Historically, cricket had only one format, known as Test cricket. A Successful captain was a part of every successful test team. Because Test cricket is played over a long duration, usually last for 05 days, the captain always plays an important role in the success of any team. As a result, captains are always important in strengthening the status of any team. His main roles in the match are to select the playing XI, make crucial choices during the game, and perform well with both the bowl and the bat.
Apart from this, he has a lot of tasks to do outside the field. Some of them engage with media and management to decide about the planning and strategy. As a result, test cricket is a lot of testing for successful captains.
The test captains are put through a mental and physical test. They have to manage all these to remain at top positions on the list of successful captains. A successful captain makes his team successful, and as a result, his squad is remembered in history as being headed by that captain. For example, test XI of Ricky Pointing is known as Ricky Ponting Test XI. Similarly, Steve Waugh and MS Dhoni have their own Test XI. Their test-playing teams are famous for the name Steve Waugh and MS Dhoni.
Now, we will explore the top 10 most successful captains in the history of Test cricket.
Read More: Most Successful Captains in All formats
Top 10 Captains with Most Test Wins as Test Captains
Graeme Smith – 53 Wins
Graeme Smith is the only captain in test cricket history to captain his team in more than 100 Test matches. He led South Africa in 109 Test matches. Apart from captaincy, his batting stats as a captain are very impressive. He is the leading run-scorer in test cricket as a captain.
He scored 8659 as a captain in test cricket. Furthermore, he is the only captain in test cricket to win more than 50 test matches in history.
|Test Captaincy Records||Graeme Smith|
Now, we will explore how many test series Graeme Smith won as a South African Captain.
Graeme Smith led South Africa in 39 series, winning 22 and losing 08. Under his captaincy, the 09 test series ended in a draw.
Now, we can conclude how successful Graeme Smith was as a captain. In reality, he is one of the greatest captains in test cricket history.
Ricky Ponting- 48 Wins
Ricky Ponting came after Steve Waugh and carried on his legacy. He held the record for the most test match victories, 48 until Graeme Smith exceeded him with 53 wins. In 2007, Ricky Ponting was named captain of the year for his successful test career as a captain.
He was not only a successful test captain but also a successful player. As a player, he was involved in 100 test wins, which is the highest in test cricket history.
Ricky Ponting was a proficient captain, leader, and aggressive player. Ricky Ponting’s field placement, which had been highly optimized according to the situation of the match, was one of his best skills. As a result, a cricket expert attributed his successful captaincy career to his field placement and batting as a captain.
|Test Captaincy Records||Ricky Ponting|
He led Australia in 77 Test matches, winning 48 and losing 16, with a win percentage of 62, after Steve Waugh. Ricky Ponting has the highest win percentage in test cricket.
Australia played 27 bilateral test series under the captaincy of Ricky Ponting, winning 20 and losing 06. Only one test series ended in draw.
Steve Waugh – 41 Wins
Steve Waugh is the most successful, with the highest winning percentage in cricket history. This is due to his record of having the highest win percentage (72) in test cricket history. Out of 57 tests, he led his team to 41 victories. His loss percentage is 16, which is one of the lowest in test cricket history.
|Test Captaincy Records||Steve Waugh|
One of the unique records that Steve Waugh had as captain in test cricket is 16 consecutive wins. This is a one-of-a-kind record that will be impossible to break.
Furthermore, Steve Waugh’s performance as a captain in Ashes was very impressive. He was considered one of cricket’s most efficient and technically sound leaders.
Australia won Ashes 2001 and Ashes 2002 under his leadership. Later on, he was named in Australia’s best Ashes XI in the last 40 years.
Now, we will explore how many bilateral test series Australia won under Steve Waugh’s captaincy. Australia Played 36 bilateral series under the captaincy of Steve Waugh, winning 26 and losing 04. Only 06 test series ended in draw.
Virat Kohli – 40 Wins
Virat Kohli is the most successful Indian captain in test cricket history. He proved to be a real gem for India’s cricket team. This is demonstrated by the fact that he took team India from 7th to 1st position in the ICC test Ranking. Team India held this position for 42 months, from Oct 2016 to Mar 2020. This was an incredible test cricket team India had under his captaincy. This is why he is known as one of the greatest test captains in Indian cricket history.
|Test Captaincy Records||Virat Kohli|
Now, we will explore how many test series India has won Under Kohli’s captaincy. He led India in 25 test series winning 17 and losing only 06. Only 02 test series ended in a draw.
