Cricketer-turned-commentator Sanjay Manjrekar talked about Indian captains and their different style of leadership in different eras.
The fact that India has only two World Cup-winning captains – Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni. But that doesn’t mean the contributions of other leaders like Mohammad Azharuddin, Sourav Ganguly and Virat Kohli should be sidelined.
Virat Kohli has most Test wins as Indian captain, MS Dhoni leads the charts in ODIs and T20Is
Kohli, who recently relinquished captaincy from all formats, holds the record of most Test wins (40) as India’s Test skipper. Dhoni has the same record in both the white-ball formats with 41 wins in T20Is and 110 in ODIs.
Dhoni is the only captain to win all three ICC events in the history of cricket as he led India in 2007 T20 World Cup (South Africa), 2011 World Cup (India) and 2013 Champions Trophy (England and Wales).
Dhoni’s successor Kohli never had the fortune to win a ICC title during his tenure even though he has distinctive achievements in overseas Test series.
MS Dhoni is clearly one of India’s greatest captains: Sanjay Manjrekar
Manjrekar said Dhoni was a tremendous captain and all other captains did a better job than Kohli.
“MS Dhoni is clearly one of India’s greatest captains. I judge captains generally on international cricket and also on ICC events. Because that’s when you are really tested, that is where Dhoni has been tremendous,” Manjrekar told CNN-News18.
“When you look at Kohli, there are a lot of things to like about him because he is somebody who led by example. The Wanderers Test match before this series, when they played on a treacherous pitch. India lost the series 2-0 but Kohli set an example as captain. He said that we want to win this despite a pitch that could have killed somebody. That kept India’s morale high. That is what you get with Virat Kohli, the never-say-die attitude.
“When we talk about all-time greats, it would be very unfair to not count Dhoni in that. Kapil Dev at a time when there was an inferiority complex at the world level. Saurav Ganguly after the match-fixing era gave India some overseas wins. Sunil Gavaskar also. So these are all great leaders. You live in an age where there are a lot of platforms, so the hype is more. But Indian cricket didn’t start 10 years back. These are guys that I believe have been better captains than Virat Kohli who has been very good in his own right,” he added.
Kohli led India in 68 Tests, 95 ODIs and 50 T20 International matches and won a total of 135 games across all formats.