India batting legend Sunil Gavaskar believes that there is no doubt that MS Dhoni is a legend of the game. Gavaskar also feels that there are a lot of similarities between India’s two ODI World Cup-winning captains Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Kapil Dev. Gavakar’s remarks came a day after MS Dhoni announced his retirement via an Instagram post.
Speaking on Dhoni, Gavaskar said the former India wicketkeeper-batsman groomed several big players including current India captain Virat Kohli under him. “Absolutely, there is no question about it (him being a legend). What he has achieved in cricket certainly makes him a legend,” Gavaskar was quoted as saying by India Today.
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“The way he has captained India, the way he has groomed youngsters, the way he has groomed not just batsmen not just leaders, he has groomed somebody like a Virat kohli under him, look at the way he has groomed spinners. That certainly makes him a legend. Because his contribution has been beyond the field. He is somebody, when you talk about leaders in all walks of life, his name will always come up there,” Gavaskar said.
Gavaskar further went on to add that Dhoni and Kapil Dev had a similar approach towards their game. “Both (Dhoni and Kapil) were very, very similar. Both had similar approaches to the game. They loved playing the game. Both of them loved being in the center of action and they wanted to achieve great things for their teams. In that way, both are very similar,” Gavaskar said.
“Also again, coming from cities that were not cricket centric. I think it was fated that if India’s first-ever World Cup-winning captain was from a non-cricketing city, if one might call it that, non-cricketing city – Chandigarh, so also, the next World Cup-winning captain was going to be from a non-cricketing city like Ranchi. Both of them are similar on the field, they are very cool, seldom show their emotions and which makes it easy for their players.
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“If a captain is a little more irritable at a catch being dropped or a misfield, then the players get even more nervous. And that’s where Kapil Dev and MS Dhoni scored. They just controlled their emotions so well, that the players did not feel affected at all and played their own game freely,” the India batting great added.
On being asked if Dhoni could pip Kapil Dev to be the captain for an all-time India XI team, Gavaskar said: “Yes, I think he will be very much a contender (for captaining all-time India XI). If you look at captaincy in one-day cricket for India, there would just be two guys who would come in the frame as far being captains, one is MS Dhoni and one is Kapil Dev.
“I think these are the two contenders, because they have won the others might have had very good performances, won bilateral series but when it comes to winning World Cups, I think MS Dhoni has just a little edge over Kapil because he has not just won the 50-over World Cup but also the T20 World Cup. So I think he would be right up there,” Gavaskar signed off.