The recent appointment of Glenn Maxwell as skipper of Kings XI Punjab for the 2017 IPL looks more of a desperate attempt to salvage some pride in the forthcoming T20 season. Punjab have suffered a rather dismal fate in this tournament, except in 2014 when an Australian skipper George Bailey led them to the final where they ended up second best to Kolkata Knight Riders.
Maxwell has rare to zero experience in captaining any team. And so did Australian Shane Warne, Adam Gilchrist and David Warner, who are the three skippers out of six, to lead their team to IPL title.
Shane Warne captained Rajasthan Royals to IPL title in 2008 edition, beating Chennai Super Kings in the final. In the next edition in 2009 in South Africa, Adam Gilchrist-led Deccan Chargers beat Royal Challengers Bangalore to win the title. The 2016 edition was won by Australian David Warner-led Sunrisers Hyderabad, beating RCB in the final.
The other three skippers to win an IPL title are Indian cricketers MS Dhoni, Gautam Gambhir and Rohit Sharma who all have done it twice.
When Mumbai Indians first won their IPL title in 2013, it was an Australian in Ricky Ponting who was first handed over the reign of the team but he dropped himself after poor run of scores. Rohit Sharma was then made the skipper and led Mumbai Indians to two IPL titles.
Even Punjab had their best finish of runners-up in 2014 IPL under an Australian in George Bailey.
So, what is it that makes an Australian favourite to be given the reign to lead a team? Are they lucky charm for their respective teams?
An Australian cricketer is brought up on a tough culture of fight to win at all costs. As leader of their team, they bring in the same spirit of competitiveness in their teammates as well. Otherwise, how you explain Rajasthan Royals packed with lesser-known players in 2008 IPL beat a star-studded CSK team led by Captain Cool MS Dhoni.
Also, most of the Australian cricketers have had a successful IPL season. Their high standards and work ethics rub on their teammates and lift their game as well. Hence, you see charismatic Australian players in Warne, Gilchrist and Warner lead from the front to help their team win IPL titles.
Punjab too have gone with this trend and hoping the lucky charm of investing in an Australian as skipper works for them as well as it did for the Royals, Chargers and Sunrisers.