Mahendra Singh Dhoni is one of India’s most efficient captains to have ever played the sport for the nation. Much to the surprise of everyone who questioned his preamble to the national side in one of India’s most challenging phases, he won over a zillion hearts with his brutal batting carnage that left opponents in disarray and his takeover as the captain in the shortest format of the game impressed everyone as he went on to clinch the T-20 World Cup with no prior experience of India playing T-20 cricket.
However, the scene wasn’t always the same as Dhoni was not introduced to the Indian team as a captain. He worked his way up through the rungs of the ladder through years of blood and sweat. He also represented the nation under various other leaderships that witnessed him filing a strong case for himself as a future captain and also an effective team builder with his cricketing acumen. We will look at seven captains that include his own captaincy under whom the cricketer Mahendra Singh Dhoni has fared and how exactly his performance was?
- Virat Kohli
Out of all the skippers, that Dhoni has fared under, it is King Kohli whose leadership has brought out the best in India’s most decorated captain. Averaging at an astonishing 56.03, Dhoni has amassed 1513 runs playing 57 games.
However, several questions have been raised against Dhoni’s tenure under Virat. This is probably due to his slow strike rate which makes him vulnerable towards the end of the innings. Despite, him being a hard hitter of the ball, Dhoni’s pyrotechnics under Virat has been limited and he has resorted to a much more sustained approach that has focused on scoring in singles and doubles, instead of hitting those big ones which were usually synonymous with Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
- Virender Sehwag
Though Dhoni didn’t really play much under Viru’s captaincy, it was Sehwag who introduced MS as an opener and the strapping lad blasted 96 runs against England in the very first match itself. Dhoni played 4 matches under Sehwag that witnessed him scoring 166 runs at an average of 55.33 and a staggering strike rate of 94.31.
- Rohit Sharma
Towards the late phase of his career after he stepped down from captaincy, Virat became the captain while Rohit was shouldered with the vice-captaincy. Due to the unavailability of Kohli, when Rohit took over the reins as a captain, Dhoni had to play under him.
Featuring in nine games under the leadership of Rohit, Dhoni managed to amass 142 runs at an average of 23.66 runs.
- Saurav Ganguly
It was Ganguly who introduced this lad from Ranchi to the Indian cricketing roster. Known for his calibre to scout talents as a captain, he laid the platform for Dhoni to rise through the ranks.
Dhoni was an absolutely carefree cricketer under Saurav Ganguly as his strike rate was beyond 100 that came at a staggering average of 46.44. Dhoni smashed his first century under the leadership of Saurav that also saw him garnering 446 runs from the 12 games that he played.
- Mahela Jayawardene
Though it may sound incredulous as two legends from two illustrious cricketing nations played in the same team, it did actually happen. A series of three Asia XI and Africa XI was played that was granted the status of ODI’s.
Under Jayawardene’s captaincy, Dhoni amassed 174 runs from 3 games at an enviable average of 87.
- Rahul Dravid
Dhoni played the highest number of games under Rahul Dravid that brought the transition in him from being an unsparing hard-hitter of the ball to being one of the most balanced cricketers of the era. This also helped him to hone his leadership skills and also perfected the long-haired colossus into one of the best finishers in the world.
His transition from being a pinch-hitter to a finisher mainly occurred under Dravid as he scored 1719 runs from 65 games at an astonishing average of 40.92.
Now to cap it all off, Dhoni himself was one of India’s most embellished skippers, being the only captain in the world to win the ICC T-20 World Cup, ICC Cricket World Cup and the ICC Champions Trophy. His showdowns as the captain were simply captivating to an altogether different level as he scored 6641 runs from 200 games at an average of 53.55 which saw him smashing 6 centuries and 47 half-centuries.