Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni, the two most revered cricketers of all time, and also the two most influential captains the Indian cricket team ever had. While both of the legendary wicket keeper batsmen have contributed substantially to the team, there was always a question, that between the Prince of Calcutta and the Captain Cool, who was the better leader in white ball cricket? Former Indian opening batsman Gautam Gambhir speaks his mind.
In his six years of ODI captaincy, Sourav Ganguly has led India in 146 matches in the format, with 53.90 win percentage. Compared to that, MS Dhoni has been the skipper of 200 ODI and 72 T20I matches, with win percentages of 59.52 and 59.28 respectively.
However, Mahi captained India to the historic win at the 2007 World T20, and the team’s second World Cup triumph in 2011, an achievement that Dada had missed out on, losing the 2003 World Cup final to Australia.
Speaking at Star Sports’ ‘Cricket Connected’ show, Gautam Gambhir positioned Dhoni ahead of Ganguly regarding success in limited overs format.
“MS Dhoni was a better captain than Sourav Ganguly in white-ball cricket, especially if you talk about the trophies alone,” Gambhir emphasised on the tournament victories Dhoni had achieved, “T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, 50-over World Cup – there is nothing else left to win in ICC tournaments as he has won everything.”
“As a captain, obviously you cannot have a better record. So, I have no doubt that in white-ball cricket MS Dhoni has an upper hand over Sourav Ganguly,” the 38 year old added.
Although, Gambhir points out the very reason behind Dhoni having done better, and that was was the star studded squad that was presented to him when he took captaincy in 2007, a team that Dada worked on and perfected for years.
“When Ganguly took over as captain he had an inexperienced team, players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra and Mohammad Kaif were raw,” Gauti went on, “When MS Dhoni took over as captain all these players were world-beaters, so that probably was the reason. MS Dhoni didn’t convert them into players who could handle pressure better.”
“But MS Dhoni would be rated higher only because he had experienced cricketers who started under Sourav Ganguly,” he concluded.