MS Dhoni has not only been successful across ICC events as a captain but also helped India maintain the top spot in Test rankings in 2009 for a long period time. However, former India opener Gautam Gambhir believes fast bowling legend Zaheer Khan is the reason Dhoni was successful as a captain in the longest format.
Dhoni led the national team to 60 Test matches. In this period, India clinched victory in 27 matches while lost 18 and 15 ended in a draw. As a result, Dhoni recorded a 30 per cent of win rate, besides leading India to the most Test matches as a captain. Present captain Virat Kohli is second in the list as he has led India to 55 matches but has surpassed Dhoni as the most successful skipper for India in the longest format.
Describing the Test captaincy stint of Dhoni, Gambhir said that Zaheer was India’s best and he was blessing that the 2011 World Cup winning captain got. Incidentally. Zaheer played 33 Tests under Dhoni and scalped 123 wickets as India reached the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in 2009.
“The reason Dhoni became such a successful captain in Test cricket is because of Zaheer Khan. He was a big blessing that Dhoni got, for which credit goes to Ganguly. According to me, Zaheer has been India’s best world class bowler,” Gambhir said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.
“Dhoni has been a very lucky captain because he got an amazing team in every format,” Gambhir said. “Captaining 2011 World Cup team was very easy for Dhoni because we had players like Sachin, Sehwag, myself, Yuvraj, Yusuf, Virat, so he had got the best teams, while Ganguly had to work very hard for it, and as a result Dhoni won so many trophies,” he added.
Gambhir has been critical about Dhoni on a lot of fronts. He has also spoken about the how Dhoni stole his thunder with the six at the 2011 World Cup final.