The architect of India’s twin World Cup triumphs (ICC World T20 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011), Gautam Gambhir feels that MS Dhoni’s calm demeanor helped him become the most successful Indian cricket captain.
Speaking to the weekly TV show Knight Club aired on Star Sports on Tuesday, the Kolkata Knight Riders skipper remarked that some of his most enjoyable moments while playing for Team India came during the captaincy of Dhoni.
“I have played under Sourav (Ganguly), Rahul (Dravid), Viru (Virender Sehwag) and MS (Dhoni). I felt, I enjoyed a lot under MS. (We) had great fun; we are around the same age as well. He was pretty chilled out. He kept things very simple which was very good,” he said.
Gambhir’s ascent as the batting backbone of the national team during 2007-2012 phase coincided with MS Dhoni’s rise as a revered Indian skipper.
The dynamic pair was instrumental in helping India to ICC Cricket World Cup glory in 2011 with a game-changing 109-run fourth-wicket partnership during a chase of 275 against Sri Lanka in the final at Wankhede Stadium on 2nd April, 2011. While Dhoni’s 91* is part of cricketing folklore, Gambhir’s 97 at Wankhede and 75 against Pakistan at Johannesburg during the inaugural ICC WORLD T20 final on 24th September, 2007 (Dhoni’s first tournament as India captain) are also rated as some of the best innings ever by an Indian cricketer in limited-overs format.
Gambhir also scored five back-to-back Test tons in 2009-2010 (137 v New Zealand at Napier, 167 v New Zealand at Wellington, 114 v Sri Lanka at Ahmedabad, 167 v Sri Lanka at Kanpur, 116 v Bangladesh at Chittagong), the only Indian cricketer to do so. Team India attained the number one Test ranking during this golden run of Gambhir in December 2009.
“You need to give credit where (it’s due). (At times) People have criticized his (MSD’s) captaincy. What he has done for Indian cricket, not a lot of people have done that, especially the way he handled the lows. It is very easy to handle the highs. But the way he has handled the lows has been remarkable. Especially in Australia and England (2011-12) where we were hammered (4-0) and still being as calm as he was, not showing too many emotions, (for that) I think a lot of credit needs to go to MS,” mentioned the KKR skipper who led the team to IPL success in 2012 and 2014.