Former India cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar believes that MS Dhoni has been one of India's greatest captains as he has won three ICC events where pressure on the teams to deliver is tremendous. Manjrekar further added that Virat Kohli set an example as a captain but the results have never gone his way.
Virat Kohli recently stepped down from the Test captaincy after the South Africa series where India lost by 1-2. The 33-year-old has been the most successful Indian Test captain with a decent win rate. As Kohli has stepped down from the leadership role in Test cricket, the selectors will now look forward to finding his successor in the longest format. Rohit Sharma, KL Rahul and Rishabh Pant are frontrunners for the captaincy role in the red-ball format.
Kohli has been successful in Test cricket, but the right-hand batsman failed to guide India to win an ICC trophy during his leadership stint. Whereas, India won three ICC titles under the captaincy of MS Dhoni.
Meanwhile, Sanjay Manjrekar stated that he judge captains generally on international cricket and also on ICC events, and rated MS Dhoni as one of India’s greatest leaders in the game.
"MS Dhoni is clearly one of India’s greatest captains. I judge captains generally on international cricket and also on ICC events. Because that’s when you are really tested. When you are playing bilateral cricket, you are going to the office and coming back. There is not much pressure there. But ICC events, that is where Dhoni has been tremendous," Manjrekar said to News 18.
Kohli has struggled during his captaincy to win a limited-overs ICC tournament and the team was able to reach only the knockouts of the ICC events. However, Kohli transpired a never-say-die attitude amongst the team while leading the team.
Manjreakr said that Kohli had set an example as a captain, but results have never gone his way.
"When you look at Kohli, there are a lot of things to like about him because he is somebody who led by example. The Wanderers Test match before this series, when they played on a treacherous pitch. India lost the series 2-0 but Kohli set an example as captain. He said that we want to win this despite a pitch that could have killed somebody. That kept India’s morale high. That is what you get with Virat Kohli, the never-say-die attitude,” he explained.
“In the World Test Championship final India lost. But till the last minute India through Virat Kohli was still fighting to salvage the game. But finally, you’ve got to talk about the results. The results were not coming,” Manjrekar added.
Manjrekar also heaped praise on Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar, saying that the Indian cricket legends were great leaders during their period.
"So when we talk about all-time greats, it would be very unfair to not count Dhoni in that. Kapil Dev at a time when there was an inferiority complex at the world level. Saurav Ganguly after the match-fixing era gave India some overseas wins. Sunil Gavaskar also. So these are all great leaders. You live in an age where there are a lot of platforms, so the hype is more. But Indian cricket didn’t start 10 years back. These are guys that I believe have been better captains than Virat Kohli who has been very good in his own right," he concluded.