India in England 2014 September 4, 2014

Is Dhoni India's best-ever captain?

A stats analysis of MS Dhoni's captaincy record across formats
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MS Dhoni has won more Tests, ODIs and T20Is than any other Indian captain
MS Dhoni has won more Tests, ODIs and T20Is than any other Indian captain © AFP

After winning the fourth ODI against England at Edgbaston, MS Dhoni surpassed Mohammad Azharuddin to become the Indian captain to have achieved the most ODI victories. Dhoni is also India's most successful captain in Tests and T20Is, making it a good time to look back at Dhoni's captaincy career and analyse whether he can be considered India's best captain.

Dhoni in ODIs

While Azhar, the earlier record holder, had 90 wins from 174 matches, Dhoni has 91 wins from from 12 fewer ODIs - 162. In all, there have been seven Indian captains who have won 10 or more ODIs. The table below offers a quick look at their records.

Indian captains - ODI record
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR Win %*
M Azharuddin 174 90 76 2 6 54.22
MS Dhoni 162 91 57 4 10 61.49
SC Ganguly 146 76 65 0 5 53.90
R Dravid 79 42 33 0 4 56.00
N Kapil Dev 74 39 33 0 2 54.17
SR Tendulkar 73 23 43 1 6 34.85
SM Gavaskar 37 14 21 0 2 40.00
*ODIs where there was no result and those that ended in ties have been excluded for Win%.

Dhoni's win percentage of 61.5 is clearly head and shoulders above the rest, with Rahul Dravid being the next best. Dhoni has therefore not only won the most matches, but has also done it more frequently than any of his predecessors. During Dhoni's stint, India have won almost every ODI tournament of note, including the Asia Cup in 2010, the World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. However, if there is one criticism against Dhoni, it is that his ODI campaigns outside Asia have been less successful than those in familiar conditions.

Indian captains - ODI records outside Asia
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR Win %
SC Ganguly 68 39 27 0 2 59.09
MS Dhoni 57 25 22 3 7 53.19
M Azharuddin 63 23 36 1 3 38.98
N Kapil Dev 25 13 12 0 0 52.00
R Dravid 23 10 13 0 0 43.48

While MS Dhoni does have some creditable wins outside Asia, such as the Champions Trophy in England and the Commonwealth Bank Series in Australia, his win percentage drops in ODIs outside Asia. Dhoni's win percentage in the subcontinent is 65%, which drops to 53% outside Asia. Sourav Ganguly, on the other hand, has a win percentage of 49% in Asia, but a significantly better 59% outside the subcontinent. However, Ganguly only has a solitary trophy outside Asia, the NatWest Series in 2002, despite taking the team to eight finals. Dhoni, on the other hand, has a 100% record in finals outside Asia winning all four that he has captained in - the Champions Trophy, the West Indies Tri-Nation series and the Commonwealth Bank series (two finals). This table lists Indian captains who have won the most finals, at home and away.

Indian captains - Record in ODI finals
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR Win %
M Azharuddin 19 11 8 0 0 57.89
MS Dhoni 11 7 4 0 0 63.64
N Kapil Dev 5 2 3 0 0 40.00
SC Ganguly 14 1 10 0 3 9.09
SR Tendulkar 6 1 3 0 2 25.00

Azhar took the team to 19 finals, while Ganguly took the team to 14. However, Azhar managed 11 victories, while Ganguly could squeeze out only one. The high number of finals in which Azhar and Ganguly captained is partly down to the fact that they played at a time when triangulars and quadrangulars were at the peak of their popularity. Azhar captained in four finals against Sri Lanka, winning all four, while Ganguly led in five against them but won none. Dhoni has captained the team to only 11 finals in comparison, but has won seven of those, giving him a win percentage of 64, the highest among Indian captains who have led in more than one ODI final. The table below compares Dhoni with other captains who have led their country in at least 100 ODIs.

Individuals who have captained in at least 100 ODIs
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR Win %
RT Ponting 230 165 51 2 12 76.39
WJ Cronje 138 99 35 1 3 73.88
SR Waugh 106 67 35 3 1 65.69
IVA Richards 105 67 36 0 2 65.05
GC Smith 150 92 51 1 6 64.34
Wasim Akram 109 66 41 2 0 61.68
AR Border 178 107 67 1 3 61.49
MS Dhoni 162 91 57 4 10 61.49
DPMD Jayawardene 129 71 49 1 8 59.17
ST Jayasuriya 118 66 47 2 3 58.41
Imran Khan 139 75 59 1 4 55.97
M Azharuddin 174 90 76 2 6 54.22
SC Ganguly 147 76 66 0 5 53.52
BC Lara 125 59 59 0 7 50.00
A Ranatunga 193 89 95 1 8 48.37
SP Fleming 218 98 106 1 13 48.04
*ODIs where there was no result and those that ended in ties have been excluded while computing the Win%.

While Dhoni's win percentage is not comparable with that of Ricky Ponting or Hansie Cronje, the numbers indicate that he is certainly in the league of Steve Waugh, Graeme Smith and Allan Border, statistically. What must also be factored in is that Dhoni probably captained teams that did not have a bowling attack of the quality that some of the above mentioned captains were fortunate to have. In addition to captaining the side, he performs the arduous task of keeping wickets as well, and is the only captain-keeper, apart from Kumar Sangakkara, to have scored more than 500 runs and effected more than 50 dismissals in ODI cricket.

Dhoni in Tests and T20Is

In the fifth Test against England at The Oval, Dhoni equalled Ganguly's record for most away Tests as India captain, 28. Dhoni's Test captaincy has come under far more scrutiny than his ODI captaincy, especially as the away losses have piled up. A quick look at how his overall record in comparison with other captains who have led India in at least 25 Tests.

Indian captains - Test record
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L ratio Win %
MS Dhoni 58 27 17 0 14 1.59 46.55
SC Ganguly 49 21 13 0 15 1.62 42.86
M Azharuddin 47 14 14 0 19 1.00 29.79
SM Gavaskar 47 9 8 0 30 1.13 19.15
MAK Pataudi 40 9 19 0 12 0.47 22.50
N Kapil Dev 34 4 7 1 22 0.57 11.76
R Dravid 25 8 6 0 11 1.33 32.00
SR Tendulkar 25 4 9 0 12 0.44 16.00

Dhoni is the only captain to lead India in more than 50 Tests. India have won 27 Tests under him, which is six more than the next best, Ganguly. However Ganguly has the better win-loss ratio. Dhoni still wins a greater percentage of his Tests though, which only means that Ganguly had a greater percentage of draws. Dhoni has been heavily criticised for his Test captaincy record outside the subcontinent. A look at the records of India captains who have led the team in at least ten Tests outside the subcontinent, except Zimbabwe.

Indian captains - Record outside Asia
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L ratio Win % Loss % Draw %
R Dravid 10 3 2 0 5 1.50 30.00 20.00 50.00
N Kapil Dev 11 2 2 0 7 1.00 18.18 18.18 63.64
Al Wadekar 11 2 3 0 6 0.66 18.18 27.27 54.55
SM Gavaskar 10 2 3 0 5 0.66 20.00 30.00 50.00
BS Bedi 11 3 6 0 2 0.50 27.27 54.55 18.18
SC Ganguly 17 3 7 0 7 0.42 17.65 41.18 41.18
MS Dhoni 24 4 13 0 7 0.31 16.67 54.17 29.17
MAK Pataudi 13 3 10 0 0 0.30 23.08 76.92 0.00
M Azharuddin 21 0 9 0 12 0.00 0.00 42.86 57.14
SR Tendulkar 11 0 6 0 5 0.00 0.00 54.55 45.45

Despite winning four Tests, more than any other Indian captain, Dhoni's win-loss ratio is a dismal 0.3 and worse than many of the captains in the above table. While Ganguly has only won three Tests, his win-loss ratio is 0.42 as he lost only seven Tests, compared to Dhoni's 13. Dhoni has seemed to be unable to eke out draws in Tests that are unwinnable. Even Azhar, who didn't have a single victory in these conditions, managed to draw 57% of his Tests, while the corresponding percentage for Dhoni is 29. The Indian captain with the most impressive record may well be Dravid, who is the only captain to have won more Tests than he has lost in these circumstances, including Test victories in England, South Africa and West Indies.

A comparison of Dhoni with other subcontinent captains who have led their countries in at least ten Tests outside the subcontinent, shows that nobody has won more Tests than Dhoni, but that Dhoni has also lost more Tests than other captains. The five subcontinent captains with the best win-loss ratios under the said circumstances are all from Pakistan. Only Arjuna Ranatunga and Intikhab Alam have a win-loss ratio worse than Dhoni's.

