Former India opener Gautam Gambhir may have called MS Dhoni ‘a lucky captain’ recently, but he rated him over Sourav Ganguly in white-ball cricket.
Gambhir, along with Irfan Pathan, Graeme Smith and Kumar Sangakkara, debated over Dhoni and Ganguly’s captaincy on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’. Gambhir feels that Dhoni’s captaincy record and the three major ICC trophies put him over Ganguly.
“MS Dhoni was a better captain than Sourav Ganguly in white-ball cricket, especially if you talk about the trophies alone. T20 World Cup, Champions Trophy, 50-over World Cup – there is nothing else left to win in ICC tournaments as he has won everything,” the southpaw said.
“As a captain, obviously you cannot have a better record. So, I have no doubt that in white-ball cricket MS Dhoni has an upper hand over Sourav Ganguly.”
Gambhir added that Ganguly had to work hard to form a team which later helped Dhoni. “When Ganguly took over as captain he had an inexperienced team, players like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, and Mohammad Kaif were raw.”
“When MS Dhoni took over as captain all these players were world-beaters so that probably was the reason. MS Dhoni didn’t convert them into players who could handle pressure better. But MS Dhoni would be rated higher only because he had experienced cricketers who started under Sourav Ganguly.”
Irfan, who announced retirement from all formats of the game in January this year, too shared his opinion on the comparison between Dhoni and Ganguly.
“If you talk about the Champions Trophy in 2002 when India finished as joint-winners with Sri Lanka, there also the Indian team had an upper hand. If that match had happened, the Indian team would have been the sole winners of the Champions Trophy.”
“There the captain was Sourav Ganguly, so Ganguly and MS Dhoni would have been equal there. If you talk about 2003, we had an outstanding team that played the final, if we had won that one match we would have won the World Cup under Sourav Ganguly.”
“So only because of the one-one match, the scale is slightly tilted towards MS Dhoni.”