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Virat Kohli climbs to fourth on list of most successful Test captains

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Since taking up the leadership role in red-ball cricket in 2014, Virat Kohli has recorded 37 wins to surpass Clive Lloyd and become the fourth-most successful Test captain of all time. 

Here, we glance through the most successful Test captains in the history of cricket.

1. Graeme Smith - 53 Test wins

South Africa’s Graeme Smith recorded 53 wins and tops the list for captains with the most Test wins. The southpaw led the Proteas in 109 Tests, the most by any captain to date. 

Graeme Smith led South Africa in the famous 2008-09 series win in Australia where his side handed the Aussies their first series loss at home in 16 years. 

2. Ricky Ponting - 48 Test wins

Australia’s Ricky Ponting is second on the most successful Test captains list. The Aussie’s win percentage of 62.33 as captain is the second-best among players who have led their team in 25 or more Tests.

Amongst the major achievements of his captaincy career is leading Australia to a 5-0 Ashes victory in 2006/07.  

3. Steve Waugh - 41 Test wins

Australian legend Steve Waugh led his side in 41 Test wins between 1999-2004. He has an incredible win percentage of 71.92 across 57 Tests. Waugh scored 3,714 runs as captain at an average of 52.31. 

4. Virat Kohli - 37 Test wins

Indian captain Virat Kohli climbed to the fourth spot on the list after winning the Test at Lord’s in August 2021. Kohli, since becoming skipper in 2014, has 37 Test wins under his belt and is by far the most successful Test captain for India. He also led India to the final of the first World Test Championship (WTC). 

5. Clive Lloyd - 36 Test wins

West Indian great Clive Lloyd led the side between 1974-1985. He was instrumental in the Caribbean team’s rise to the top in the 70s and 80s. 

In 74 matches as captain, Lloyd won 36. During his reign as captain, West Indies had a record 27-match unbeaten streak between 1982 and 1984.

Most successful Test captains

Player

Matches

Won

Lost

Draw 

W/L Ratio

Graeme Smith 

109

53

29

27

1.82

Ricky Ponting 

77

48

16

13

3.00

Steve Waugh

57

41

9

7

4.55

Virat Kohli

63

37

15

11

2.46

Clive Lloyd 

74

36

12

26

3.00

Allan Border 

93

32

22

38

1.45

Stephen Fleming 

80

28

27

25

1.03

MS Dhoni

60

27

18

15

1.50

Hansie Cronje 

53

27

11

15

2.45

Sir Viv Richards

50

27

8

15

3.37


Featured Photo: Paul Ellis / AFP 



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