Asian captains - Records outside Asia
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L ratio Win %
Mushtaq Mohammad 13 4 4 0 5 1.00 30.77
Javed Miandad 12 4 5 0 3 0.80 33.33
Imran Khan 18 3 5 0 10 0.60 16.67
Wasim Akram 13 4 7 0 2 0.57 30.77
Inzamam-ul-Haq 12 3 7 0 2 0.43 25.00
DPMD Jayawardene 12 3 8 0 1 0.38 25.00
MS Dhoni 24 4 13 0 7 0.31 16.67
A Ranatunga 16 2 8 0 6 0.25 12.50
Intikhab Alam 12 1 4 0 7 0.25 8.33

While Dhoni's captaincy may be criticised for the losses outside the subcontinent, he has usually fought valiantly with the bat before India have slid to defeat. Some innings that come to mind are his 90 in Centurion in 2010 and his 74* at Edgbaston in 2011. Even during the recent losses at Old Trafford and The Oval, Dhoni showed some resistance with scores of 71 and 82 respectively.

Dhoni Test batting - outside Asia
Mat Inns NO Runs HS Ave 100 50 0
In Losses 13 26 2 769 90 32.04 0 7 2
In Wins 4 7 0 139 47 19.85 0 0 1

Depending on how you look at it, you could either say that Dhoni sticks it out when the chips are down, or that he only scores easy and meaningless runs when the writing is already on the wall.

Dhoni's legacy will always be tested through comparisons with other captains from across the world. The table below looks at the win percentages of individuals who have captained in at least 50 Tests.

Individuals who have captained in at least 50 Tests
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied Draw W/L ratio Win %
SR Waugh 57 41 9 0 7 4.55 71.93
RT Ponting 77 48 16 0 13 3.00 62.34
IVA Richards 50 27 8 0 15 3.37 54.00
MA Taylor 50 26 13 0 11 2.00 52.00
MP Vaughan 51 26 11 0 14 2.36 50.98
WJ Cronje 53 27 11 0 15 2.45 50.94
CH Lloyd 74 36 12 0 26 3.00 48.65
GC Smith 109 53 29 0 27 1.82 48.62
AJ Strauss 50 24 11 0 15 2.18 48.00
MS Dhoni 58 27 17 0 14 1.58 46.55
SP Fleming 80 28 27 0 25 1.03 35.00
AR Border 93 32 22 1 38 1.45 34.41
MA Atherton 54 13 21 0 20 0.61 24.07
A Ranatunga 56 12 19 0 25 0.63 21.43

The numbers show that Steve Waugh was the best captain, at least statistically. He won 72% of his matches and had a win-loss ratio of 4.55, far better than the others. Dhoni has a win percentage of 46.6, which is comparable, statistically, to the likes of Clive Llyod and Graeme Smith. Allan Border's win-loss ratio is, in fact, poorer than Dhoni's. The win-loss ratio of India, as a country, over the years has been 0.79, with a win percentage of 25. India's numbers under Dhoni, in both respects, are significantly superior. For context, Australia's win-loss ratio over the years is 1.77, while their win percentage is 46.9. Australian captains will therefore need to do more than their India counterparts to remain on par with their country's performance through history. Dhoni's win percentage of 46.6 is far greater than India's 25% over the years, and even comparable to Australia's 46.9%.

In T20Is, India have mostly been led by Dhoni, thereby not allowing for much comparison.

Indian captains - Record in T20Is
Captain Mat Won Loss Tied NR
MS Dhoni 48 26 20 1 1
SK Raina 3 3 0 0 0
V Sehwag 1 1 0 0 0

In fact, even across countries, Dhoni has played and won most matches as captain in T20Is. Dhoni had even taken India to victory in the inaugural edition of the World T20 and to the final of the latest edition, though India fared disappointingly in the intervening World T20s.

World captains - Record in T20Is
Captain Mat Won Lost Tied NR
MS Dhoni 48 26 20 1 1
WTS Porterfield 37 20 14 0 3
DJG Sammy 36 19 14 1 2
GC Smith 27 18 9 0 0
PD Collingwood 30 17 11 0 2
Mohammad Hafeez 29 17 11 1 0

If Dhoni can improve his overseas Test record, assuming he will have the opportunity to do so, he will make an almost irrefutably strong claim to being India's best captain. If not, Ganguly definitely makes a case to be considered India's best captain in overseas conditions, while Dravid's Test captaincy record outside Asia has been impressive as well, though with a much smaller sample set for comparison.

Bishen Jeswant is a stats sub editor at ESPNcricinfo. @bishen_jeswant

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • on September 8, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    India still has to see a better test captain. I have never seen MS Dhoni coming to face the new ball in any format and thats why his average is better that most top batsman. Dhoni is good ODI batsman as he comes to bat when bowlers are tired.

  • on September 7, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Without a doubt,,, MSD is the bast Captain India ever had.

  • RAAJ101 on September 5, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Azhar had two stints of captainship and in between these two sitnts Sachin was the captain and we all know how sachin fared. Remember a team like Sri Lanka. They had Sanath Jayasriya and Kalu WItharna. Arjuna Ranatunga and Arvind DSilva Remember Desmond Haynes, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar they were killers in their hey days. Remember Vivian Richards Remeber Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee Remember Courtney Walsh, Ambrose, Glenn McGreath, Imran khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Yunis etc. They were all during Azhar captaincy and not Ganguly or Dhoni.

  • SPSD on September 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    Comparing Dhoni with Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ponting and Richards is in itself a pride for him. Look at the team that S, M, P & R had compared to D.

    Again with Ganguly you had the Master, Wall, strokeful sehwag and dada himself - all in their prime. Dont forget Kumble, Harbhajan and Zaheer as well.

    But one thing i would like our professional cricketers to follow - It is good to take a break and return to the field. Board should encourage that - it is difficult to meet expectations of the Indian public and media to be consistently performing on the field - 365 days in a year!! We need to be better prepared for the Australian series else Johnson is going to be pelting us with the kookaburra.

  • Kays789 on September 5, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Not too difficult to be the best captain of a team like India. They have been woeful for much of their history with a few lucky breaks in the recent past in ODIs. Now if you're talking about an australian or a west indies captain that may be a discussion of some substance.

  • icehottopes on September 5, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    One should also look at the quality of oppositions around the world during the eras they played. Ganguly played against quality oppositions who had very good batsman and bowlers like Sri Lanka, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe in the early 2000s and the world beaters Australia who were a once in a generation team. Even west indies were very competitive during this period. All these teams have declined in quality (many of them abysmally) and Dhoni is currently battling against these teams. Ganguly faced fiercer, tougher oppositions who had more balanced attacks in a wide variety of conditions and the Indian team was respected world over. Today it is being ridiculed (especially in the test arena) and the test numbers don't matter if you're being looked down upon because of your incompetence playing lower quality oppositions. With Ganguly when India lost, they fought hard and weren't called sub continent bullies. With Dhoni one can clearly see tame submission.

  • Retour on September 5, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    We should not judge captaincy by pure numbers. There are both tangibles and intangibles associated with captaincy. Crossing the first hurdle is usually the toughest so Kapil Dev taking Ind to its first WC win should not be discounted. How under Ganguly, Ind started winning overseas should not be forgotten. How Gavaskar tries to saves games without much resources should not be overlooked. And there was Pataudi who many captains rate as amongst the best captains!

    How many in India use stats always amazes me. If X has 8000 runs in 100 tests, and Y has 7000 runs in 80 tests. X would be considered better even though he has only scored 1000 more runs after playing 20 more tests! Sadly, this is how it works in Ind, more runs or wkts or catches (ignoring number of the games/innings) decides the winner. An unfortunate case of quantity over quality.

  • on September 5, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    without doubt Dhoni is the best captain india had ever had. these stats will only tell you half of the story.

  • RAAJ101 on September 5, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    In the recent past Dhoni has been a big failure in all formats and we cannot forget the Bangladesh Asia cups and the T20 world cups. World cups of the past was heroics of Irfan Pthan Yuvraj and Gambhir

  • himsez on September 5, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    Everything will be all clear when India will get kicked out of the next world cup. Till then there i no point in arguing with dhoni. He cant get replaced. So we have to understand that this world cup is not going to return to India.

  • on September 8, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    India still has to see a better test captain. I have never seen MS Dhoni coming to face the new ball in any format and thats why his average is better that most top batsman. Dhoni is good ODI batsman as he comes to bat when bowlers are tired.

  • on September 7, 2014, 7:20 GMT

    Without a doubt,,, MSD is the bast Captain India ever had.

  • RAAJ101 on September 5, 2014, 16:28 GMT

    Azhar had two stints of captainship and in between these two sitnts Sachin was the captain and we all know how sachin fared. Remember a team like Sri Lanka. They had Sanath Jayasriya and Kalu WItharna. Arjuna Ranatunga and Arvind DSilva Remember Desmond Haynes, Shahid Afridi and Saeed Anwar they were killers in their hey days. Remember Vivian Richards Remeber Martin Crowe and Richard Hadlee Remember Courtney Walsh, Ambrose, Glenn McGreath, Imran khan, Wasim Akram, Waqar Yunis etc. They were all during Azhar captaincy and not Ganguly or Dhoni.

