IPL 2019 saw another twist in the story with RR dropping Ajinkya Rahane as a captain and repacking him with the former Australian Skipper Steve Smith. However, this was not the first time that the IPL cricket game saw captains being dropped mid-season and passed on the baton to someone else.
We listed down some of the other times when IPL teams passed on the batons to of captaincy to the other teammates-
Laxman Out, Gilchrist in
2008 IPL was the very first instance when the IPL cricket game saw an iconic player VVS Laxman pull himself out of captaincy. He endured a terrible time both as a captain and as a player. He could manage only 155 runs in six games. His strike rate was only 117.42, which was not up to the potential of this legendary cricket player. Eventually, due to an injury, he was ruled out and replaced with another legend- Adam Gilchrist from Australia.
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Gilchrist was also able to drive the team to victory in the consequent IPL season.
Kumble In, Kevin Pietersen out
The mighty English cricket was signed up for the RCB in 2009 IPL, with a whopping amount of 1.55 million. He was made the skipper and was given charge to lead the team. But, his performance in IPL cricket games was best described as underwhelming. He could manage just 93 runs in six matches. RCB was also lodged at the bottom of the IPL standings under his captaincy. Finally, after Kevin Pietersen left midway for national duty, Anil Kumble was given the charge to lead the team. Under his captaincy, RCB reached the IPL finale.
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White for Sanga
Sangakkara was one the first one in IPL to drop himself voluntarily in the IPL cricket matches after performing poorly. He had only scored 200 runs in 12 matches. He left the whole cricketing world in shock when he benched himself and passed on the baton to the Aussie Cameron White.
Kohli takes charge from Vettori
IPL 2012 saw yet another turn of events when another legendary player Daniel Vettori dropped his captaincy to pass on to Kohli. Vettori was the one to lead the team to the final in IPL 2011, but his captaincy really came under the radar when he took only five wickets in nine games. The former New Zealand skipper benched himself to make way for the off-spinner Muttiah Muralitharan to play. This allowed Virat Kohli to don the skipper’s cap. Flash forward to 2019, and Kohli still dons the cap with pride.
Mumbai Indians bought the former Aussie captain Ricky Ponting and made him the captain for 2013 IPL cricket games. Yet, his performance was so below par- he scored only 52 runs in six matches. He then finally decided to bench himself and allowed Rohit Sharma to take the baton. This decision helped Mumbai Indians greatly. They went on to win their maiden IPL title.
Shikhar sits for Sammy
Opener Shikhar Dhawan was dropped an after a below average performance for SRH in IPL 2014. Many started speculating that he was underperforming due to the burden of captaincy. This made Dhawan and the SRH team pass on the captaincy to Darren Sammy. The West Indian was, however, unable to take his team to playoffs.
Smith in, Watson out
In IPL 2015, Watson sustained an injury which allowed Steven Smith to be the captain for the Rajasthan Royals in the first game of the IPL cricket match of that season. Even after Watson recovered from his injury, he let Steven Smith take the mantle in order to focus on his performance.
Smith carried the team to the playoffs.
Miller out, Vijay in
KXIP were in a losing spree in IPL 2016, They had lost five matches of their six IPL cricket games, and were in a dire situation. Their captain David Miller’s performance was below par. He has scored only 76 runs in six IPL cricket games. The team then replaced him with Murali Vijay, whose performance was slightly better. He had managed to make 143 runs in the last six games. However, even after this captaincy change, KXIP remained at the bottom of the table at the end of the IPL league matches.
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Gambhir ousted for Iyer
Gambhir had led KKR to victory twice in IPL cricket games. But, after being bought by DD in 2018, his show was not up to the mark. He scored only 85 runs, with a poor average of 17. This fairy batsman then chose to drop himself and pass the cap to Shreyas Iyer. He said that the decision was for the betterment of the team, as they had already lost five out of six matches.
Also published on Medium.