Mahendra Singh Dhoni is arguably one of the greatest captains in the history of Indian cricket. He is the only skipper to win the World T20, Champions Trophy and the 50-over World Cup in world cricket. Dhoni also took Team India to the top of the ICC Test rankings in 2013. He has constantly been compared to former skipper Sourav Ganguly, who revolutionised Indian cricket in the early 2000s.
Ganguly is credited with bringing a fearless attitude in Indian cricketers while also giving chances and freedom to younger players of that time like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, and Ashish Nehra.
Gautam Gambhir played under both Dhoni and Ganguly during his career and recently talked about the legacy of both the cricketers. Gambhir said that by the time Dhoni finished his captaincy stint, he has been able to give a lot too many quality cricketers to his successor Virat Kohli, unlike Ganguly, who provided the team with world-beaters.
After Ganguly’s departure, it was MS Dhoni who filled the void and became one of the most successful skippers across the world. A young Dhoni stunned the world by guiding India to win the inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. He followed it up with 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy. Dhoni is the only captain to have three major ICC titles under his belt.
“When MS Dhoni finished, he hasn’t given enough quality players to Virat Kohli, apart from Virat Kohli himself and Rohit Sharma, or Jasprit Bumrah now. There are not too many world-beaters or probably people who win you tournaments,” Gambhir said.
“But look at what Sourav Ganguly gave to Indian cricket: Yuvraj Singh, Man of the Series in two World Cups, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag – these kinds of world-beaters,” he added.
Ganguly captained India to 21 wins in 49 Tests while winning the NatWest Series in 2002 and making it to the final of the 2003 World Cup.
Recently, Gambhir had also termed Dhoni a ‘lucky’ captain as he had the likes of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Virat Kohli and many more stalwarts in his armoury. It made Dhoni’s job easier, unlike Ganguly, who had to work very hard as a captain.
“Dhoni has been a very lucky captain because he got an amazing team in every format. Captaining 2011 World Cup team was very easy for Dhoni because we had players like Sachin, Sehwag, myself, Yuvraj, Yusuf, Virat, so he had got the best teams, while Ganguly had to work very hard for it, and as a result, Dhoni won so many trophies,” Gambhir had said.