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5 ways in which MS Dhoni's world No. 1 team was different from that of Virat Kohli's

Virat Kohli has a more aggressive approach to captaincy compared to MS Dhoni.

Australia v India: 3rd Test - Day 1 : News Photo
Kohli has taken India to the No. 1 spot in Tests

Team India is numero uno in Test cricket after surpassing Pakistan post the victories against New Zealand. This time, Indian fans would hope that it will be a much longer stay at the top, unlike the last 2 times this year when India became no. 1 in Tests only for very brief periods; first in January when it was because of South Africa’s loss to England, and then in August when it was surpassed by Pakistan, courtesy their 2-2 series result in England, and India being unable to win the last Test in the West Indies.

Prior to Virat Kohli’s Team India reaching the no.1 spot in Test cricket, MS Dhoni’s team reached the top of Test cricket in 2009. The team went to the top of the rankings in December 2009 and stayed there till August 2011, for a total of 21 months. Kohli’s team’s reign at No.1, though, has only just begun.

Let’s see the 5 differences between the two teams that climbed to the No. 1 spot led by MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli:


#1 Kohli’s captaincy stint started under much tougher conditions

CRICKET-AUS-IND : News Photo
Kohli took over the captaincy from Dhoni in 2014

When MS Dhoni took over the reins in November 2008, it was in the last Test of a home series of 4 Tests, where the home team was leading 1-0 heading into the Test. While captaining a Test team is never an easy job, most captains would tell you that it is relatively far more comfortable to do so in front of a home crowd and if you are ahead in the series with no chance of losing it.

Virat Kohli, by contrast, got his first taste of captaining the Indian Test team under far tougher circumstances. He captained the team for the first time at Adelaide, December 2014, in the first Test of the Border-Gavaskar Trophy as MS Dhoni was unavailable for the Test. To make your Test captaincy debut Down Under, where the crowd can be really hostile, and that too in the tone-setting first Test of a series is quite difficult.

He responded magnificently with a hundred in each innings but couldn’t avert a defeat for team India. It was in the 4th Test of the series where Kohli led India for the first time as full-time Test captain, and again got a hundred in the first innings, making him the first player to make hundreds in his first 3 Test innings as captain.

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