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By the numbers - The worst captain in Indian T20 League history

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As Kolkata succumbed to their third consecutive defeat in Indian T20 League 2021 on Wednesday, team captain Eoin Morgan’s on-field decisions were questioned once again. It has led observers to wonder if the Englishman is the worst captain in the high-profile league.

Eoin Morgan was handed the Kolkata captaincy in the middle of the Indian T20 League season last year when former captain Dinesh Karthik shockingly stepped down from the role to concentrate on his batting. Kolkata, however, did not reach the playoffs.

After Kolkata’s loss to Bangalore last week, former Kolkata captain Gautam Gambhir slammed Morgan’s decisions for not giving an extra over to the in-form Varun Chakravarthy in the powerplay. The mystery spinner had dismissed Virat Kohli and Rajat Patidar earlier in the match. The move cost Kolkata the game.

“That was probably the most ridiculous captaincy I have ever seen," Gautam Gambhir told Star Sports.

However, Eoin Morgan isn’t the worst captain. Over the past 14 seasons, the Indian T20 League has seen 53 captains leading the eight franchises in the history of the tournament. Here’s a look at who haven’t quite made the best on-field decisions.

Kevin Pietersen - win percentage 17.65

English all-rounder Kevin Pietersen was a fan-favourite in the Indian T20 League for his unconventional methods. His popularity led franchises to hand him the captaincy role twice – first with Bangalore in 2009 and then for Delhi in 2014 - both of which remained forgettable stints. Captaining Bangalore for just six matches Pietersen saw two wins and four losses, and the record turned for the worse when he was given a longer rope with Delhi five years later. This time, Pietersen helped secure just one win in 11 games with Delhi finishing last in the points table. Going by numbers, Kevin Pietersen is the worst captain in the Indian T20 League wherein he has led in 17 games, winning just thrice and losing 14 times.

Aaron Finch - win percentage 20.00

The Australian limited-overs captain has also had his share of captaincy stint in the Indian T20 League. After brief cameos in 2011 and 2012, Finch had finally arrived at the Indian T20 League as the captain of the now-defunct Pune franchise in 2013. While he had scored an impressive 456 runs in 14 matches for the team that season, which is his best tally so far in the tournament, Finch's captaincy record wasn't even half as impressive. Leading Pune in 10 matches, Finch could register just two wins and lost the other eight as the team finished second-last (eighth) with eight points from 16 games.

Brendon McCullum - win percentage 21.43

Interestingly, Kolkata’s current head coach Brendon McCullum ranks as the third-worst captain of the Indian T20 League. After the Kiwi opener's swashbuckling arrival to the Indian T20 League in 2008, McCullum was handed the captaincy in the following season in 2009. However, unlike his batting stint, Baz's captaincy stint was hugely unimpressive as he led Kolkata to just three wins in 13 matches. The team finished last with seven points in 14 matches. McCullum has also captained the now-defunct Gujarat franchise and that ended in a defeat as well.

Worst captains in Indian T20 League

Worst captaincy record in Indian T20 League (Minimum 10 matches)

Captains

Matches

Won

Loss

No results

Win Percentage

Kevin Pietersen

17

3

14

0

17.65%

Aaron Finch

10

2

8

0

20.00%

Brendon McCullum

14

3

10

1

21.43%

Eoin Morgan

11

3

7

1

27.27%

Kumar Sangakkara

47 

15

30

2

31.91%

Shane Watson

24

8

13

2

33.33%

KL Rahul

18

6

10

2

33.33%

Mahela Jayawardene

30

10

19

0

33.33%

Ajinkya Rahane

25

9

16

0

36.00%

JP Duminy

25

9

16

0

36.00%

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