MS Dhoni did not give enough world-beaters to Team India: Gautam Gambhir

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has said MS Dhoni, during his captaincy stint, did not create a lot of match-winners, something that Sourav Ganguly was able to do well during his reign.

Barring Virat Kohli, Rohit Sharma and Jasprit Bumrah, there are not a lot of “world-beaters” who evolved during MS Dhoni’s time as captain, feels Gambhir.

Gambhir pointed out that Ganguly, who had a very raw team when he took over, left behind match-winners of the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan while pointing out their impact in World Cup-winning campaigns in 2007 (T20 World Cup) and 2011.

Ganguly, as Gambhir points out, is one of the most influential captains Indian cricket has had due to his ability to mentor youngsters. In fact, it was Ganguly who was at the helm when Dhoni made his international debut and evolved into one of the most aggressive wicket-keeper batsmen.

“When MS Dhoni finished [his captaincy stint], 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 was quoted as saying by ESPNcricinfo.

“But look at what Sourav Ganguly gave to Indian cricket: Yuvraj Singh, Man of the Series in two World Cups (only at 2011 World Cup). Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag – these kinds of world-beaters.”

Earlier, speaking on Star Sports’ Cricket Connected show, Gambhir said leading the 2011 World Cup team was ‘easy’ for Dhoni because of the quality of players he had in the side.

Gambhir said it was Ganguly’s hard work that worked in favour of Dhoni when it came to winning ICC tournaments.

“The reason Dhoni became such a successful captain in test cricket is because of Zaheer Khan. He was a big blessing that Dhoni got, for which credit goes to Ganguly. According to me Zaheer has been India’s best world class bowler. Dhoni has been a very lucky captain because he got an amazing team in every format,” Gambhir said.

“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.”

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Vipin Darwade