Worst Captain in ODI cricket

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Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby The Professor » Sun Oct 09, 2016 11:18 am

Watching the Bangladesh v England match over the last few days I got to idly pondering whether Mashrafe Mortaza is the worst ODI captain out there on current form. He is supposed to be an all rounder but isn't contributing with ball or bat at the moment. Even when he took 2/52 in the first ODI he hardly looked controlled or stylish.

As is often the case this idle pondering turned into frenetic googling and trying to come up with a way to prove whether this was the case. I've gone through each ODI captain and looked at their last ten matches and awarded them a point for each run they have gained for their team and given them 25 points per wicket they have got. Here is the hugely unscientific outcome.

Virat Kohli - India - 626 runs = 626
Angelo Matthews - Sri Lanka - 376 runs + 7 wickets = 551
Steve Smith - Australia - 527 runs = 527
Mashrafe Mortaza - Bangladesh - 77 runs + 17 wickets = 502
Jason Holder - West Indies - 163 runs + 11 wickets = 438
Kane Williamson - New Zealand - 350 runs = 350
AB De Villiers - South Africa - 339 runs = 339
Azhar Ali - Pakistan - 322 runs = 322
Eoin Morgan - England - 268 runs = 268
Elton Chigumbura - Zimbabwe - 191 runs + 3 wickets = 266
William Porterfield - Ireland - 188 runs = 188
Ashgar Stanikzai - Afghanistan- 166 runs = 166


First of all it is hugely surprising to me that so many of these captains are batsmen with only a handful being allrounders and not a single plain out and out bowler. I knew that it was rarer to have an ODI bowler captain but I don't think I realised that there wasn't a single example of it in the modern game. There is also a huge corollary between the top five ODI asides and the fact that they have batsmen-captains. Even if one of them, in Eoin Morgan, is statistically the second worst batsman-captain out there.

This also backs up the general mood that there are two captains in the world game that are under pressure; Azhar Ali and Eoin Morgan. Despite their team's recent successes it is widely believed that their position in the team is at risk and that if they were not captains they would not be in the team. To be so close to the bottom bears this out on recent form. To have a an England captain who is on comparable form to the captain of Zimbabwe is not a tenable situation.

Another surprise for me down at the bottom is the fact that Porterfield is doing better than Stanikzai. Stanikzai and Afghanistan are receiving lots of positive press of late whilst Ireland seem on a downward spiral - Porterfield is copping the brunt of this with a run of poor innings from the Irish captain. Maybe this suggests something on our expectations of these two teams.

To get back to Mortaza we can discount his claim to be an all rounder. 77 runs from the last ten games is the poorest of poor showings but his hugely impressive 17 wickets over the same amount of time somewhat puts my opinion of him in the shade. Especially when I should have been looking at England's own captain as a poorer captain.
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Re: Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Sun Oct 09, 2016 12:59 pm

MM's well worth his place as a bowler (his recent record is good). And it's tough to have a good average in ODIs batting at eight. Just have to look at the SR. From the top nine sides, Azhar and Holder are maybe the most expendable. Morgan has an ok recent record too. Good SR and OK average.
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Re: Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby Arthur Crabtree » Mon Oct 10, 2016 1:16 am

Fine performance from MM today, and quite admirably conciliatory words in the aftermath of the game, which apparently ended acrimoniously.

If a few points are added for leading by playing with dignity, maybe Holder would benefit? And it's hard to quantify, but leading through tactical insight and inspiration has to be about 30% of the skipper's role. McCullum scored high for that especially. And Michael Clarke. Not sure who scores high on those who are still playing.
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Re: Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby andy » Sat Feb 11, 2017 7:11 pm

well Azhar has gone... no suprise about, Sarfraz favourite to take over in all formats....if his captaincy is as kamikaze as his batting, then i dont expect much from him either..
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Re: Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby The Professor » Tue Sep 19, 2017 8:05 pm

Jason Holder has been looking distinctly average today
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Re: Worst Captain in ODI cricket

Postby Adi » Wed Sep 20, 2017 2:51 pm

Mohd. Azharuddin, Hansie Cronje, Wasim Akram.

Not sure whether Salman Butt was a ODI captain.
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