Srinagar, January 29: Despite Virat Kohli maximum number of Test matches as captain for Team India, former Indian cricketer Sanjay Manjrekar is refusing to reckon Kohli as India’s greatest captain.
Explaining his choices, where he placed MS Dhoni at the top of the list, during his interview with News18, Manjrekar said that performance of the team in ICC events mattered the most when it came to judging captains. Dhoni has won not one, but three ICC trophies for India – World T20 in 2007, 2011 ODI World Cup and the Champions Trophy in 2013.
“MS Dhoni is clearly one of India’s greatest captains. I judge captains generally on international cricket and also on ICC events. Because that’s when you are really tested. When you are playing bilateral cricket, you are going to the office and coming back. There is not much pressure there. But ICC events, that is where Dhoni has been tremendous. Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Saurav Ganguly and Virat Kohli,” he said.
However, Manjrekar was all praise for Kohli’s “never-say-die attitude”, admitting that he does set an example as a captain, but results have never gone his way.
“When you look at Kohli, there are a lot of things to like about him because he is somebody who led by example. The Wanderers Test match before this series, when they played on a treacherous pitch. India lost the series 2-0 but Kohli set an example as captain. He said that we want to win this despite a pitch that could have killed somebody. That kept India’s morale high. That is what you get with Virat Kohli, the never-say-die attitude.
After Dhoni making the top of his list, Manjrekar picked Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly and Sunil Gavaskar, hailing them as great leaders.
“So when we talk about all-time greats, it would be very unfair to not count Dhoni in that. Kapil Dev at a time when there was an inferiority complex at the world level. Saurav Ganguly after the match-fixing era gave India some overseas wins. Sunil Gavaskar also. So these are all great leaders. You live in an age where there are a lot of platforms, so the hype is more. But Indian cricket didn’t start 10 years back. These are guys that I believe have been better captains than Virat Kohli who has been very good in his own right,” he said.