Now we look at the ranking of captains by simple criteria such as win-loss ratios and win percentage.
Win-loss ratios (raw):
All of those listed here have a win-loss ratio of infinity-since they never lost a Test. A few like Srikkanth and Majid Khan managed to draw all their Tests.
As this table is not very meaningful, we repeat this with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:
These are limited to those with W/L ratios above 2.00
This list of 31 is headed by Warwick Armstrong with 8 wins, no losses and 2 draws. Others have lost at least one Test. The first few are generally considered to be among the best captains although they had relatively short careers. And not everyone would agree with Jardine’s tactics.
Current captains are Kohli (#16) and Williamson (#25). They should be around for a while.
Also note that these two are the only representatives of India and New Zealand respectively among the top 31 (who have W/L ratio above 2.00)
West Indies is headed by Richards and Lloyd (as you may expect). Pakistan is headed by Zaheer Abbas (whom you would not expect). Similarly SM Pollock is the top SA captain here (though there is also A Bacher with 4 wins in 4 Tests).
From the upper table, special mention should be made of DB Close (6 wins and 1 draw in 7 Tests).
We also look at
Percentage of wins (raw):
Somewhat meaningful, although those with short careers (A Bacher and Lord Hawke) have an advantage with 4 wins out of 4. The latter was a poor batsman but somehow managed to win 4 Tests and played in one other victory, thus seeing victory in all his 5 Tests.
Bacher did not do too well himself but had a good team and a demoralized Australian team to contend with.
As in the case of W/L ratios, we will get more useful results with a restriction of a minimum of 10 Tests:
This list of 28 is of those with a win percentage of a minimum of 50%.
This may fit in better with general perceptions, though Warwick Armstrong is still at the top with 80%. Here Steve Waugh is above Bradman unlike in the upper table. Others like Kohli and Williamson are ranked higher than in the upper table.
Kohli, Williamson, Paine, Root and du Plessis are the current captains although the last-named intends to step down. And SPD Smith may make a comeback.
It is interesting to see the most successful captains from their countries:
WW Armstrong (Aus)
WG Grace (Eng) ?!
V Kohli (Ind)
FMM Worrell (WI)
Waqar Younis (Pak) ?!
KS Williamson (NZ)
SM Pollock (SA)
Note that Waqar Younis has 10 wins, 7 losses and no draws. This is also a record, which we will see later.
CH Lloyd is not here as his win % is less than 50.
There are still more studies of captaincy coming up.
Here we look at other aspects of the performances of Test captains. We had started with those who won all their Tests and those who never lost any. Now we look at their converses:
Captains who lost all their Tests:
As one may guess, the first two (both with the first name Khaled) were from Bangladesh and lost all their 12 and 9 Tests respectively. Next is WI’s KC Brathwaite who lost all his 5 Tests and India’s DK Gaekwad (4)
There are a total of 38 captains who lost all their Tests, but the above includes only the 21 who lost all their Tests from 2 onward. Recent additions are Mominul Haque with 2 and WTS Porterfield with 3.
Then there were the
Captains who never lost any Test:
There are actually 50 such cases, but we consider only the 24 cases for 2 or more Tests shown above.
At the top is Warwick Armstrong (8 wins and 2 draws) Brian Close (6 wins and 1 draw) and FG Mann (2 wins and 5 draws). From India there is Srikkanth (4 draws in a single series). In recent years there is AM Rahane (2 wins).