain. It was because of immense bowling performances that SRH won 5 of their first 7 games. Runs weren’t effing out of Kumar Sangakkara’s bat as the latter managed to score 120 runs in 9 innings. Sangakkara stepped down as a captain and also removed himself from the starting XI which helped SRH go with three foreign options-Darren Sammy, Cameron White and Thisara Perera. Cameron White was appointed as the captain and SRH qualified for playoffs winning 3 out of last 4 games.
5. Daniel Vettori
In 2011, RCB bought talented players like AB De Villiers, Tillakaratne Dilshan and Daniel Vettori. Vettori was asked to lead the squad. RCB managed to qualify for the finals in that season. In 2012, skipper Vettori managed to keep a good economy rate but was unable to pick up wickets. Another spinner, Muttiah Muralitharan was picking up wickets for the team. Only 4 overseas players were allowed to play in the starting XI. So, Vettori stepped down and allowed Muralitharan to play in place of him. Eventually Virat Kohli was handed the responsibility of captaining the RCB squad. Daniel Vettori was appointed as a coach for RCB in 2014.