  • SPSD on September 5, 2014, 16:10 GMT

    Comparing Dhoni with Steve Waugh, Mark Taylor, Ponting and Richards is in itself a pride for him. Look at the team that S, M, P & R had compared to D.

    Again with Ganguly you had the Master, Wall, strokeful sehwag and dada himself - all in their prime. Dont forget Kumble, Harbhajan and Zaheer as well.

    But one thing i would like our professional cricketers to follow - It is good to take a break and return to the field. Board should encourage that - it is difficult to meet expectations of the Indian public and media to be consistently performing on the field - 365 days in a year!! We need to be better prepared for the Australian series else Johnson is going to be pelting us with the kookaburra.

  • Kays789 on September 5, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    Not too difficult to be the best captain of a team like India. They have been woeful for much of their history with a few lucky breaks in the recent past in ODIs. Now if you're talking about an australian or a west indies captain that may be a discussion of some substance.

  • icehottopes on September 5, 2014, 14:55 GMT

    One should also look at the quality of oppositions around the world during the eras they played. Ganguly played against quality oppositions who had very good batsman and bowlers like Sri Lanka, England, South Africa, New Zealand, Zimbabwe in the early 2000s and the world beaters Australia who were a once in a generation team. Even west indies were very competitive during this period. All these teams have declined in quality (many of them abysmally) and Dhoni is currently battling against these teams. Ganguly faced fiercer, tougher oppositions who had more balanced attacks in a wide variety of conditions and the Indian team was respected world over. Today it is being ridiculed (especially in the test arena) and the test numbers don't matter if you're being looked down upon because of your incompetence playing lower quality oppositions. With Ganguly when India lost, they fought hard and weren't called sub continent bullies. With Dhoni one can clearly see tame submission.

  • Retour on September 5, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    We should not judge captaincy by pure numbers. There are both tangibles and intangibles associated with captaincy. Crossing the first hurdle is usually the toughest so Kapil Dev taking Ind to its first WC win should not be discounted. How under Ganguly, Ind started winning overseas should not be forgotten. How Gavaskar tries to saves games without much resources should not be overlooked. And there was Pataudi who many captains rate as amongst the best captains!

    How many in India use stats always amazes me. If X has 8000 runs in 100 tests, and Y has 7000 runs in 80 tests. X would be considered better even though he has only scored 1000 more runs after playing 20 more tests! Sadly, this is how it works in Ind, more runs or wkts or catches (ignoring number of the games/innings) decides the winner. An unfortunate case of quantity over quality.

  • on September 5, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    without doubt Dhoni is the best captain india had ever had. these stats will only tell you half of the story.

  • RAAJ101 on September 5, 2014, 11:05 GMT

    In the recent past Dhoni has been a big failure in all formats and we cannot forget the Bangladesh Asia cups and the T20 world cups. World cups of the past was heroics of Irfan Pthan Yuvraj and Gambhir

  • himsez on September 5, 2014, 9:40 GMT

    Everything will be all clear when India will get kicked out of the next world cup. Till then there i no point in arguing with dhoni. He cant get replaced. So we have to understand that this world cup is not going to return to India.

  • kkirank6119 on September 5, 2014, 9:14 GMT

    The vary fact that there is so much temptation of comparing captains, talking about captaincy etc etc; means that there is something special in MSD as captain. We never had any comments / articles on captaincies of earlier captains - be it their stats, their tactics, their plans etc MSD is surely way ahead of other indian captains. Ganguly's record is bit impressive as he played more with minows like bangladesh n zimbabwe and less v/s top opponents as compared to MSD. Stats can be produced if regd. Small town players have less backing than mega city heroes. Because of extra ordinariness MSD has got atleast this much support. But in case of crises many supporters back out, alas ! A person whose priorities in life are in the order - COUNTRY , PARENTS, WIFE and who thinks of joining army after retiring from sports......( as stated in recent interview a ) has to be way ahead of others !!!!!!!!! no comparison.

  • on September 5, 2014, 8:56 GMT

    There is no point to match the brilliance of Dada with Dhoni. Both have different attitude and intent towards game. Strongly disagreed with the point made by gomahajan that aging bulls failed to perform under his captaincy. Not to mention the best of Sachin 175 and 200 against Australia, 219 from Sehwag, the epic 6 sixes from Yuvraj in South afria and many individual records came under his captaincy. Dhoni never stand with such great player but lack the respect for such player like Sehwag, Gambhir, Sachin and Yuvraj. Dada on the other had know how to convey the respect to the player.

  • sachsandy on September 5, 2014, 8:39 GMT

    I'm not going by statistics because though they produce a picture, they don't always tell the complete story.....I'm going by the heart of a fan... In Tests - clearly no,both stats and Dhoni's clueless expressions every time the opposition takes control seem to suggest so...... In LOI - certainly yes, though stats are not exaggeratedly in his favor, but 2 world cup titles, calmness under pressure which rubs on his players and hence, crossing the line in lot of finals and an 'always-in-control' aura gives that impression. It's a format which so defines MS Dhoni.

  • gomahajan on September 5, 2014, 8:00 GMT

    Also, I throw a quick question to all cricket experts. Name one fixed set of 2-3 test bowlers in MSD's squad in comparison to Ganguly's Kumble, Zaheer, Harbhajan & Srinath. And YET ganguly's overseas test wins are not against the greatest test teams which is ironical towards who claim he is the best captain.

    To be savagely blunt Ganguly's best achievement is dancing half nude while Kaif & yuvraj won an almost lost match and that gesture only won him several lunatic fans. MSD on the other hand handled underperforming egoistic oldhags like Sehwag, Gambhir etc and then built up his own young team and gave the BEST results India could ever imagine. There is almost no doubt in saying that Ganguly was a much better batsman than MSD, but MSD has been the best finisher India has ever produced who will stand right next to Beven the Great from Australia and get equal respect.

    What would you call a captain who has won all ICC tournaments in his one lifespan with a very mediocre bowling

  • Passionate_Cricketer on September 5, 2014, 7:46 GMT

    Just one question to all Indians. Would you have team like South Africa who have the best bowlers with best test cricket rating and NO WORLD Title or would u have a captain and team who can win big tournaments for you like one day world cup, T20, champions trophy. For me the choice is simple... Dhoni win big games for us. I loved Ganguly but when I remember how one sided finals were during his tenure, I like Dhoni more and more. For me the best captain ever was Kapil Devji. He produced results with an inexperienced team and when infrastructure was not conducive for cricket in our country. He, on many occasions won the game with his bat rather than ball.I am sure Dhoni can win us one more world trophy and bring joy to the whole country. Best of luck Dhoni.

  • iamgroot on September 5, 2014, 7:29 GMT

    Dhoni is and will always be the BEST indian captain and LEADER India ever had. No other former captain has the right to comment on Dhoni. Haters will always hate, they don't need reason, logic or common sense. The moment they get an opportunity they will throw expletives and scathing comments venting their frustration. Dhoni is smarter than his haters. Haters will keep whining and crying commenting here hiding behind your computer but he will keep performing, makes an effort to win. When the team lost under Dhoni it was not due to lack of commitment from Dhoni, it was due to poor skills from so and so player. Dhoni made the moves but they work only if the player is skillful and committed. Team has responded beautifully to Dhoni. He showed that player can be aggressive by the way he plays and not by scolding the batsmen. But we indians don't want to give credit to Dhoni. We don't appreciate his contribution to our nation. WC2011,CB series,T20WC,Champions trophy. amazing list.

  • gomahajan on September 5, 2014, 7:14 GMT

    I see quite unfair and biased judgments made by some self-proclaimed cricket experts who simply fail or intentionally turn blind to acknowledge the facts that Ganguly had the best luxury of having led the best batting line-up with RD, VVS & SRT during their younger best and at the peaks of their careers to save matches for him and his overseas wins include maximum wins against "strong" teams like Zimbabwe & West Indies.

    MSD however led a team (against all top test playing nations) that initially had aging bulls who failed to perform to their potentials (except RD) and then a completely inexperienced young guns including the weakest of the bowling attacks.

    STILL he captained the maximum test matches with maximum wins. Having said this, I really want him to have a different team for tests which has atleast 2-3 test specialist batsmen who can bat longer and bowlers who can bowl longer spells and take 10 wickets in one inning.

  • Valavan on September 5, 2014, 7:00 GMT

    Dhoni can never be the best ever captain, He is the best captain in shorter formats, when he gambles things with bits and pieces bowlers who tend to get wickets when the opposite numbers try to accelarate. Dhoni indeed won many tests, but dont forget he lost most tests out of subcontinent. His two overseas test wins came against NZ in 2009 (1 -0) and hapless WI in 2011 (1-0). Indias overseas Test record under dhoni other than Bangladesh were Played - 30 , Won - 5 lost - 15. this numbers seems to become bigger by the end of aussie tests. cricinfo please publish.

