Adam Gilchrist rates MS Dhoni and Steve Waugh as the two perfect captains
Gilchrist also picks Virat Kohli and Kieron Pollard as the best players in ODIs and T20s respectively.
What's the story?
Legendary wicket-keeper batsman Adam Gilchrist has picked Steve Waugh and MS Dhoni as his favourite captains. When asked to name the perfect skipper, the iconic cricketer went for two popular options and placed fellow gloveman Dhoni in the same echelon as his former Australian team mate.
"I will give two answers, one from having played underneath and I think Steve Waugh is right there and I perceive MS (Dhoni), one having not played underneath", Gilchrist told India Today.
The 45-year old elaborated, "MS (Dhoni) I feel - apart from being a wonderful batsman, wonderful wicket-keeper and a great leader, his greatest quality that I have observed is his calmness under pressure. Of course he is 'Captain Cool' (and) his calmness under siege or even when things are going well. Such is the passion for cricket in this country that exuberance can spill out of control and you can lose track of things. But his calmness in any moment (is that) he is able to bring consistency in emotion and that is admirable."
Even though he had made his ODI debut under Mark Taylor's captaincy during the 1996 Titan Cup, it was not until the 1999 season that Gilchrist began to carve a niche for himself in the Australian side. A major part of his success was due to captain Waugh backing him fiercely despite the then public opinion favouring the experienced Ian Healy.
The heart of the matter
Gilchrist received the coveted Baggy Green under Waugh's strong leadership in the 1999 Brisbane Test. Under 'Tugga's splendid captaincy, the dynamic left-hander played a key role in Australia winning the 1999 World Cup in England. Almost twelve years later, Dhoni broke Australia's hegemony over the premier 50-over tournament by leading India to World Cup glory on home soil.
Upon being asked to pick his best players in the two limited-overs formats, Gilchrist named current Indian captain Virat Kohli as the perfect ODI cricketer at the moment. However, he managed to raise a few eyebrows by opting for seasoned all-rounder Kieron Pollard in T20s ahead of South African batsman AB de Villiers and a few other promising candidates.
With Dhoni aspiring to contribute as a player to India's campaign in the 2019 World Cup in England & Wales, the 2017/18 season will be critical to his fortunes in the 50-over format. The 36-year old's next ODI assignment will be the 3-match home series against Sri Lanka starting on December 10. Before that, he is set to take part in the third T20I against New Zealand at Thiruvananthapuram on November 7.
Considering the fact that Waugh and Dhoni are both World Cup winning captains, Gilchrist's choices for the 50-over format seems to be spot on. As for his selection for the perfect T20 player, the trend-setting wicket-keeper batsman could have opted for a more consistent performer than Pollard. However, at the end of the day, these choices are his personal opinions and hence must be viewed with respect.