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5 Youngest Captains in Indian Premier League (IPL) History

Youngest Captains of IPL: 5 Youngest Captains of Indian Premier League

There’s no doubting the fact that the Indian Premier League (IPL) has been a huge milestone in the cricketing history of our country. Ever since its inaugural edition, the IPL has consistently managed to take cricket enthusiasts by delight, giving them memorable moments of the game. Besides, it has also showcased some of the bright talents of the cricketing fraternity in the process. It has not only enhanced the skill-set of the players but also honed their leadership abilities, in more ways than one.

There are certain players who, over the course of these years, have got the opportunity to lead their respective IPL teams at quite an early stage of their careers. Be it due to the fact that the regular skipper was injured or a disastrous campaign that led to a change of plans of the franchise midway, some cricketers got the chance to be a part of the elite panel as the youngest leaders of the league history.

List of Youngest Captains of IPL History

1. Virat Kohli (22 years & 187 days)

About a decade back, we would have simply dismissed the very idea of someone taking forward the legacy of Sachin Tendulkar. However, ever since Virat Kohli has walked into the Indian cricketing landscape, he has stunned one and all with his batting capabilities. Not only has he broken Sachin’s records but already has to his credit more than 20,000 international runs. Besides his batting skills, he has also made a mark with his leadership qualities. Even as a teenager, he had left an indelible impact in leading the U19 team to glory, which had then led many industry veterans to predict captaincy material in him. Then, it hardly came as a surprise whenthe Royal Challengers Bangalore wanted him to take over as early as in 2011. When Daniel Vettori got a bad injury halfway into the 2011 edition, Kohli led the side for 3 games, out of which the team won 2. Though as a batsman he was not in his best form back then, butone could clearly anticipate that he will be the future of the RCB franchise.

2. Steve Smith (22 years & 344 days)

The so-called “Bradmanesque” cricketer Steve Smith seems to be on a mission to establish his own legacy in the game. Having consistently grabbed the headlines for his tremendous abilities as a run-scorer, he has a current Test average of 65, which itself speaks volumes of his stature in international cricket. He has had to overcome challenges in the initial phase of his career as a spinner, but once he honed his batting skills, he wowed fans and how! In the IPL, he is looked up to as one of the bankable stars of the Rajasthan team, having led them efficiently in a couple of seasons. However, unknown to many, he has also marshaled the Pune Warriors team in a one-off game. In the 2012 edition, Sourav Ganguly, the regular captain, had to take rest after the team faced 6 consecutive losses, after which, he was replaced by Smith. Though the team didn’t win, Steve played a well-composed and steady game under such pressure, which is one of the most desirable traits of a captain.

3. Suresh Raina (23 years & 112 days)

This young Indian left-hander played a great cameo role in the quarter-final of 2011 World Cup. The first Indian to score a century in each format of the game, this gem of a cricketer has played over 300 international games and has always had a significant contribution to the team. In his prime phase, Raina looked after the middle-order duties for a considerable period of time. Furthermore, he has also sported the tag of a skipper for the Blue team in a few games. This bears testimony to his efficiency as a leader, which explains why the CSK franchise holds him in such high regard. He also got to don the leader’s cap in the 2010 editionwhen MS Dhoni suffered an elbow injury. Suresh led the Yellow brigade in 3 matches. Though the team lost 2, but Raina managed to make his way into the hearts of avid cricket followers.

4. Shreyas Iyer (23 years & 141 days)

Recently, when the Indian team completed its Caribbean sojourn, the biggest takeaway was Shreyas Iyer. This promising youngster showed some responsible batting in the middle-order. Having already stroked 4 half-centuries in 9 ODIs, he seems to be quite a safe bet for India. Since his debut in 2013, he has been in the forefront as far as the batting charts in the domestic circuit is concerned. He has also been made the Vice-Captain of the Ranji team, Mumbai. Also, he has led the Delhi franchise in their last couple of seasons. It was under him that the team reached the playoffs in 2019 IPL. He has surely brought about a change in the franchise’s dynamics; besides, he has not succumbed to the pressures of being the captain as he scored 463 runs in the 12th edition of the league. One can safely conclude that he has mastered the art of leadership at a pretty young age.

5. Dinesh Karthik (24 years & 292 days)

His cricketing journey has not been rewarding- the keeper-batsman started his career way back in 2004 but was not able to set a strong foothold in the senior team. However, when it comes to the IPL, he has been part of 6 teams in 12 years. His success o domestic grounds won him multiple opportunities in the league. Currently, he is leading the young Kolkata team. In the 2010 IPL, when a hamstring injury refrained Gautam Gambhir from playing a few matches, Karthik took over for a brief period, becoming their stand-in skipper for 4 games. What’s more, the team also won 2 ties under his leadership, which gave a huge boost to this young captain.

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