  • IPSY on September 5, 2014, 6:58 GMT

    By miles, MS is India's best ever captain; and in every format. The guy just has vision! He's superbly creative, which makes the cricket matches in which he plays very exciting and entertaining. He does not cling to the obsolete methods and thinking that they have in the books. And nearly every time he does something creative, when he's being criticised by the tunnel view, arm chair captains; about 90% of the time his VISION is correct. No other Indian captain doesn't come even close!

  • naren1983 on September 5, 2014, 6:49 GMT

    Comparing all these Dhoni has the best record in ODI & T20 in Asia & Outside Asia than anyother previous Captains of India. Dhoni also has better record in Tests in Inside Asia compare to other Indian Captains. Only he lags in poor test record in Outside Asia winning just 4 out of 24 matches. Dravid has better than anyone else in this category but he has played only 10 matches as captain. Ganguly's record too is not impressive just little bit higher than Dhoni. While Ganguly won only one Final out of 11 Finals, where Dhoni won 7 out of 11 finals. Comparing all records, Dhoni is the best Captain has India ever produced. But his poor record continues in Tests outside Asia, BCCI has to bring someone to Captain the Test side who can fill the place. It should be in none other than Virat Kohli hands. Lets wait for years and see his records.

  • abc3 on September 5, 2014, 5:53 GMT

    All the great successful sides had 3 good settled fast bowlers for a decent period of time to win in pitches like Aud/Eng/SA consistently. India in any era had to do with only one decent fast bowler in every series overseas. Kapil Dev was alone, Srinath alone, Zaheer alone. On the odd occassion where they got help from a second seamer we have won matches. Like and agarkar in Aus in one match or Sreesanth complimenting Zaheer in SA in 2011 and RP Singh in Eng 2007. Other than that, hell can you guys even name a second seamer who performed well let alone a 3rd seamer for India ever in a few series consistently. Look at other sides. SA, WI, Pak, AUS sides of the past. They had full set of 3 very good seamers for lengthy periods. Now taking this into account be it Dhoni/Ganguly/Kapil/Azhar or for the heck of it even Steve waugh/Ponting/Clive Loyd/IVA Richards captains India with it such a bunch of mediocre trundlers can never deliver a series win consistently overseas. End of discussion.

  • cric_surgeon on September 5, 2014, 5:50 GMT

    During this current tour, when MS scored one test win with an apprentice team, he pulled some real rat out of his cap which in my opinion no other captains of all teams could be able to. What may be fair is instead of mincing him with words give him some credits for what he has achieved so far as a captain. We care about only wins. If MS leads a team to England, Australia, New Zealand, SriLanka, Pakistan etc., we want only wins in tests and other formats and when that do not happen we would start comparing him with others and try to paint him a poor captain. Likewise, when all these teams visit India we would want the same in all three formats. No series wins for other teams anywhere. Come on guys, play a fair game here at least.

  • cric_surgeon on September 5, 2014, 5:34 GMT

    statistics and realities are two different things on a thin line. MS may not be a great captain in the tests statically, but he is a great sportsman and possess all the qualities the earlier captains had. Oh! we might have overlooked one good statistical point here. Team India's performance overseas was always not very green whoever captained it.

  • joseyesu on September 5, 2014, 5:32 GMT

    totally i could see 10 metrics, 8 has Dhoni in leading when compared to other indians For some of the metrics apart from dhoni no other indian name is there. The funny thing is peoples commenting on dhoni during matches. you also need to take the count of tropies he won. That would sum up and say he is the ONE.

  • joseyesu on September 5, 2014, 5:22 GMT

    @RAAJ101 - that why Dhoni won more tropies than any other. if i was given a chance between saching and dhoni. i would go for Dhoni. Because i dont remember matches where he fells short in any of the finals(apart from 2 IPL finals)

  • johnathonjosephs on September 5, 2014, 5:15 GMT

    Dhoni's overall numbers (for both Tests and ODIs) are bloated up by the amount of home games his team has played. His away records is nothing to write home about. Also, he has had the luxury of a very very strong batting lineup (definitelly the strongest since the great Aussie dynasty of the 90s-2000s). His captaincy skills are lacking very much in Test cricket. He's one of the best finishers in limited overs cricket history, but his captaincy is severely overrated

  • cric_surgeon on September 5, 2014, 5:10 GMT

    hi all! this is a very good statistical report for people like me. In my personal opinion (I have the right I believe) or thinking loud, comparison table and grounds could be analyzed better on a few important things like experience, team balance, great bowlers, and having legends in the team. When people do not want to recognize MS as a good captain, their views could be very much biased. Is it not? Like saying SriLankan team or England team or Pakistani team was a great team during Azar's, Ganguly's and Dravid's! then what about the team itself? did any of them tour with inexperienced young bulls to be tamed in all avenues? what about the greats and legends who did not shine or gave a win to MS overseas? Which captain or talented players anywhere in the world plays at number 6 or 7 and scored runs and achieved wins? Lastly, which one of these brought world cups or champion trophys?

  • on September 5, 2014, 4:15 GMT

    Dhoni may not be better TEST captain but best Indian captain for ODI, T20, IPL shorter formats. He knows how to gamble & think quickly in these formats but don't know how to think in TEST. He uses same type of gambling in TEST where it didn't or will not work. He should have separate team for TEST, separate team for ODI which may improve him. I see very few guys in India have patience to play TEST cricket. They are addicted to shorter formats. Thats why success immediately shown againt ENG in ODIs. Dhoni should prepare good TEST team who maintain patience while batting and survive for long time with partnerships. This way success comes even in TESTs also.

  • Niyazjamal on September 5, 2014, 4:11 GMT

    In ODI, dhoni is the best captain for India. There is no argument for this.. But in test matches he had never won a series in aus, eng and SA. Do you people seen his avg in test matches. Shewag avg is almost 50 and he is out of the team. I can't understand the logic of the selection committee.

  • smartmannnnn on September 5, 2014, 3:33 GMT

    MSDhoni did not captained against weaker teams like zimbabe and bangladesh and also skip against newzealand at home. He skiped tour of west indies before. Considering this, his stats are actually are better than every other captain in the world in one day cricket and also he is only captain in the world who captaining all three formats at same time for such a long time as well as IPL captaining same time. If you take weaker teams from stats he might have more winning %age than any body else.

  • on September 5, 2014, 3:10 GMT

    it's easily agreeable if he had showed the same temperament in captaincy in nz and sa odis even t20 wc final..just players performing well and he as captain who just bats in subcontinent or bats in overseas occasionally doesn't suggest to be a best captain. .He holds no role in current Indian position..praise rahane, raina, bhuvi, jadeja who lifted the team by their performances..and in tests making ashwin or rahane as test captains will be a spot on and we see contrast differences from now ..as they are a thinking players which reflects in their batting and bowling ..even I remember wc t20 final sending out of dorm yuvi was a huge gamble at that time costed nearly 20-30 runs less in setting the target, same we can see in 2012 wc match against sa instead of attacking with ashwin and yuvi to fold them less than 120 he blindly used balaji and fast bowlers on whom du plessis took apart. .sometimes his thinking shows he has been a complacent a bit becomes clueless cost us at occasions

  • on September 5, 2014, 3:00 GMT

    I feel that the main reason why Dhoni cannot win Tests outside Asia is because of the cricket pitch. We used to play in dry pitches in India where spin is the key factor for victory and suddenly when introduced to green pitches, we ultimately fail. Nowadays home ground advantages are working well for all teams. To solve these kinda issues, cricket pitches should be made common. Indians should play in variant pitches rather than in dry pitches alone.. Only then India can win Tests outside Asia. Or, we need brilliant fast bowlers who should be atleast of Steyn's quality.. Until then, victory in tests outside Asia will be a dream...

  • wolf777 on September 5, 2014, 2:52 GMT

    Let's see if you only count away matches, 6 wins, 14 loss and 8 draws...not very impressive record as a Test Captain in away games...most of these wins are from home games.

  • Hanumall on September 5, 2014, 2:47 GMT

    Excellent statistical analysis. The stats confirm that captains succeed only if they have outstanding players with them. There is no captain in the lists who shows great success records without players with outstanding individual career records. Dhoni comes closest (he had most of the time young, enthusiastic but inexperienced players or senior and influential players past their prime to play with). Dhoni in my book is the greatest captain in modern times because he has always led from the front with countless knocks under challenging conditions time and again, his balance, poise and cool in triumph and adversity. Above all he was a sportsman and not a gamesman.

  • RAAJ101 on September 5, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    I cannot remember Dhoni winnng any man of the series. Also he has a long way to go considering that Azhar had 11 ODI tournament titles during the time when Australia, Pakistan and SriLankan teams were almost unbeatable.

