Ganguly or Dhoni: The never ending debate of Indian cricket
India won the 2nd Test by an innings and 135 runs and with this win, Mahendra Singh Dhoni became India’s most successful Test captain. But does “successful” actually mean greatest ever? NO
Then what makes a captain great? Impact? What if a captain has an impact on the team and still ends up losing games? Does that mean captain is great irrespective of results? No again.
Then what makes a captain great? Well, this is a question, which has many answers, but it is difficult to know which the right answer is.
A successful team makes successful captains. Having said that, a captain plays a huge role in cricket; more than any sport. Experts and fans divide captains into many categories such as attacking, aggressive and defensive. But true greatness is demonstrated in pressure situations or in crunch moments of the game.
Cricket is a boring game to many but exciting to people like me. Just think about 15 boring guys including 11 players from the bowling side plus two batsman and two umpires standing in the heat and playing the most boring game ever. And one guy will have to martial the troops by screaming, chanting, moving all over the place, biting his nails when things go wrong, coming all the way to give his bowler a high 5, who just picked up his wicket and also take the blame after every loss.
Now let us come back to the main topic. We were talking about Indian captains right? oh just go to Google and type “Indian population”. U will get one number. Shocked eh? Now add one more point to my previous Para-carrying the hopes of billion people. Oh my god. Now you must be wondering How in the hell do Indian captains respond so well even after having such pressure and expectations?
Now coming to the exact point-actually Indian captain’s love captaining their side because they will think just as we thought a while ago. Yes about that population and they will say to themselves that How lucky they are to be leading the side in a country which boasts billion people” they are enjoying a post which billions would be dreaming of. Talking about Dhoni-Yes, he is great without a shadow of doubt.
A captain who is strong and smart and takes the blame for the loss and also has numbers to show his greatness. But that’s not end of the world. Captaincy is not all about winning percentages. A captain should be judged by how good tactician he is and not by how many matches the team has won.
There are few Indian captains who are always talked about in this discussion of greatest Indian captain-and the first name that appears in this discussion is without a doubt Prince of Kolkata Sourav Ganguly.
He was highly regarded by his peers and many players who are playing in the present team under Dhoni owe a lot to Dada for their success. Rightly, so, Dada showed tremendous faith on youngsters and backed them to come good at the international level.
He also took up the captaincy of Indian team after the match-fixing saga in 2000.He took the Indian team to new heights from its lowest ebb-this adds to his greatness.
Forget statistics-He was a great tactician and a master of mind games. Any doubts? Well, ask Steve Waugh-he will clarify your doubt. He is not a captain who waits for the things to happen. He always likes to make things happen.
People talk about VVS Laxman’s epic innings at Kolkata in 2001, which is still regarded as one of the best match, and innings in cricketing history. Well, what people do not remember is that Laxman came in at no.3 in that match. Whose plan was that to send him at no.3? Without a shadow of doubt-it’s Sourav Chandidas Ganguly. What a masterstroke by Dada-as we all know that innings and match changed the phase of Indian cricket. In other words, it will be remembered as most famous turn around in cricket history.
It was also the great series where Mighty Aussies were bent down their knees to India.
However, only drawback in sourav’s captaincy was his performance with the bat. Captaincy had affected his batting. He was going great guns in both one days and Test matches before he took up the captaincy. Runs started to dry up after 2001.though he provided some occasional brilliances-he was not up to the mark and didn’t live up to the early promise shown by him. He is still a great in one-day games but just another batsman in the longest format. This will be his biggest regret in life.
Later he was sacked from captaincy due to his horrid show with the bat and issues with then coach Greg Chappell.
When we talk about captains-, we must definitely talk about past skippers too. Past skippers include Pataudi, Wadekar, Kapil Dev, Gavaskar, Azharuddin, and many others
Pataudi’s case is just another case where stats do not reflect much. He was regarded as one of the most dynamic leaders around but stats don’t say much about his leadership. However, he will be remembered as first Indian skipper to taste success in the overseas. Pataudi made us believe that Indian team can compete overseas and Ajit Wadekar has continued the trend of Pataudi and won Tests in England and West Indies.
Whenever Indian cricket history is discussed-first thing our ancestors talk about is “1983 world cup triumph”. How can we talk about Indian captains without taking the name of Kapil dev? its like Bollywood movies without Amitabh Bacchan
He was wonderful as a player-outstanding as a leader-he was leader who led from the front-or we can say “captain who led by example”. Whether it has with the bat or ball in the hand-or even in the field, he never gave up. He was a fighter. However, stats do not say much about his leadership. Apart from that we win in 1983-There is not much to show with the help of numbers. In 34 Tests captained by Kapil dev, -22 Tests have been drawn and India won only four.
Coming to Gavaskar-we all know he was/is one of the finest batsman the cricket has produced. probably first Indian batsman who could look into the eyes of fast bowlers.
A short man with a big heart. He was a good tactician in his days.
Azharuddin was captain for most of the 1990s. Statistically he is one of India’s most successful captains. He won 103 ODI matches as the captain of the Indian team, which is still an Indian record. His 14 Test Match wins as captain, was a record until then Indian cricket captain Ganguly with 21 Test wins bettered it and now Dhoni with 22 wins
This captaincy thing is always debatable. Numbers say Dhoni. Experts say some other skipper and it goes on and on. But at the end of the day we are lucky enough to have witnessed Indian cricket team led by fantastic skippers from past and present. Every one is great in their own way. Every one has their own strengths. Finally, I would like to congratulate Mahendra Singh Dhoni for becoming most successful Indian captain and wish him many more wins in the future.