Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni are widely appreciated for their extraordinary leadership skills. Both took India to newer heights and produced champion cricketers under their respective regimes as the captain of the Indian cricket team.
Ganguly is often credited for changing the phase of Indian cricket completely. When he took over the captaincy, the Indian team was surviving with match-fixing accusations and few other controversies. Naturally, the morale of most of the players was down and out. At such times, Ganguly took the responsibility to lead the side, and he eventually changed the scenarios.
From a Test victory in Australia in 2001 to the Natwest final triumph on England soil in 2002, under Ganguly’s leadership, India started winning matches as well as the tournament finals, especially in overseas conditions.
When it comes to Dhoni, then he has achieved massive success in both international and domestic cricket. Dhoni is the only captain to win all ICC trophies. Under his leadership, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, the 2010 and 2016 Asia Cups, the 2011 Cricket World Cup and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Even in the domestic arena, the Ranchi-born cricketer set new records. In the Indian Premier League (IPL), Dhoni won three IPL titles for Chennai Super Kings (CSK) which is second best after Rohit Sharma who led Mumbai Indians (MI) to four IPL titles.
But what is the difference between Ganguly and Dhoni as leaders? Well, former South Africa skipper Graeme Smith has dropped his views regarding the topic. Smith believes that Dhoni’s role as a better finisher brought him ahead of Ganguly.
“The biggest difference between Dada’s captaincy and MS’s captaincy is MS, the player for me. I think in that middle order, the ability to close games, win games, finish games in that calm that he brought to the people around him. I think for me, that is probably the biggest difference between the two heroes, is MS Dhoni,” Smith said on the Cricket Connected Show for Star Sports during the special ‘Ganguly vs Dhoni survey’ bit.
“If Dada had an MS type player, his team was slightly more developed; I think you would have seen him win plenty more trophies. Dada was blessed to play or not blessed to play in an era where Australian cricket was at the forefront and dominating the world game as well which at the time the team had won the most during that period,” he added.
Smith also compared the batting of both Ganguly and Dhoni. He said that the Kolkata-born was a better Test player while MSD is a better ODI player.
“From my perspective, it’s always difficult to move away from an opening batsman and a captain as challenging. I agree that when it comes to Test cricket, having played against MS, you would always felt that you had an opportunity to work him over, especially away and out of India, but I think when it comes to Test cricket, I’ll have to sit with Dada, but one-day cricket, certainly MS is my man,” concluded Smith.