  • ShriChennai on September 5, 2014, 2:16 GMT

    Comparision is a bit unfair coz He did all these along with the pressure of T20 and BCCI Tight Schedules..

  • deegowd on September 5, 2014, 1:46 GMT

    What makes Ganguly's case even stronger is that during his captaincy, Pakistan and SL were much better than during Dhoni's period.

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:35 GMT

    Players like Sehwag,Gambhir are gone in test cricket but Dhoni is still there which is really not understandable.First of all Dhoni is not a good test player comparing Sehwag and Gambhir then only we need to speak about captaincy.If he was not a captain he would have removed from test team immediately after 2011 Eng tour

  • on September 5, 2014, 1:06 GMT

    Wonderful analysis, sir. This is well-researched and insightful.

    The sad bit here is that although MSD is a bad test captain, and a man of his intelligence must, at some level know this, he will continue because he also knows that at present there is no one who can do better. The current Indian team lacks the patience to play test cricket well.

  • Chennai_Cricket on September 5, 2014, 0:45 GMT

    He is the best captain, selfless person.

    From my birth i am seeing kapil dev worldcup photos in school books but he changed that. Dhoni won the worldcup for india after 30 years. Very coolest captain all over the world.

    He gave opportunities to youngsters. He bats in low order. All players like to bat in upper order but he gave chance to youngsters. He is the best captain

  • Dilmah82 on September 4, 2014, 23:55 GMT

    Dhoni inherited a good team, especially in Tests...that's why his figures are so high. But look at his style it is appalling and negative, hence lots of hammerings especially outside India...at times they are not even competitive. The hard work to reach number 1 was initially grounded by the Ganguly-Wright combo, they did the hard work, instilled confidence, and an aggresive streak in younger players, then guys like Kumble continued this. When Dhoni took over all that hard work was done. But once the stars left and he had to rebuild you can see how pathetic the results have been In ODIs he is lsightly different. As seniors started to disappear slowly, he built his own team. He has a much more positive intent in the shorter formats than Tests. So greatest Indian ODI/T20 captain yes...but not Test captain!

  • on September 4, 2014, 20:26 GMT

    ganguly best caption. but not had luke to win the finals...

  • himsez on September 4, 2014, 20:24 GMT

    @ramli - overseas record is important not imaginary. Also we have been defeated at home as well and we are talking about test matches not ODI. Good Bye

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 20:20 GMT

    media, captain and people can talk more about the process. Is really Stuart Binny is a test player ??? , really Gautham Gambhir need a call in test cricket ??? Ravindra jadeja is a better Spinner or a batsman than Ashwin out side sub cont.

    Virat kohli has the Tech. right now out side off stump ??? Rohit can be a test batsman out side Asia

    I personally feel Ashin and Bhivi have or dhoni baatedd front line batsman donot no how to handle the pressure

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 20:03 GMT

    Ganguly had the greats of Indians cricketers like Sachin, Dravid , Ganguly, Sevahg Laxman, Zaa khan , Kumble what could achieve could not win a world title either one day or test

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 19:51 GMT

    Fine, India won t20 world cup with out Ganguly, Sachin, Laxmn, Dravid I really donot remember a single world title India won after 1983 World cup by Kapil dev again 2011 world cup , please... how could India win champions trophy with out great hero's

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 19:35 GMT

    we Indians calculate more wins. whoever wins more match for India is a great captain for India. A man could not have good record in India against good teams in India and won only in ZIMBAWE , PAK and BANGLADESH is the great captainof india ???? in out side subontinent (Ganguly) ????

  • vikkkkkky on September 4, 2014, 19:15 GMT

    Dhoni is good, but Gangully was better as captain and next would be Azhar. Its just that, they did not have the team what Dhoni has been having since he took captancy..Infact Gangully is the main reason that we developed such a good ODI team.

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 19:11 GMT

    It is very funny thing that people really care about cricket. In media it is coming that most win by a captain in out side india or out side sub continent

    statics shows different every body want state ganguly is the most successfull captain out side sub continent . Fact that I think he won twice against zimbawe once in india and once in bangladesh and once in PAK.

    The real factor the GREAT captain could not win a test series in SA, ENG, WI, NZ or AUS

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 18:49 GMT

    Every body wants to blame MSD in test cricket who is the second indian run gutter in Eng test cricket 2014. He is not going to lead india in test cricket after 2015 world cup please suggest me a captain right now for indian test cricket. A man who took indian cricket in to glory. Even sachin could not win a ODI series in Eng 24 years of his carrier.

  • on September 4, 2014, 18:47 GMT

    One thing is very sure about this article. Whether MS Dhoni is a best captain or not, but Sachin was India's worst captain. Such a great batsman and almost he owns all the batting record, but unfortunately he was never been a good captain. Leadership is not for everyone. Same time Dhoni's captaincy is not good in Tests. He is too defensive in is approach in Test. He is totally a different captain when its come to ODI and T20. What I personally feel about Dhoni's captaincy in ODI and T20, he is a game changer in these formats. But not in Test. When it comes to Test, he is helpless with his own talent. He is gifted player in ODI. Until India finds out a better captain, I think he can be continue as a test captain.

  • jacobsymon on September 4, 2014, 18:35 GMT

    Every body want states that ganguly is the greatest captain of india , fine. but statics ddosnot suggest that A man could not win more no. matches in india how could be the best cptain of india.

  • RAAJ101 on September 4, 2014, 18:27 GMT

    In those tougher times Under Azhar captaincy in 174 matches India got 19 times in finals and under Dhoni captaincy almost equal matches India got only 11 times in to finals. In Bangladesh also India couldn't get into Asia cup finals twice. Even Bangladesh defeated them.

  • CherryWood_Champion on September 4, 2014, 17:57 GMT

    Dhoni is hands down the best ODI / T20 captain ever to grace Indian cricket. There is no doubt about that. But cannot say the same when it comes to Test Cricket. He seems to use his mind efficiently for 8 hours ... and runs out of ideas in a five day game. Part of it probably because of his team members non-performance including his own batting in alien conditions.

  • on September 4, 2014, 17:40 GMT

    still it's not agreeable fact that Dhoni is missing the trick in selection the biggest blunder of all. easily rahman could have been made to open in tests, 4 fast bowlers excluding binny and a spinner strategy. .how can he be a test captain with no proper thinking missing this common sense. .missing umesh yadav, ishwar pandey in bowling, giving hapless pankaj Singh a blind chance, playing two spinners in fourth test , being defensive in nz second test just looked for a draw, same against sa first test , sa nz odi series blunders, we need to look back to correct the mistakes. .He is not proactively taking part in team selection of overseas..One word to say he is a gambler..This series it's a complete them effort with good composition by ravi shastri made India in this position. .it's nothing to do with Dhoni ..I would say stop praising Dhoni, also blaming him..go with team success praise the whole unit. .If u can say rahane the best Indian batsman I agree but not Dhoni as captain.

  • maddysachinhari on September 4, 2014, 17:11 GMT

    So ppl who say dhoni has worst test record, pls hv a courtesy and think. Team is a unit and not an individual. If India wins, ppl praise dhoni, if they lose immediately say dhoni is worst captain. And pls be aware that no other Indian captain has a record of winning most of the series except dhoni. Under him, India won all the important series. And ODI and T20 arguably he is a good player and best captain. In test match also he is a good captian, but the thing is no player has a better temperament like sourav, sachin, laxam, dravid and all. The current team is very very young side. When no batsmen got good temperament in test, how can other batsmen take captaincy. surely it will affect their form. But dhoni always has good temperament to hold pressure in any format. No one can be a good captain than dhoni as of now. Pls stop criticising him for everything.

  • maddysachinhari on September 4, 2014, 17:04 GMT

    I really appreciate this author for consolidating all the stats and provided a review. But one thing is regarding test matches outside sub cont or inside it may be, ppl say dhoni has worst records. Indian team has 11 players to play a match, not only one player that is captian dhoni. Ganguly, S.waugh, or whoever it is, pls check the test teams. india had sachin, ganguly, dravid, laxman, even sehwag, kumble, harbhajan who were in form of their life. If one fail another will play, and as everyone know dravid is best in test. Aus had gilly, hayden, ponting, and i dnt hv to mention bowlers cos they had best bowlers. Every captian except dhoni had better resources to win test matches, and ganguly had the best among all. Under dhoni, no one has good temperament in test. With this team, atleast he is managing without dropping the captainship like a coward. And abt his test batting, he has improved a lot compared to other main batsmen.

  • on September 4, 2014, 16:49 GMT

    definitely not, we have to give credit captaining the team. .but it's all abt players during his tenure are performing and it's team success. .His captaincy in tests shows a massive debacle. .He needs to retire from tests ..He just gambles in the team selection which doesn't work always that cost us a test series against England. .it's a high time for Dhoni to stop gambling and make a selection based on their form and with proper pre is strategy. .it's funny to see dhawal kulkarni instead of umesh yadav and ishwar pandey not playing a single test in England series. .He need to be a thinking captain if he believe to defend the wc title..

