In a career spanning across nearly a decade, Irfan Pathan, the former Indian all-rounder, has a notable distinction of playing under several captains belonging to different eras.
While making his debut under Sourav Ganguly in 2003, Pathan played his last match under the leadership of MS Dhoni. In between, he also played his parts when the team was going through the transition phase, with relatively less-celebrated captains like Anil Kumble and Rahul Dravid at the helm.
Since there’s no provision for two captains in a team of eleven players, someone with equally adept leadership ability might have to sacrifice his contention for the coveted post.
In a recent interview with cricket.com, Pathan remarked that Gautam Gambhir is a player who should have captained Team India a lot more than he actually did.
“People don’t talk about Rahul Dravid as much. So, people who don’t talk about Rahul Dravid as much, do they dislike him? No. Under his captaincy, India won 16 consecutive ODIs while chasing. Sometimes it gets under the wrap,” remarked Pathan.
“As a winning captain, as a result-oriented captain and the guy who got the result, who had an excellent team, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
“I have huge respect for Sourav Ganguly, I have great respect for the captaincy of Rahul Dravid, Anil Kumble and I think Gautam Gambhir should have led the Indian team a lot more as well than he did. He could have been a really good leader,” he added.
Gambhir led the Indian team on six occasions in his career and boasts a 100% winning record.
The former left-handed batsman’s most remarkable achievement as a captain came in the 2010-11 season when the Indian team whitewashed the visitors, New Zealand, by 5-0 margin. With 329 runs at a Bradmanesque average of 109.66, Gambhir also emerged as the leading run-getter of the series and won the ‘Man of the Series’ award.