Graeme Smith highlights the ‘biggest difference’ between MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy
MS Dhoni made his India debut under Sourav Ganguly, but Graeme Smith feels India would have won a lot more trophies had the wicketkeeper batsman played more under Ganguly. Dhoni made his debut in December of 2004, less than a year before Ganguly was removed as India’s captain across formats.
Ganguly led India between 2000 and 2005, with two of his biggest accomplishments being winning the 2002 Natwest Trophy and reaching the final of the 2003 World Cup. Under Ganguly, the likes of Ajay Ratra, Vijay Dahiya, Deep Dasgupta, Rahul Dravid and Parthiv Patel were the ones who mostly kept wicket and Smith is confident that India’s trophy cabinet under Ganguly could have boasted a lot more silverware had Dhoni played long under him.
“The biggest difference between Dada’s captaincy and MS’s captaincy is MS, the player for me. I think in that middle order, the ability to close games, win games, finish games in that calm that he brought to the people around him. I think for me, that is probably the biggest difference between the two heroes, is MS Dhoni,” Smith said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports during the special ‘Ganguly vs Dhoni survey’ bit
“If Dada had an MS type player, his team was slightly more developed, I think you would have seen him win plenty more trophies. Dada was blessed to play or not blessed to play in an era where Australian cricket was at the forefront and dominating the world game as well which at the time the team had won the most during that period.”
Smith weighed in on the batting comparisons of Ganguly and Dhoni, saying the former left-handed batsman was a much tougher Test batsman. However, when it comes to ODI, Dhoni is his pick despite Ganguly being 590 runs in ODIs. Ganguly has 11363 ODI runs from 311 ODIs, while Dhoni has scored 10773 runs from 350 games. In Tests, Ganguly, with 7212 runs is miles ahead of Dhoni (4876 runs) although the former left-handed batsman did play 23 matches more.
“From my perspective, it’s always difficult to move away from an opening batsman and a captain as challenging,” the former South Africa captain said. “I agree that when it comes to Test cricket, having played against MS, you would always felt that you had an opportunity to work him over, specially away and out of India, but I think when it comes to Test cricket, I’ll have to sit with Dada, but one-day cricket, certainly MS is my man.”