  • SaravananIsTheBest on September 4, 2014, 16:34 GMT

    This is nice article to remind where he stands. But, one good thing with Dhoni is someone who doesnt get carry away with these debates/stats.

    Records/Histories pass by every time, great players dont catch up with umbers, he's one of them. Otherwise, he wouldnt have sent Jadeja to bat in the last match to have a bat, instead of coming himself & get n.o to improve his personal avg. He's the one bothers about present.

    A Captain should be a set example for the team. His commitment, fitness, selfishness & dedication can never be questioned. Look at current side, hardly anyone has fitness/dedication issue. But, that's one thing Ganguly lacked/lost it one point of time himself., which reflected on many players under him Sehwag/Yuvi/Bhajji/Zak/Laxman, were became lethargic/slow movers from where they started when came into side. Otherside, look at Ajinks, Raina, RJ, Kohli, Bhuvi, Mohit, Shami goes on, Fitness comes from setting right attitude irrespective to age, Sachin/Dravid are prime ex

  • RAAJ101 on September 4, 2014, 16:27 GMT

    Though other teams less competitve today compared to era of Kapil and Azhar. Still Azhar has 11 finals victories where as Dhoni has 7 and Ganguly has only one victory in final to his name!!!

  • on September 4, 2014, 15:45 GMT

    Think till the time Dhoni retires as the India Captain he will be compared with Sourav Ganguly, though their percentage wins in Tests outside Asia is 17% for Sourav and 16% for MSD. The win/loss ratio of Sourav is 0.43 compared to MS 0.31, as MS has managed to lose 13 tests outside Asia. For us win never matters as Sourav has won only 3 tests out of Asia, and MS has won 4, we are more interested in the losses, as Dada lost 7 compared to 13 under MS. As a country we love highlighting our losses, rather than celebrating our wins, thats the reason why Saina Nehwal's split with Gopichand and Somdev's refusal to play in Asian Games makes bigger headlines than Sania Mirza getting into the US Open Mixed Doubles Final. Sourav also took India to 14 finals winning just one and losing 13, where MS has taken India to 17 finals winning 11 of them. And lucky MS also led India, when they were the No.1 test team for 2 years, which only he can claim nobody else can

  • Indiateamproud on September 4, 2014, 15:32 GMT

    MSD is 1 of the best as were MA KD SG RD. But cricket is not singles. It is a team sport! MSD & India are blessed by some of the best Indian teams ever. Multiple options of quality batsmen, bowlers, improved fielders & a deep bench. In 50s 60s 1 pacer, great spinners, a rubbed new ball after a few overs & spin the rest of the way. No mystery why our pacers did not threaten opponents or train our own batsmen to face pace. MSD era teams are the most balanced ever as Indian cricket has its deepest talent pool ever, across all skillsets. Your analysis is interesting but compares apples with oranges and minimizes the role and contributions of the team members. I admire MS and all he has done. I think he is great. I also admire the others and their contributions, particularly the captains who persevered in the dark days when Indian teams had neither the balance nor the depth of the past few years. I am always proud of our team, notwithstanding the armchair critics. Go India!

  • Temuzin on September 4, 2014, 15:19 GMT

    He is undoubtedly the best captain India has produced. If he has one bowler of Steyn or McGrath's caliber he would have been way better captain in tests too.

  • perl57 on September 4, 2014, 15:07 GMT

    Ganguly brought a mini world cup to India and a runners up for world cup. MSD brought T20, Mini World Cup and World cup home. That itself is enough to show he is India's best ever captain. Overseas wise MSD was bad in tests. ODIs were decent record.

  • Big_Poppa_94 on September 4, 2014, 14:57 GMT

    A captain is only as good as his team. All the other captains have had better resources. I'm not saying Dhoni isn't bad as a Test captain. He certainly is poor when it comes to overseas, but how do you think Dhoni would fair if he had bowlers like Steyn or McGrath or Garner?

  • Rahul17_1983 on September 4, 2014, 14:49 GMT

    When Ind win than other team is weak and when Ind loose than Ind is playing bad.So there is no point in explainging to anybody.

  • SL_Boy on September 4, 2014, 14:40 GMT

    Why Dhoni did not resign as Test Captain? India is straggling outside of Asia, they need a leader who can build youngsters

    Why he was not let go as captain of test cricket? India is straggling outside of Asia, they need a leader who can build youngsters

    In Asia cup Dhoni was rested ... everyone knows what happen in Bangladesh

  • on September 4, 2014, 14:38 GMT

    We are saying Dhoni couldn't win test matches because others didn't perform. When we win like in 20/20 WC and 50/50 WC we give lot of credit to Captain. Analysis would show that few champion players were in the team who performed and we won. Dhoni was lucky in 2011 WC and Saurav was unlucky in 2003 WC. Having said that the One day team has improved in all departments and Dhoni has been there as captain. Giving Dhoni test captaincy was a bad decision, many defeats by innings and in 3 or 4 days clearly shows he is not good in test. He has BCCI backing even though many former players wanted to remove him from tests. Winning WC for second time will make him the greatest Indian captain as only

  • gangs_cric on September 4, 2014, 14:26 GMT

    Can't comment if he is the best Captain of India. But for sure he got the best team ever which made us win so many games.... Hope this winning continues!!!

  • myStraightTalk on September 4, 2014, 14:12 GMT

    Why Dhoni did not resign as Test Captain? or Why he was not let go as captain of test cricket?

  • RAAJ101 on September 4, 2014, 13:58 GMT

    Due to other teams less competitve India has achieved better results in ODIs under Dhoni's captaincy. Dhoni has been dragged as test captain. He should have been removed when he lost 4-0 to england the last time.

  • on September 4, 2014, 13:56 GMT

    Compared to last ODI series in England this England team is worst which is one of the reasons for our win.The real test.T is in world cup in australia and newzealand where they need to compete with Aus,SA and even NZ in their home conditions.Take out this win India has lost in SA and Nz in ODI's so we need to see how they fare in WC.Hope India does well in WC

  • Naikan on September 4, 2014, 13:46 GMT

    Dhoni's tactics in tests outside India may also be influenced by the fact that the Indian team under him had poorer bowling resources as compared to the opposition. I wonder how he would have fared if he had Srinath or Zaheer at their peak under him. His over reliance on Ishant (promised more than deliver) is also a bit irksome. Thus the only place I would fault him is his inability to get his team to draw the tests more often lose, though he cannot be faulted for personal effort. For tests outside India, while Ganguly did a great deal to raise India's profile I would still rate Dravid as better than him. Even with a smaller sample ratio he has won the same number of tests outside the subcontinent. Also we should not forget that he won 2 series outside the subcontinent (each being the only series wins for India in the last 25 years). He did this in the face of multiple tensions (coach, selector interference, recovery from WC loss, etc.).

  • Gopalakrishna on September 4, 2014, 13:39 GMT

    Real Good one - a faster one and in right areas - Congrats Jeswath - Keep it up HR Gopala Krishna - Cricket Statistician - Bangalore

  • Raki99 on September 4, 2014, 13:33 GMT

    2011 0-4 against ENG 2011/12 0-4 against Aus. 2014 0-1 against SA 2014 0-1 against NZ 2014 1-3 against ENG Let's see how he performs against the aussies this time, I am sure they are gone get rolled over in the test series. Yes he has won lot of tournaments of India In the shorter formats. But he is a utter failure when it comes to test series Out side the subcontinent. The Problem is he tries to implement the same strategy for Test what he implements in the one days which Doesn't work. Too stubborn to make changes.

  • ramli on September 4, 2014, 13:19 GMT

    @himsez ... coming late-down the order does not discredit anybody ... MSD is not a specialist batsman ... he is a WK capable of batting .. and that too better than any wicket keeper that played for India

    Secondly, if only overseas wins are the yardstick, what about losing in home-soil? Why don't you factor that?

    All this talk about overseas wins are just imaginary trying to find a way to discredit MSD's achievements.

  • CRam on September 4, 2014, 13:16 GMT

    India's best ever captain without a doubt, was MAK Pataudi. His tactical nous was second to none - and he was the first to bind the team together and play to its strengths. He played his best bowlers - spinners - in all conditions, and his captaincy is reflected in the fact that his away record is third best of all India captains. A true genius and the first to open with spinners and to emphasise on fielding - way before the modern trend.

  • ramli on September 4, 2014, 13:14 GMT

    Are wins abroad that crucial to determine the best captain? If so, then losses at home should also matter in the same breadth at least. If so, MSD is clearly the best Indian captain. SG certainly ranks next to him. Only this obsession with overseas wins skews the comparison. It is win that matters.

  • DRS_Flawed_NeedsImprovement on September 4, 2014, 13:11 GMT

    yes he is great captain India ever produced. the myth of ganguly won more away test matches busted from this statistics.

