Off The Field

Shahid Afridi reveals why MS Dhoni was a better captain than Ricky Ponting

Written by Vipin Darwade

Former Pakistan captain Shahid Afridi is known for his bold comments and some of them are so outrageous that they don’t suit the standards of a highly successful international player. Shahid Afridi’s recent but old comment on Sachin Tendulkar made fans livid recently. He had again repeated that the legendary cricketer was afraid of former Pakistan pacer Shahid Afridi.

“Dekhiye Sachin Tendulkar aapne muh se toh nahi kahega ki main dar raha hu. (Sachin obviously won’t say it himself that he was scared). There were some spells from Shoaib Akhtar in which not only Sachin but some of the world’s best also got shaken up,” Afridi had said.

His online spats with cricketer-turned-politician is a stuff of different league. However, for a change, Shahid Afridi has put smiles on the faces of Indian fans after replying to a Twitter user, who asked him to choose the better captain between former India captain MS Dhoni and retired Australian legend Ricky Ponting.

“I rate Dhoni a bit higher than Ponting as he developed a new team full of youngsters,” Shahid Afridi said, much to the delight of Indian fans. But a debate can surely arise after realising that MS Dhoni had a support of lot of seniors in the initial years of his captaincy tenure. In fact Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman played in the Test format till 2012. Sachin Tendulkar played an year extra.

Ricky Ponting teammates, Justin Langer, Matthew Hayden, Adam Gilchrist, Damien Martyn, Shane Warne, Glenn McGrath, debuted more less close to Ricky Ponting’s debut and were similar in their age. But for MS Dhoni also things were not very different. He had the support of stalwarts like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid after he became the captain. Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir, Yuvraj Singh and Harbhajan Singh had also made their international debut ahead of MS Dhoni.

In the shortest (T20I) format of the game Ricky Ponting played only 17 matches as captain, winning on 7 occasions. Dhoni, the first T20 World Cup-winning captain played 72 T20Is as captain and won 41 of them.

About the author

Vipin Darwade