The shortest format in the sport of cricket was introduced in 2005. Australia played against New Zealand and won the match. Two years later, the first ever ICC T20I World Cup took place in South Africa and India were crowned the champions. The formula to win a T20 match has always been to pick up all the ten wickets. This will ultimately put the opposition under pressure and chances to win the match will increase. Captaincy has always been regarded as the most important skill across formats. In this article, we will tell our readers about the top 10 wicket-takers as captain in the T20 internationals. This includes all the captains of the teams which have played a T20 WC at least once.
1. Shakib Al Hassan
The most popular player in Bangladesh and the captain of his nation, Shakib Al Hassan is a left-arm orthodox bowler and a left-handed batter. The all-rounder is ranked at no.1 in the ICC T20I rankings. Born in 1987, Shakib made his T20I debut against Zimbabwe in 2006 and is a regular inclusion in the team ever-since. He first played a T20I as captain against the West Indies in 2009. Since then, he has led the team in 39 matches and has taken 46 wickets as captain. His best figures are 5/20.
2. Tim Southee
The right-arm medium-fast bowler from New Zealand was born in 1988. The Kiwi is a prominent part of the nation’s squads across formats. The experienced campaigner made his debut in the shortest format in 2008 against England at home. He was also a part of the NZ under-19 team in 2008 which was led by Kane Williamson. The bowler has made several appearances as captain in the T20 format. He made his captaincy debut in the format against the West Indies in 2017 and has led the team in 29 matches. As captain, the bowler has taken 43 wickets in the T20Is.
3. Shahid Afridi
Popularly known as “Boom-Boom Afridi,” was a former all-rounder and captain for Pakistan across formats. Born in 1980, the player made his T20I debut against England in 2006. He was appointed as the captain of the T20I in 2009 against Sri Lanka. Known for his big hits down the order along with top-notch leg-breaks, the all-rounder led the team in the shortest format in 43 matches. As captain, he took 40 wickets with the best figures of 4/11. He announced his retirement from T20Is in 2018.
4. Daniel Vettori
The former left-arm orthodox spinner and a handy left-handed batter down the order from New Zealand was born in Auckland in 1979. He made is T20I debut against Kenya in 2007. He was one of the key bowlers in the squads across formats. The orthodox bowler led his team in 28 T20Is from 2007 to 2010. In matches as captain, he took 35 wickets with an impressive average of 16.57. His best figures in a T20I as captain was 4/20. The Kiwi retired from the T20 internationals in 2014.
5. Pieter Seelar
Pieter Seelar is a left-arm orthodox bowler from the Netherlands. He made his T20I debut in 2008 against Kenya. The bowler was appointed as captain in the T20Is in 2018 against Ireland. He led the team in 38 matches until 2021. His best bowling figures as captain were 3/16. During his captaincy tenure, the bowler took 24 T20I wickets.
6. Lasith Malinga
The most dangerous white-ball bowler with a round-arm action from Sri Lanka was born in 1983 in Galle. Known for his accurate yorkers, the right-arm fast bowler made his T20I debut against England in 2006. He was appointed as the captain of the T20I in 2014 and led his team for the first time against New Zealand. The bowler led his team in 24 T20 internationals until 2020. During his captaincy stint, the bowler took 30 T20I wickets with an unbelievable best figure of 5/6. The player announced his retirement from the shortest format in 2020.
7. Stuart Broad
The 6ft 5in tall bowler from Nottingham, England was born in 1986. He made his debut in the T20I against Pakistan in 2006. After getting smashed for six sixes in 2007 WC, the bowler made a roaring comeback and established himself as a key bowler in the red ball format. He made his captaincy debut in the shortest format against Sri Lanka in 2011 and led his team in 27 matches until 2014. During his captaincy stint, he took 30 wickets with best bowling spell of 4/24. The player announced his retirement in 2023 from all forms of cricket.
8. Carlos Brathwaite
Carlos Brathwaite was a former West Indian all-rounder who played all formats. He made his T20I debut against Bangladesh in 2011 followed by his captaincy debut against India in 2016. The world of cricket will remember him for his four consecutive sixes in the final over of the World T20 final against Ben Stokes. He led the team in the shortest format in 30 matches. During his captaincy tenure, he took 24 wickets with the best figures of 3/20. He announced his retirement from international cricket in 2019.
9. Mohammad Nabi
The off-spinner and a powerful striker down the middle-order from Afghanistan was born in 1985. He made his T20I debut against Ireland in 2010. His captaincy tenure started in 2013 after which he led the team in 35 matches before he stepped down from the captaincy in 2022. He took 21 wickets as captain in the shortest format with best bowling figures of 2/12.
10. Mohammad Hafeez
The batting all-rounder from Pakistan was born in 1980 in Punjab. A top-order batter who could bowl decent off-breaks made his T20i debut against England in 2006. He was appointed as the skipper of the T20Is in 2012 and led his team against Sri Lanka for the first time. During his captaincy stint, he led the team in 29 matches until 2014 and took 20 wickets. His best bowling figures were 3/11.