  • on September 4, 2014, 13:10 GMT

    Also, under Ganguly in Test cricket, India pretty much dominated the opponents in overseas. That was the real success of Ganguly. Though India lost few Tests, the drawn Tests were almost dominated by India. For ex. The 1st Test against Australia in 2003-04, and the Sydney Test were dominated by India. The only place where India completely failed in overseas was in NZ.

    This really speaks about Ganguly's ability to lead a team. Got the maximum out of each and every induvidual. He and John Wright's combination worked out really well for India... Ganguly's men also defeated top-class Australia side at home.. So, it's all about the understanding and extracting work from each and every player by captain and coach.

    So, to conclude, it's Dada who thought us to win overseas, Dhoni converted them to trophies

  • torsha on September 4, 2014, 12:41 GMT

    Record in ODIs final is phenomenal from Dhoni. They hardly lose in final.

  • on September 4, 2014, 12:40 GMT

    I always believe a captain is as good as the team. Take away Warne, McGrath, ponting, Gilchrist, Hayden and Waugh himself from Australia's invisible team, imagine what the stats would be. Dhoni has been reasonably good. If his record is there due credit to yuvraj, kohli, tendulkar, sehwag, laxman, dravid & new crop of players. When these guys have performed the results have been good, when they haven't his records have faltered

  • pritamdas_circ on September 4, 2014, 12:17 GMT

    His is the BEST modern day captain in limited overs. In Tests, well.....

  • Nadeem1976 on September 4, 2014, 12:16 GMT

    Yes. MSD is best ever Indian captain. Many reasons. 1. He won the World cup in ODI and his team is #1 ranked ODI team. 2. His team was #1 ranked TEST team. 3. His team was #1 ranked T2020 team. 4. He won Champion trophy. 5. He won T2020 WC 6. He won IPLs 7. He won Champion League.

    He is not able to win Test matches outside of Asia because he has lost 5 all time great Test Batsmen. Which Ganguly had. He lost good bowlers which Ganguly had.

    I think overall looking into to Cricketing trend going towards T2020 and ODI, MSD is best Indian captain ever record wise.

  • CricketChat on September 4, 2014, 12:14 GMT

    Best or not, Dhoni is certainly a lucky captain helped in no small measure by the best Indian batting line up from 2008-2010 and Zaheer at his best. Much like Ponting at helm with his team full of world beaters. Dhoni and Ponting hardly had to anything special as the team took care of itself. When chips are down, like in 2011 (infamous 0-8 thrashing) and now in recent test series against Eng, he could bring nothing new to inspire his team but only let things adrift to predictable results very early in each match that Ind lost. Before he hangs up his boots, he will of course be a statistical winner of win-loss record. To me, Ganguly is yet the best Ind captain by light years.

  • premendrasinghal on September 4, 2014, 12:05 GMT

    I reckon Dhoni is the best ever captain of India although at times he seemed to be a bit adamant in his tactics and team selection. But he carries a totally different brain in his head about Cricket. Although stats suggest that he is not as good captain in Tests as he is in ODIs but keeping a point in mind that what team he is playing with what sort of support he is getting from his young team with absence of likes of Dravid, Laxman and Sachin he may take some time to prove himself. And he will do it definitely, He is a true fighter.

  • Rags57 on September 4, 2014, 11:56 GMT

    It is true that Dhoni's tactics in the recent losses have been questionable but you can always second guess all tactics. Given the fact that he has had a really inexperienced team with a very average bowling attack, it is tough to be aggressive. He lost the 2011 series in England and Australia 4-0 with one of the best batting line-ups India may have had but the fab 4 (with the exception of Dravid in England) fumbled badly so should Dhoni be blamed for that? The role of the coach in helping captains win is also under-rated - Dhoni did very well with Gary Kirsten but has been a failure with Duncan outside Asia.

  • on September 4, 2014, 11:47 GMT

    dhoni is the best second comes ganguly.

  • Bharatcricketlover on September 4, 2014, 11:44 GMT

    Guys dont fight they all are indian Captains. Respect all of them. And pray for good future of indian cricket and mpre wins under MS captaincy..... And someone has said bcz of MS gud players r out of team, den he must be knowing that most of d players r out of form lyk shewag, gambhir and yuvraj etc. and dhoni has already given most of the chances. And remainig player get injured due to which they are out of team. ex: pathan, zaheer n manoj tiwari etc...

  • on September 4, 2014, 11:39 GMT

    Just a comment for analyst. Setting 100 ODI & 50 test cut off benchmark is unfair bcz eg Saeed Anwar had a full international carrer of 50 tests......So a cutoff bechmark shoud be 50 ODIs & 20 tests

  • on September 4, 2014, 11:34 GMT

    Stats matter a lot but they don't speak everything

    1. Ponting by far is the finest ODI captain ever

    2. Steve Waugh had a team of greats throughout his tenure but in later part of Ponting's tenure he had a pretty avg team still he has slightly inferor test captaincy record. Hence Steve Waugh & Ponting were equally the fienst test captains

    3. Some people falsely believe Smith was g8 captain stats clearly show he wasn't even SAs best captain despite SA always had an equally great team, Cronje was.

    4. Pakistan have been far superior side than India despite India on paper always sounding like superior team bcz Indian bowling have been far poor than Paki on the parameters that matter i.e. E/R and averages.

    5. People have wrong perception that Imran was the finest Paki captain. Waseem was equally good

    6. Despite Dhoni having better stats than Azhar, Azhar was far superior captain bcz compared to Dhoni 6 Azhar had 1 world class batsman, Bowlingwise both had equal resources

  • on September 4, 2014, 11:33 GMT

    Stats matter a lot but they don't speak everything...................

    1. Ponting by far is the finest ODI captain ever 2. Steve Waugh had a team of greats throughout his tenure but in later part of Ponting's tenure he had a pretty avg team still he has slightly inferor test captaincy record. Hence Steve Waugh & Ponting were equally the fienst test captains 3. Some people falsely believe Smith was g8 captain stats clearly show he wasn't even SAs best captain despite SA always had an equally great team, Cronje was. 4. Pakistan have been far superior side than India despite India on paper always sounding like superior team bcz Indian bowling have been far poor than Paki on the parameters that matter i.e. E/R and averages. 5. People have wrong perception that Imran was the finest Paki captain. Waseem was equally good 6. Despite Dhoni having better stats than Azhar, Azhar was far superior captain bcz compared to Dhoni 6 Azhar had 1 world class batsman, Bowlingwise both had equal resources

  • looloogun on September 4, 2014, 11:21 GMT

    @amit lowada the problem with dhoni is he is the one who kicked out the good players we had at the time like kaif yuvraj harbajan nehra sehwag gambhir chawla praveen pathans zaheer utapa sreesanth badri and now spoiling binny pragyan ojha misra gony aparajith aaron umesh yadav dk ,and countless others so to me dhoni can win you matches but he is winning at the pain of others teammates,all he has with him is a bunch of average players pretending to be the geniuses except raina .

  • Wolverine8877 on September 4, 2014, 11:04 GMT

    Pathetic indian supporters! Dhoni is the guy who won you in ALL ICC big events yet still you say he is no good as captain! WHAT MORE DO YOU WANT HIM TO DO???? He is the most complete player I have ever seen it decades. RESPECT THE GREAT MAN! If you dhoni haters know a bit about cricket, yall should know on the field, he is handling the most difficult task of keeping the wickets plus captaining and not only that, absorbing pressure during crunch times to seal wins for your country. How many matches has he won for you single handadly??? RESPECT THE GREATEST CAPTAIN!

  • gandabhai on September 4, 2014, 11:00 GMT

    The way Ganguly has been commentating on Sky recently, anyone would be forgiven for thinking he was an English fan. All summer he has been wiiling England on to do well. Yes, i did have a lot of respect for him before because of the way he stood up for India, when he was captain, not anymore.

  • ladycricfan on September 4, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    Captaincy is about tactical skills and man management. If you have good players any ordinary captain can win matches. So it is not the results which is the yardstick to judge a captain. Mike Brearley and Stephen Felmming were considered good tacticians. Dhoni is a good tactician. But his man management has been very poor recently.

  • on September 4, 2014, 10:56 GMT

    No doubt !! He is India's best captain after S.Ganguly !!

  • THEBEAST7 on September 4, 2014, 10:55 GMT

    YES HE IS! a Sri Lankan supporter here. No doubt he is the reason for indias success at the highest level. Second best would be Mr. Mohommed Azaruddin.

  • on September 4, 2014, 10:18 GMT

    Sachin, Dravid, Laxman, Kumble, Srinath all at the peak of their careers played under Ganguly....Dhoni either had aging players or emerging players in his team....how can they both be compared?

