Is Rohit a better IPL captain than MSD?

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Mahendra Singh Dhoni has etched his name as the most successful captain in the history of Indian cricket.

The legendary wicket-keeper batsman brought an end to an illustrious international career spanning 16 years as the former India captain decided to announce his retirement last month. Dhoni, however, will continue to ply his trade for the Chennai Super Kings in IPL in the quest for another tilt at glory.

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Rohit Sharma, with 4 titles with Mumbai Indians, has 1 more than MS Dhoni tally of 3 with Chennai Super Kings. So is Rohit Sharma a better captain than MS Dhoni as far the IPL is concerned?

Rohit and Dhoni are two immensely gifted individuals who are masters at the craft of marshalling their troops. While both possess different qualities as players, yet are exceptionally strong leaders who have excelled as captains.

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While the CSK skipper has enjoyed jaw-dropping success across both international cricket and the IPL, Rohit’s success as a leader has mostly remained confined within the boundaries of IPL.

Rohit-Dhoni IPL record

No doubt that Rohit is one of the most underrated leaders in IPL. But if records are the only criteria, he is the best in the business. Last year, Rohit Sharma’s Mumbai Indians pipped Chennai Super Kings to clinch their fourth IPL crown, thus making Rohit the most successful IPL captain.

But that is not the only reason why he is better than MS Dhoni.

Rohit has led MI in five IPL finals, of which he has won four. Rohit has faced MS Dhoni’s wits in the finals four times and on all the occasions, he’s come out on top-thrice against Chennai Super Kings and once against Rising Pune Supergiants. Whereas Dhoni has led his team eight times in the finals and won only thrice.

While Dhoni is the most experienced captain in the IPL, having played the most number of matches as the skipper, he also has a better winning percentage compared to Rohit.
Out of 148 matches as CSK’s captain, Dhoni has won 92 and lost 55.

As for Rohit, he has won 52 matches and lost 39 out of 92 matches, in which he has led.
Dhoni is the most successful captain in the history of the IPL in terms of matches won. Nobody has a higher win percentage than him. Rohit, on the other hand, is placed at the third spot in this list.

Rohit-Dhoni captaincy styles

Although the Thala has led CSK to the knock-outs on all the ten occasions the team has played, they have managed to contest the final eight times-winning it thrice. As for Rohit, he has been leading the side since 2013 and had won the title in his debut season as captain. Further, he has led MI to three titles in just six seasons.

In overall head to heads- Rohit has won a total of 11 matches as captain against teams under Dhoni’s leadership. Hence, he has the upper hand in this field.

Both of them share a similar style of captaincy. Both of them like to take things in their stride without making much fuss about it. The duo share a common trait of being astute readers of the situation and making the most of their resources to get the desired results.

If all these factors are considered, Rohit deserves quite a lot of credit as a captain. He has not only won more IPL titles than Dhoni but also beats him in terms of head-to-head record, be it in terms of batting numbers or number of matches won against each other. He has achieved all this without any prior experience of captaincy at the domestic and the international level and hence, he can be considered as someone with natural leadership abilities.

As a captain, just like his first captain with the Indian team, Rohit Sharma believes in giving his team room to express themselves on a cricket field. Rohit is well known to be an intense tactician and a meticulous planner. He spends time with the analyst carving out plans for each batsman, which helps him make informed decisions on the field.

Down the years, the team have won the IPL have had sharp minds as their captains and Rohit and MS are two of the brightest. To quote that one is better than the other would be unjustifiable on their mercurial leaderships. Come next Saturday, the duo would write another chapter in their tale as captains.

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