Contact Us

Top 5 Most Successful Captains In Test Cricket

Take a look back at the top 5 successful captains in the history of Test Cricket. Graeme Smith won 53 matches as captain and is currently leading in the list.

Last updated: 09.09.2020
Top 5 Most Successful Captains In Test Cricket | Sports Social Blog

Test cricket remains the toughest format of a game. Team has to win the sessions to get over the line at the end of a match. To be a successful test player it requires resilience, patience and temperament to win test matches.


Team has the advantage of playing at home conditions rather than at overseas conditions where the player has to adapt himself into the hostile conditions. The Captain's role comes at such a point to make a strong team and lead them to victory. After winning the test match the credit is given to the captain for putting up strategies and mind-set during the course of a match.

Let us take a look back at the top 5 successful captains in the history of Test Cricket.


1. Graeme Smith – South Africa ( 2003-2014 )


Matches – 109

Won – 53

Lost – 29

Win-Percentage – 48.62%


This is guy who you know will climb Mount Everest for South Africa

If South Africa is so successful over the years in Cricket then Graeme Smith is one big reason behind that. Players like Dale Steyn and AB De Villiers have come during the era of Graeme Smith.

Rumour of spot-fixing incident by Hansie Cronje and South Africa was almost at the verge of losing its existence in cricket. Then walked in the young South Africa player Graeme Smith started his career as an opener but later on given the captaincy at the age of just 22.

Many cricket experts believed that due to the lack of inexperience at international level – this bloke won't survive more than one series. What followed next was South Africa at its best.


From No.1 Test Ranking to one of the greatest ODI games between South Africa versus Australia when South Africa stunned world cricket by chasing it down the target of 435 in 50 overs. Graeme Smith led from the front – statement to the world. All come under the Captaincy of Smith.


The most successful captain after Clive Llyod to win 22 test matches in alien conditions where Clive Lloyd won 23 matches. South Africa never lost a match when Smith scored hundred, a record of 25 test hundred as a captain still belongs to Graeme Smith.


2. Ricky Ponting – Australia (2004-2010):


Matches – 77

Won – 48

Lost – 16

Win-Percentage – 62.33%


After Steve Waugh retired the 2000 era completely belonged to Ricky Ponting. One of the few captains in history who perfectly defined how to dominate world cricket with the best team he had.


Two world winning cups trophies and many test match victories for Australian teams came in the golden era during the captaincy of Ricky Ponting. One of the most dangerous No.3 test batsman in the history and also having 19 hundreds under his name.


Ponting as a captain amassed 6542 runs at an average of 51.51 in 77 tests during 2004-2010. It was the same phase when Australian team turned into the invincible side after Steve Waugh captaincy.


With great leadership skills Ponting took the Australia team to great heights and ruled world cricket for the entire one decade.


3. Clive Lloyd – West Indies (1974-1985):


Matches – 74

Won – 36

Lost – 12

Win-Percentage – 49%


A tornado called Clive Lloyd. One of most successful captains in the West-Indies Cricket History. An Astute leader and a genius batsman if West Indies cricket was so dangerous and invincible in 1970s to 1980s then Clive Lloyd was the one big reason behind that.


Two world winning campaigns 1975 and 1979, Clive Llyod was equally good in both the formats. Under his captaincy West-Indies became an Unstoppable force in cricket. His 23 test wins record under the alien conditions as a captain is still a record held by him.


Before the took over captaincy this was the statement from Clive Lloyd:


“When the news sank in, I came to believe that in appointing me the West Indies were looking for some kind of long-term leadership. So I decided that the job of leading the West Indies should be taken with utmost seriousness and I set myself a number of goals. The first priority was clearly the need for team unity. In return I was able to offer them assurances that I would work to improve their position. I started out from the premise that I wanted West Indies cricket and West Indies cricketers to be treated with respect.”


One of the greatest West-Indies Captains ever in their history.


4. Steve Waugh – Australia (1999-2004):


Matches – 57

Won – 41

Lost – 9

Win-Percentage – 71.92%


In terms of win-percentage Steve Waugh was the most successful captain in history. Before the Ricky Ponting era had begun Steve Waugh formed the team of world beaters.


Captain of Australia world Cup winning team of 1999, Waugh was an astute leader with a calm and aggressive mind-set making the perfect blend for the Invincible Australian team.


Steve Waugh overseas record speaks the volume of his great captaincy. Out of 25 tests Waugh won 16 tests and lost 7 tests only. Steve Waugh's 16 consecutive test wins is still a record held by him.


Steve Waugh also held the record of 168 test appearances, most by any player in the history till 2010 which was broken by Sachin Tendulkar. Another player into the club of 10000 runs. A 14 consecutive ODI wins record was also held by Steve Waugh.


5. Allan Border – Australia (1984-1994):


Matches – 93

Won – 32

Lost – 22

Win-Percentage – 45.61%


Another Australian captain in the list. If you look back in the 1980s Australians were the average side. Then walked in this player who transformed the average side of Australians to the most Unstoppable force in world cricket.


From the most test appearances 156 by any player a record held by him for almost two decades to Australia first World winning captain in 1987 after then for almost two decades Australian defined how dominate the world cricket and humiliate the teams they way Aussies want to – this was the what we called the complete evolution of a team in a real sense.


Out of 42 tests in alien conditions, Allan Border won 13 tests, lost 11 and formed the foundation of modern cricket Australian culture. Leading from the front with batting, Allan Border was good with his bowling too and was the greatest captain in the Australian cricket history. Allan Border had scored 11,174 runs at an average of 50.54 in 156 tests for Australia.

Chase Your Sport

Stay up-to-date on the latest sports news, stats, expert analysis and trends, including cricket, football, wrestling, tennis, basketball, Formula One and more. Find previews, schedules, results of upcoming events, and fantasy tips on Chase Your Sport.