The final chapter in a tale of two captains will start to unravel when the Chennai Super Kings take on the Kolkata Knight Riders on Tuesday.
Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni have been the most influential captains India have had in the last decade. Both are aggressive as leaders and known to back talent when they see it. However, IPL III has also thrown into sharp relief how different the two can be off the field.
Ganguly tore into his side after their loss to the Royal Challengers. Particularly galling for the other Knight Riders would have been his comment, “When I was leading India I had some serious talent to look after. That probably helped.”
Dhoni appears to have beaten Ganguly to the realisation that leading Team India and leading an IPL side are completely different propositions.
And though Dhoni is usually quite honest at press conferences and says it as he sees it, it is difficult to envisage him describing his team’s performance as “rubbish” or “pathetic”, as Ganguly did.
The Super Kings’ all-rounder Albie Morkel was asked to compare Dhoni’s reaction to a loss to Ganguly’s in the pre-match press conference on Monday. “You see Dhoni in the field. He is always calm and collected. It is probably good to have a captain who treats the youngsters as grown-ups,” Morkel said.
“If he (Dhoni) has a problem he will go and talk to the coach (Stephen Fleming) and Fleming will talk to the player.”