As the ICC cricket world cup 2015 came to a close, the indian team, though having lost the semi final,still made the country proud. The team undoubtedly performed way above the expectation and dominated almost every team till they ran into the rampaging Aussies.
The success of the Indian team was attributed to the captain cool, Mahendra Singh Dhoni and the media went all out praising the best Indian captain ever. Though, I am a die hard cricket fan and love to see Dhoni when he gets going but I am still not a diehard MSD fan. Also,I firmly believe that he might be the most successful Indian captain ever but not the best captain that India has ever had. Well, here is my argument,
- Test matches
Agreed that Dhoni has an enviable ODI record, but the true test of a captain is the test matches.In alien conditions against top notch opposition Dhoni’s Win/Loss ratio is something that is best forgotten.All other previous Indian captains too had an impotent pace bowling attacks.
Dhoni Overseas Tests:
Number of matches :30
- Home conditions:
Dhoni is at his best when slow bowlers are tightening the noose around the batsmen and the ball is difficult to get away.that is why he has a tremendous record at home.On foreign soil ,where this formula doesn’t work, he is at total loss of ideas.
Dhoni ODI record-outside asia
- Test batsman:
We all know what a fantastic player Adam Gilchrist was and even in tests he would walk out to face the second new ball and destroy the opposition. How many times has Dhoni done that?? .Also it is a well known fact that Dhoni is susceptible to good fast bowling in swinging conditions. As a test batsman, he has never been a threat to the opposition.
- Team building:
We all know, what was the state of Indian cricket team when Sourav Ganguly took over. In comparision ,Dhoni inherited a team which was well settled and trying to win by playing aggresively. A feature that was never in built, but was installed by SOURAV GANGULY.
- IPL Effect:
Dhoni has been helped a great deal as all his team members have played IPL. They are used to high pressure situations and have been there and done that.They are used to crowds and have played against top class players. So,when they are picked up for national side,they are never intimidated by the occasion. All previous captains got players ,who had just played Ranji games and maybe in front of 100 odd spectators,they took more time to find their feet in international arena.
- Selection policy:
I have always felt that Dhoni’s Indian team has too much of CSK influence. Jadeja was groomed (though still not fit for games abroad) but not enough chnces were given to amit mishra or a rahul sharma or so many others. Even when ashwin was not performing well, no other spinner was picked up. I still don’t believe that Axar never got a game ahead of Jadeja in the WC2015.
- Cool as a Cucumber:
Yess, that’s a tremendous trait, but if we look at the most successful captains in the past, say an Imran Khan,or Steve Waugh or an Arjuna Ranatunga, they were cool, but occasional reactions from them kept players on their toes.Remember, How Sourav Ganguly got under the skin of the Aussies ,just by delaying the toss, isnt that an aspect of captaincy.
- ICC events:
Am happy that India has done so well in the ICC events in the past few years, but I feel I is the collective gain from many of the previously discussed factors. True, Dhoni also is responsible for this success, but its not entirely Dhoni.
For Dhoni, numbers might be in his favour,he is a great ambassador for the game, But for me ,the best captain that India has ever had is SOURAV GANGULY.
He redefined Indian cricket and that’s what we love him for.