Gautam Gambhir 'very clear in mind' when it comes to rating MS Dhoni: 'Have to be better than him...' | Crickit
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Gautam Gambhir 'very clear in mind' when it comes to rating MS Dhoni: 'Have to be better than him...'

Apr 08, 2024 06:06 PM IST

Gautam Gambhir stated that it was always clear to him when he faced MS Dhoni's CSK that he wanted to win the big battle.

Kolkata Knight Riders mentor Gautam Gambhir opened up on his on-field battle with Chennai Super Kings skipper Mahendra Singh Dhoni in the Indian Premier League. Gambhir, who led KKR to two IPL titles as skipper, engaged in some tactical battles with five-time IPL-winning skipper MS Dhoni. The two stalwarts of Indian cricket made the KKR vs CSK rivalry memorable with their contrasting captaincy approach. Gambhir, who was known for his aggressive captaincy, faced CSK 11 times as KKR captain and emerged victorious. Under his leadership, Kolkata also trumped Dhoni's CSK in the final of IPL 2012.

MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir were often pitted against each other in the IPL(Getty Images)
MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir were often pitted against each other in the IPL(Getty Images)

The former Indian opener stated that it was always clear to him when he faced CSK that he wanted to win the big battle.

"I want to win. I am very clear in my mind. There are people, yes. Friends, mutual respect, everything is different. Everything will always remain, but then, when you are in the middle, I am captaining KKR, he is captaining CSK, and if you ask him, if he was here instead of me, he will also say the same answer, it's about winning. I want to get back in a winning dressing room," Gambhir said on Star Sports ahead of KKR's clash with CSK.

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The KKR mentor also heaped praise on Dhoni for his imperious record as Indian captain and said no one could ever reach his level in terms of the trophies he won for the country.

"MS is probably the most successful captain India will ever have. I don't think anyone can ever can reach that level, winning three ICC trophies. People can win overseas, people can win as many Test matches, but it cannot get bigger than three ICC trophies," he he added.

Gambhir, who last played in IPL in 2018, will re-ignite the KKR vs CSK rivalry but this time he will be in the team's dugout as their mentor. However, the legendary cricketer is wary of Dhoni's tactical mindset and how he can control the game with his brilliant awareness of the game.

"In the IPL, I enjoyed every bit of it because I knew that MS had that tactical mindset. He was very good tactically, knew how to control the spinners, knew how to set the field against the spinners, and probably would never give up as well. He batted at No. 6 or 7 and knew that till the time he is there, he can finish off the game, even if he needed 20 runs in one over," Gambhir said.

During IPL 2016 when Dhoni played for Rising Pune Supergiants, Gambhir stunned the cricketing world but placing an aggressive field which looked like Test cricket type for the former India skipper which didn't allow him to break the shackles.

The former KKR skipper further revealed how tough it is to team a team like CKS in the cash-rich league.

"But, at the same time, I knew that I had the bowling attack to actually challenge anyone in CSK. So, tactically I could be better than him, probably had to be better than him in every fact to actually beat him because Dhoni is not that aggressive on the field, but always knew that he is not going to give up. To beat Chennai, until you have not scored the final run you have not won the match. There are some teams against whom if you even go close, they end up giving, but not Chennai," Gambhir concluded.

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