Gautam Gambhir, a former Indian cricketer who played as an opening batsman and captain, openly discussed MS Dhoni’s contribution to Indian cricket.
How many times has Gautam Gambhir indirectly criticized cricketers? How many times has the former Indian opening batsman garnered headlines with his sensational comments? According to his own admission, Gambhir, the former salami batsman of India and a two-time World Cup winner, knows very well that his recent comments could spark a significant debate in the cricket world. With India’s dominance in Asia and a comprehensive knowledge of the current list of Indian players, Gambhir mentioned Dhoni, the great cricketer, while talking about the present crop of Indian players.
On Sunday, Rohit’s Team India defeated Sri Lanka to win the Asia Cup for the record eighth time. Mohammad Siraj’s superb bowling masterclass ensured that Sri Lanka scored the second-lowest total of the tournament. Indian captain Rohit decided to promote wicket-keeper batsman Ishan Kishan to the top order because this young player, in partnership with on-song Shubman Gill, secured a comfortable 10-wicket victory for India in the Asia Cup final against Sri Lanka.
While covering the Asia Cup, speaking with Star Sports, Gambhir talked about Dhoni’s trophy-laden captaincy in international cricket. The veteran of Ranchi, the only captain to win the ICC World T20 (2007), ICC World Cup (2011), and ICC Champions Trophy (2012), was known for his leadership of the Indian team in all formats, besides excelling in the batting charts in his illustrious white-ball career.
Sharing the Indian locker room with Dhoni, according to Gambhir, if the former Indian captain had not led the team at the time, he could have batted at number 3. ‘Because of captaincy, he couldn’t achieve what he could have as a batsman. As a captain, many times you have to put the team first. If MS wasn’t the captain, he could have batted at number 3 and still achieved many ODI records. He sacrificed his international runs for trophies,” Gambhir said.
The former Indian opening batsman and cricket pundit said it was a blessing for Indian cricket to have a wicket-keeper-batsman like Dhoni. “First, he was a wicket-keeper, and then he became a batsman. But MS was a batsman first and then a wicket-keeper. It’s fortunate for Indian cricket that we got a wicket-keeper-batsman like MS Dhoni, who could win you matches from number 7 because he had the power game.”
So, Gambhir’s comments shed light on the unique role Dhoni played in Indian cricket, both as a captain and a dynamic batsman.