Friday, April 8, 2011

Who is better: Dhoni or Ganguly?

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee
Over the last few years numerous comparisons has been drawn between Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni and their captaincy. The World Cup win has raged the argument even further with some suggesting that Dhoni is the best captain India has ever had. After all he has achieved the No. 1 ranking in tests and ODIs and also has a T20 World Cup under his belt. On the other side the diehard fans of ‘Dada’ still swear by his man management and knack of spotting talent. It was under his captaincy that Indian team started to realise themselves as world beaters.
MS Dhoni

Comparing the two would be comparing between a man who loads a gun and one who fires in a combat situation. Ganguly took captaincy in the midst of the match fixing scandal when no one else wanted the job. He inherited a team which didn’t mind surrendering to the opposition where loosing was a norm. Things like wining a Test match on a green top in Australia, South Africa or England was unheard of those days. Dhoni took the team to the next level where he converted a group of match winners to a champion side

To start with Dhoni, he has been one of the best strategists that India has ever had in the last two decades. He goes more by his calculative moves which have worked wonders for him so far. His decision to play Ashish Nehra in the semi-finals versus Pakistan or promote himself ahead of Yuvraj Singh in the final have been brilliant. He is calm on the field which has earned him the title of ‘Captain Cool’, pressure and nervousness are something which don’t seem to exist in his dictionary. He is candid and doesn’t believe in making politically correct statements which has earned him tremendous respect among his teammates with half the side more experienced than him. 
Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly on the other hand was more of an instinctive captain. He backed young cricketers unlike any of his predessors. Legend has it that he fought with the board to have Harbhajan Singh and Yuvraj Singh in the squad. Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Dhoni himself are a result of Ganguly’s vision of promoting match winners and supporting them to the core. He didn’t mind being in the bad books of the board and the cricketing fraternity as long as his team won the mnatches. He matched fire with fire and eye with eye when it came to playing tough oppositions like Australia and South Africa. Who can forget how he made a mockery of Steve Waugh’s mental disintegration tactics in the 2001 series.

Honestly it is absurd to compare two individuals who did not compete on the same platform with similar  team composition. One built the team laid the foundation whereas the other glorified it with his own skills.  It would be better to see this as a whole process which was started by Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni taking it to its pinnacle.


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