MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly are two of the greatest captains that Indian cricket and possibly world cricket has seen in the modern era.
Sourav Ganguly took over the leadership reins when Indian cricket was in shambles. With high profile cricketers getting banned due to match-fixing allegations, Ganguly started building team from scratch. One of Ganguly’s biggest qualities was how he backed young talents like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Irfan Pathan, Ashish Nehra, MS Dhoni and, along with fellow senior cricketers, created a team that would go and challenge the best in the business in their own den.
MS Dhoni, on the other hand, brought in a sense of calm in the Indian set-up, helping the team break the final barrier and finally won trophies. Dhoni is the only captain to win each of the three ICC events- T20 World Cup 2007, 2011 World Cup and 2013 Champions Trophy- and Kumar Sangakkara, while comparing the contribution and impact of Dhoni and Ganguly in world events, reckoned that Dhoni’s record is something that every captain or a player dreams of.
He, however, added that Ganguly, as a batsman, had a big impact as a batsman in ICC events.
“The trophy that he has won is incredible. They are the dream of every captain, of every player and he has been able to do wonders. The most important thing is when you look at the trophy cabinet, MS is going to look at that along with the players that he played within those sides and be very satisfied with how he won those trophies. So MS on that front for me. But impact? You can always debate. Sourav Ganguly has also had a huge personal impact in big tournaments” Kumar Sangakkara said on Star Sports show ‘Cricket Connected’
Sourav Ganguly had a bigger impact as a batsman in ICC events than MS Dhoni: Gautam Gambhir
Delving on the debate, Gautam Gambhir, who has played under both Dhoni and Ganguly, was of the view that while the Ranchi cricketer has a bigger impact than Sourav Ganguly as a captain, the case is reversed when it comes to the duo’s impact as a batsman.
“Purely from the trophies point of view, it’s MS Dhoni. But if you see the impact during those tournaments, MS didn’t have such a big impact as a player. But in the 2003 World Cup, Sourav Ganguly had a fabulous World Cup. If you see the 2007 T20 World Cup, MS didn’t score too many runs, and neither did he score too many runs in 2011 as well,” Gautam Gambhir said.
“But yes, as a leader when you talk about winning trophies, yes MS Dhoni. He’s won both the World Cups, T20 and 2011, and the Champions Trophy. Sourav hasn’t won anything apart from the Natwest Trophy [India were joint-winners in the 2002 Champions Trophy along with Sri Lanka],” he added.