Former India skipper MS Dhoni is undoubtedly one of the most loved sportspersons in the world. Over the years, Dhoni has earned a large fan following, not only in the form of common people but also many formers and current cricketers. However, Dhoni’s camaraderie with former India batter Gautam Gambhir always grabs a lot of attention. On many occasions, the former Kolkata Knight Riders skipper has raised questions on media for only glorying the captain’s role in India’s 2011 World Cup victory and not giving credit to the entire team.
However, Gambhir, in a recent interaction on Star Sports, spoke about how Dhoni “sacrified” his batting position for the sake of the team, otherwise he would have been India’s No 3.
“MS (Dhoni) was the first wicketkeeper of India who could change the game with his batting. Earlier, they were keepers first and batters later, but MS was batter first and then was a wicketkeeper. It was a blessing for Indian cricket that in MS Dhoni, we got a wicketkeeper-batter who can win you matches from No 7, because he had that power game. If MS would have batted at No 3, I am sure he could have broken several ODI records,” said Gambhir on Star Sports.
“People always talk about MS Dhoni and his achievements as a captain, which is absolutely true. But I feel due to captaincy, he sacrificed the batter in him, and he could have achieved much more with his bat which he didn’t. And this happens when you are a captain because then you put the team ahead, and you forget about yourself. He started batting at No 6 or 7. If he had not been captain, he would have been India’s No 3, and I think he could have scored more than what he has scored and could have scored more hundreds also,” he added.
Dhoni is arguably India’s greatest-ever captain, having led the team to three major ICC triumphs.
Under him, India won the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy.
Overall, he led India in 332 matches, the most by a captain in international cricket. Out of these, he won 178, lost 120, tied six and 15 ended in a no-result. His win percentage as a captain is 53.61. This combined with the trophies he has won, makes him India’s most successful captain ever.
In these 332 matches, he scored 11,207 runs in 330 innings at an average of 46.89 and a strike rate of over 76. He scored 11 centuries and 71 fifties as a captain, with the best score of 224. Safe to say, the burden of captaincy did not affect MS at all.
His success at the international level spilled over to franchise cricket as well. He represented and led Chennai Super Kings (CSK) and Rising Pune Supergiant (RPG) in the Indian Premier League (IPL). Dhoni won five IPL titles with CSK in 2010, 2011, 2018, 2021 and 2023. He also won two Champions League T20 titles with CSK in 2010 and 2014.
(With ANI Inputs)
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