  • vicky_777 on September 4, 2014, 10:17 GMT

    Dhoni is not the best captain, instead he is the captain for the best indian cricket team! for me Sourav is the best who showed the aggression to win matches played abroad..,

  • IPL_is_Thrash on September 4, 2014, 10:14 GMT

    Test Results outside Sub-Continent shows what a pathetic captain MSD is.

    MSD's captaincy cannot be judged by his performance in nonsense IPL.

  • Suicide-Note on September 4, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    Modest numbers apart from t20s inflated by number of matches mostly

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:49 GMT

    Out of 39 wins India has under Ganguly outside Asia, 16 came against minnows like Kenya (6), Zimbabwe (8), Namibia (1) and Netherland (1) whereas India with Dhoni as captain never played against Kenya, Zimbabwe, Netherland and Namibia. So, Dhoni is clearly better as captain than Ganguly ia ODIs outside Asia.

  • on September 4, 2014, 9:47 GMT

    For all those criticizing Dhoni the test captain. Just for a moment imagine Michael Clarke or for that matter any other great test captain according to you leading the Indian team in the just finished England series. What would have been the result??? It would have been the same. With a spineless batting display and toothless bowling, what can you expect the captain to do??? At least he didn't run away from the battle stating stress ala Jonathan Trott or retire midway through the series ala Graeme Swann or throw an attitude ala KP for scoring the highest number of runs. He stood there and fought manfully, something that his fellow batsmen forgot.

  • himsez on September 4, 2014, 9:43 GMT

    Any captain who can be humiliated 0-4 0-4 0-1 1-3 can never be the best captain ever no matter what he does. Dhoni cannot be the best captain. Prior captains played earning peanuts and very little support staff. Here dhoni has all kinds of services at his hands. Dhoni has captained India in 162 Matches of which 93 have been played in the subcontinent 70 Matches elsewhere. Dhoni has defeated australia 4 times, England 5 times, south africa 3 times, NZ 6 times and WI 4 Times outside India. Total of 22 Matches of the 95 he has won or tied.

    So he is good but not the best and definitely not even good in the Test Matches. He comes so late down the order when the ball has softened and batting becomes easier and thus is canny enough to score those runs.

  • ns_krishnan on September 4, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    @sriramswami "we did not encounter English conditions until the third test" ? According to many former players including Shane Warne Lord's wicket was one of the greenest ever and India pulled off a win batting first. Yes, they played appallingly afterwards but do not deny them credit for the matches in which they played well.

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @Lin Comp : Here's your statistics.. Watch it, analyse it, do whatever you want to do with it., finally decide to yourself who's been lucky and all that.

    Tests ::: Matches - Toss Won - Batted first - Toss Win% - Mat won Saurav : 49 - 21 - 12 - 42.8% - 9 Dhoni : 58 - 25 - 17 - 43.1% - 9

    Odis ::: Matches - Toss Won - Batted first - Toss Win% - Mat won Saurav : 147 - 74 - 48 - 50.3% - 42 Dhoni : 161 - 75 - 40 - 46.6% - 43

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @Lin Comp - Since you asked, below are the records of Indian captains when they have won the toss, in Tests and ODIs.

    In Tests http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=captains;orderby=won;team=6;template=results;toss=1;type=team

    In ODIs http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;groupby=captains;orderby=won;team=6;template=results;toss=1;type=team

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    He is too good. We also forgot to mention the number of titles World Cup, T20 World Cup, IPL with CSK, CLT, Number 1 in Test Matches. He has done it all. It shows his leadership qualities even in IPL, CLT or India team. He is the best leader...

  • sriramswami on September 4, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    In almost 70 - 80 years of playing test cricket we have always been humiliated in tests abroad. you expecting more from MSD make him look worse that's all . expecting better is ok . expecting miracles is maybe bit too much.

    normally if India survived the first 2 tests we could have expected better in England but unfortunately we did not encounter English conditions until the third test which probably stumped our guys and had misled them to believe to much of themselves.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    We also need to find out how many tosses have been won by each of these captains, although i do not have the exact toss out comes but it used to look like captains like sachin or dravid or sourav etc were not wining the tosses frequently and especially in crucial matches where as wining the toss is a routine for doni. And in crucial matches the ability of winning tosses by doni further increases. I understand winning toss does not automatically give a victory, the team still have to play well to win the matches but in cricket toss does have a significant role in the out come of the games so if a captain wins more tosses then it gives more chances to win the matches. Winning toss in cricket gives the team and captain more confidence too, for example in the last odi it sounded cook wanted to bat anyway but if he had won the toss and chose to bat himself then he would have had more confidence while batting so outcome of toss does impact the out come of the matches in cricket this way too.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    i would completely agree with @krishnamohan and thatswhy i believe sourav the best of india followed by Dhoni. He captained during the time when Aussies and SA were at their peak. Also, the indian team was in transition and he identified the players like Yuvi, Bajji and even Dhoni.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Who cares? India get humiliated every time they play Test matches abroad.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Why should there be a discussion on this topic at all? India doesn't have a legacy of having great captains. Our two greatest captains have been Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni. There ends the story.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    In the list Individuals who have captained in at least 100 ODIs, you find Arjuna and Flemming in the bottom of the lists. And they are the greatest captains for me, since they successfully lead a team that had no super stars in it. People read men by their destination not by their journey. The journey of Arjuna and Flemming didn't take their team to the desired destination, but it did allow the future continue on their journey and reach the destination.

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  • on September 4, 2014, 7:01 GMT

    In the list Individuals who have captained in at least 100 ODIs, you find Arjuna and Flemming in the bottom of the lists. And they are the greatest captains for me, since they successfully lead a team that had no super stars in it. People read men by their destination not by their journey. The journey of Arjuna and Flemming didn't take their team to the desired destination, but it did allow the future continue on their journey and reach the destination.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:16 GMT

    Why should there be a discussion on this topic at all? India doesn't have a legacy of having great captains. Our two greatest captains have been Sourav Ganguly and Dhoni. There ends the story.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:37 GMT

    Who cares? India get humiliated every time they play Test matches abroad.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    i would completely agree with @krishnamohan and thatswhy i believe sourav the best of india followed by Dhoni. He captained during the time when Aussies and SA were at their peak. Also, the indian team was in transition and he identified the players like Yuvi, Bajji and even Dhoni.

  • on September 4, 2014, 7:39 GMT

    We also need to find out how many tosses have been won by each of these captains, although i do not have the exact toss out comes but it used to look like captains like sachin or dravid or sourav etc were not wining the tosses frequently and especially in crucial matches where as wining the toss is a routine for doni. And in crucial matches the ability of winning tosses by doni further increases. I understand winning toss does not automatically give a victory, the team still have to play well to win the matches but in cricket toss does have a significant role in the out come of the games so if a captain wins more tosses then it gives more chances to win the matches. Winning toss in cricket gives the team and captain more confidence too, for example in the last odi it sounded cook wanted to bat anyway but if he had won the toss and chose to bat himself then he would have had more confidence while batting so outcome of toss does impact the out come of the matches in cricket this way too.

  • sriramswami on September 4, 2014, 8:22 GMT

    In almost 70 - 80 years of playing test cricket we have always been humiliated in tests abroad. you expecting more from MSD make him look worse that's all . expecting better is ok . expecting miracles is maybe bit too much.

    normally if India survived the first 2 tests we could have expected better in England but unfortunately we did not encounter English conditions until the third test which probably stumped our guys and had misled them to believe to much of themselves.

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:32 GMT

    He is too good. We also forgot to mention the number of titles World Cup, T20 World Cup, IPL with CSK, CLT, Number 1 in Test Matches. He has done it all. It shows his leadership qualities even in IPL, CLT or India team. He is the best leader...

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:33 GMT

    @Lin Comp - Since you asked, below are the records of Indian captains when they have won the toss, in Tests and ODIs.

    In Tests http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=1;filter=advanced;groupby=captains;orderby=won;team=6;template=results;toss=1;type=team

    In ODIs http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/stats/index.html?class=2;filter=advanced;groupby=captains;orderby=won;team=6;template=results;toss=1;type=team

  • on September 4, 2014, 8:53 GMT

    @Lin Comp : Here's your statistics.. Watch it, analyse it, do whatever you want to do with it., finally decide to yourself who's been lucky and all that.

    Tests ::: Matches - Toss Won - Batted first - Toss Win% - Mat won Saurav : 49 - 21 - 12 - 42.8% - 9 Dhoni : 58 - 25 - 17 - 43.1% - 9

    Odis ::: Matches - Toss Won - Batted first - Toss Win% - Mat won Saurav : 147 - 74 - 48 - 50.3% - 42 Dhoni : 161 - 75 - 40 - 46.6% - 43

  • ns_krishnan on September 4, 2014, 9:05 GMT

    @sriramswami "we did not encounter English conditions until the third test" ? According to many former players including Shane Warne Lord's wicket was one of the greenest ever and India pulled off a win batting first. Yes, they played appallingly afterwards but do not deny them credit for the matches in which they played well.