Clive Lloyd – 36 Wins
Clive Lloyd was one of the greatest captains in cricket history. In terms of captaincy status, he is on an equal level with Australia’s Steve Waugh. This is because, just as Australian cricket prospered under Steve Waugh, West Indian cricket prospered under Clive Lloyd’s captaincy. Therefore, Clive Lloyd’s captaincy era from 1974 to 1985 is known as the Golden period of West Indian cricket.
|Test Captaincy Records||Clive Lloyd|
He led the West Indies team in 74 total test matches, winning 36 and losing 12 with a win percentage of 48.
How many test series did he win as a captain? He led West Indies in 18 test series, winning 14 and losing only 02 test series. Only 02 test series ended in a draw.
Allan Border – 32 Wins
Before Ricky Ponting and Steve Waugh, there was another Golder era in Australian cricket, guided by Allan Border. He was an established cricket player who helped Australia to win many games. He captained for Australia in 93 consecutive test matches, which was a unique record. Later on, this record was surpassed by Graeme Smith from South Africa.
Allan Border had many other records to his name in the past. He was the highest test run scorer as a captain till Graeme Smith surpassed this record. Further, he was the first player in test cricket history to score 11000 runs, a unique record in that era.
Now, we will see his test captaincy record.
He led Australi in 93 test matches, winning 32 and losing 22 with a win rate of 34. Under his leadership, Australia ended 38 matches in Draw, which is still the highest among all leading captains in cricket history.
Now, we will explore his test series stats as a captain.
He led Australia in 27 test series, winning 10 and losing 10.
Stephen Fleming – 28 Wins
Before MS Dhoni, there was another cool captain named Stephen Fleming. His strategic mind was among the most impressive aspects of Stephen Fleming’s captaincy. He won multiple matches by utilizing his strategic mind and abilities. Legends like Shane Warne have constantly praised his captaincy. He is New Zealand’s most successful test captain, having won the most tests.
How many test series did he win as a captain? He led New Zealand in 34 test series, winning 13 and losing 12. Only nine Test series ended in a draw.
Stephen Fleming was a good captain and an excellent left-hand batter and Opener. Furthermore, he was also the longest-serving captain of New Zealand team.
MS Dhoni – 27 Wins
MS Dhoni excelled not only in ODIs but also in test cricket. In test cricket, he is India’s most successful captain, trailing only Virat Kohli. He is regarded as the greatest captain in ODI history because of his excellent leadership skills.
One of the best days of MS Dhoni’s Test captaincy was when India achieved the highest test ranking in 2009. MS Dhoni achieved this ranking with the collaboration of legendary players such as Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, and Gautam Gambhir. Every Indian fan remembers this golden era of Indian cricket.
MS Dhoni led the Indian test team in 60 matches, winning 27 and losing 18 with a win rate of 45. Out of a total of 60, 15 matches ended in a draw.
We will explore how many bilateral test series India has won under Dhoni’s leadership.
Joe Root – 27 Wins
Joe Root is the only player in test cricket history to score 12 test fifties in a row. Although this is his introduction as a player, his influence and introduction as a captain are significantly superior compared to that of a player. After Alastair Cook, he was the most successful English test captain in the 21st century. His captaincy takeover had a massive effect, as he scored a century in his first test match as captain.
He led the English team in 64 test matches, winning 27 and losing 26 with a win percentage of 42.
He led the English team in 20 test series, winning 09 and losing 08. Out of 20, total of 03 test series ended in draw.
Joe led the English team in the 03 Ashes Series in 2017, 2019, and 2021. England never won any Ashes series under the captaincy of Joe Root.
Alastair Cook – 24 Wins
Alastair Cook’s first impression of cricket was that he was a decent left-handed opening batter. However, his fans gradually begin to view him as a leader and rescuer of English cricket. When he took over as England’s test captain, there was a notable difference that suggested a winning attitude. As a result, as captain, he assisted his team in winning some of the most memorable test series. He established himself as the dominant test captain of the 21st century through his performance.
Now, we will see his test captaincy record for England.
Alastair Cook led England in the 03 Ashes test series, winning 02 and losing only 01. Hence, he was a very successful Ashes captain in the Ashes series.
He led the England team in 17 test series, winning 08 and losing 04. Only 05 test series ended in draw.