The Indian men’s cricket team has had its fair share of brilliant captains who have led the team to victory, lifted players from their slump and carved an overall better side. Former all-rounder Irfan Pathan thinks the team's glory would have been more pronounced if batsman Gautam Gambhir had worn the captain’s hat more often.
Praising the former India batsman’s captaincy skills, Irfan said, “I think Gautam Gambhir should have led the Indian team a lot more as well than he did. He could have been a really good leader.” During his interview with Cricket.com, the Gujarat-born cricketer also talked about other captains that India has had.
“As a winning captain, as a result-oriented captain and the guy who got the result, who had an excellent team, it was Mahendra Singh Dhoni. I have huge respect for Sourav Ganguly, I have great respect for the captaincy of Rahul Dravid [and] Anil Kumble,” Pathan added.
The fast bowler ended the topic by speaking of the present captain and vice-captain. “I really admire Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, but that doesn’t mean, I don’t admire the quality of Mahendra Singh Dhoni,” he said.
Aside from leading Indian Premier League (IPL) team Kolkata Knight Riders through a very handsome couple of seasons, Gambhir has also led the national side a handful of times. What is even more interesting is that he has a 100 per cent winning rate.
The Delhi cricketer had captained Team India in a five-match One Day International (ODI) series against New Zealand held in India back in 2010. Gambhir's side had not only won the series by 5-0 but he was also adjudged the man of the series. A year later, he was once again given the captain's task where he led India to victory in the fifth ODI match against West Indies.
Later in the interview, when asked to pick the best captain for Team India, Irfan chose Sourav Ganguly. He “built the team when the India team was in a slump”, said the all rounder, mentioning how Ganguly had backed young cricketers Yuvraj SIngh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan at the time.
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Raina further said that Dhoni has been a great brand ambassador for IPL and fans will see him in his best fighting spirit.
Dhoni's comeback and retirement has been a matter of intense speculation. His much-awaited comeback is expected to be with Chennai Super Kings at the upcoming IPL, set to be held in the UAE from 19 September.
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