Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has praised MS Dhoni, describing him as a selfless captain. According to Gambhir, Dhoni sacrificed his international runs and focused more on leading India to major ICC trophies.
Gambhir has been a vocal critic of Dhoni in the past. He has often stated that one man didn’t win the World Cup for India [in 2011], referring to the latter’s 91* in the final against Sri Lanka.
However, in a recent video on Star Sports, the former cricketer lauded the Indian legend for putting team above self.
“Because of captaincy, he couldn’t achieve what he could have achieved as a batter. A lot of times as captain you have to keep team first. If MS was not captain, he could have batted at No 3. I am sure he could have broken several ODI records. He has won a lot of trophies, but individually he sacrificed his international runs for trophies,” Gambhir opined.
The 41-year-old went on to describe Dhoni as the first wicketkeeper of India who could change the game with his batting.
Elaborating on his thoughts, Gambhir said:
“Earlier, they were keepers first and batters later, but MS was batter first and then was a wicketkeeper. It was a blessing for Indian cricket that in MS Dhoni, we got a wicketkeeper-batter who can win you matches from No 7, because he had that power game.”
One of India’s most successful ODI batters, Dhoni scored 10773 runs in 350 matches at an average of 50.57, with 10 hundreds and 73 fifties.
“Rohit Sharma is Rohit Sharma today because of MS Dhoni” – Gambhir
During another interaction on Star Sports, Gambhir opined that Dhoni has had a big role to play in current Indian captain Rohit Sharma’s success.
Speaking after Rohit became the second fastest batter to score 10000 runs in ODIs, the former opener said:
“Scoring 10,000 runs was not easy for him. Saw many ups and downs. Having seen that phase, Rohit, as a captain, will back youngsters who go through a difficult period. Rohit Sharma is Rohit Sharma today because of MS Dhoni.
“MS backed him continuously in his initial struggling phase. If he wants to leave a legacy behind, not in terms of runs but as a captain, a lot will depend on how he backs the young players. It will be interesting to see how he grooms the upcoming players,” the 41-year-old added.
Rohit led Team India to a 10-wicket win in the Asia Cup 2023 final against Sri Lanka in Colombo on Sunday.