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Top 5 Players With Most Runs As Captain In World Cup History 

image-lnbnbft1Mohammad Azharuddin playing a shot [Twitter]

Playing a World Cup is a matter of immense pride but also huge pressure as a cricketer, which reaches another level if you're the captain of your nation. The skipper not just has to bring out his 'A' game on the field but also extract maximum value and performances from the rest of his squad while catering to the weight of expectations from the fans. 

Not every captain has been able to handle the great responsibility. However, the history of the World Cup is also evident to a few exceptional names and cricketers who have been able to excel on the global stage. Especially with the bat in hand as more teams appoint individual batters as their leader above bowlers and all-rounders. 

We take a look at five such great batting performers over the tournament's previous 12 editions, enlisting the top 5 highest run-making captains in World Cup history. Notably, one of them is an allround cricketer, who had the opportunity to lead his nation at multiple World Cups. 

Ricky Ponting 

image-lnbmipwbRicky Ponting [Twitter]

Aussie legend Ricky Ponting remains the highest-scoring World Cup captain leading into the 2023 edition in India. Ponting, who spent his prime years as a batter captaining the mighty Australian team at its peak from 2003 to 2011 and won two titles, tops the run-chart with a whopping 1,160 runs in his 25 innings. The great right-hander struck four centuries at the showpiece event while averaging 52.52 with a strike-rate of 87.81. 

Stephen Fleming 

image-lnbmkaerStephen Fleming [Twitter]

Elegant left-hander Fleming is next on the list with an impressive 882 runs from his 27 innings as captain for New Zealand in the World Cups. He led the BlackCaps side for three editions of the quadrennial event from 1999-2007 with a batting average of 36.75 and a strike rate of 78.67. Fleming, on whose shoulders the Kiwi batting unit rested during his career, also made two hundreds and four half-centuries.


Mohammad Azharuddin 

image-lnbn8092Mohammed Azharuddin [Twitter]

The only Indian part of the esteemed list, Azharuddin was a brilliant One-Day batter in his prime. A controversial figure, the Hyderabadi right-hander was a delightful player of his era and reserved his best for the World Cups. Azharuddin made 636 runs in 20 innings at the quadrennial event with an average above 35 while striking his runs at 77.09. The streetsmart batter never got the chance to raise his bat for a World Cup century but produced six brilliant fifties. 

Graeme Smith 

image-lnbmov95Graeme Smith [Twitter]

Next up is South African legend Graeme Smith, who led Proteas from the front at the 2007 and 2011 editions of the World Cup. Smith, the unorthodox but solid left-hand opener is only 10 runs behind Azharuddin on the list with an impressive 626 runs in just 17 innings. Smith's World Cup CV features a brilliant average of 39.12 with a strike-rate touching close to 87 and five half-centuries. 

Imran Khan 

image-lnbmwbe8Imran Khan [Twitter]

Last but certainly not the least is Pakistan's cricketing inspiration and their talismanic 1992 World Cup skipper Imran Khan, who remains the fifth-highest run-scoring captain in the tournament's history. Khan, who led the Pakistani pace pack in his prime, also held the batting strong with his presence and made 615 runs in 22 matches with an average close to 40. Notably, Khan is still the only Pakistani captain to have made a World Cup century.