Ganguly, Dravid, Dhoni: Whos the BestCaptain?All three had captained the Indian team (One still does) - in three different styles and allthe three are at very different stages of their careers today but the Indian Premier League(IPL) brings them together on a single platform where their leadership skills areevaluated them - Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni once again – quitedifferently.All the three have contributed immensely to Indian cricket and many argue that acomparison of these outstanding three is unfair. However, debate, undoubtedly, is alsothe best part of watching sport. And there is the IPL battle being played out in front of usand so, we can be the judges of the present without much of assumptions andimaginations. There is a difference, a unique feelthatSourav Ganguly brings on to the cricketing field when he takes over the captaincy.And today when he is back with his leadership tactics on the field, the nostalgia begins tojumpstart among the cricket frenzy Indian crowd.Ganguly’s inputs as the captain of Pune Warriors have been noticeable when his sideoverthrew the Mumbai Indians on the third match of IPL V. The furious captain rung inthe changes and with his unique style, he made some remarkable field placements and asalways, he was constantly looking for wickets.
Ganguly who took over the captaincy of Indian team at a very tumultuous period with atask of lifting a team that lost its credibility to the match-fixing controversy. He didrebuild the side reeling from the fallout and had to battle the odds stacked against theIndian team such as “tigers at home and lambs away.” The flamboyant captain created ateam that wants afraid of anyone, just like Ganguly who always spoke his mind anddared the orthodox as he took off his shirt at the Mecca of cricket – eventually makingthe Indian team an aggressive and confident unit.As today he leads a unit of new commerce, it should be noted that it was with hisbacking, India saw the emergence of a bunch of talented youngster like Yuvraj Singh,Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan, and Harbhajan Singh etc. And in the absence of Yuvraj,Ganguly comes to the Pune Team as its captain and mentor, with a not-so-good record inKKR, to prove something and a motivated Ganguly can do wonders.RAHUL DRAVIDOne of the finest batsmen in the world, technically perfect, carrying a rich experience of16 years of international cricket, Rahul Dravid will remain to be admired for hisexemplary work ethic, meticulousness, and methodical approach for eternity. On thegrounds of IPL season V, the world saw a highly spirited Rahul Dravid who carried therole of captaincy and coaching from its talismanic leader Shane Warne with ease, takingthe his team Rajasthan Royals to the top spots in the points table. Dravid, with adifferent temperament that of Warne, could handle the transition with exceptionalmaturity and cricketing intelligence.
“Warne was loud, aggressive and loved beingthe centre of attention. Rahul Dravid is quiet, restrained and simply goes about hisbusiness,” Tariq Engineer writes espncricinfo. However, both these cricketing greatsshare something in common – their ability to lead by example and deep knowledge ofthe game. “A game of T20 lasts for little over three hours, but he bats for three hours ondays we have to practice! His work ethics and discipline have become the benchmark forthe team,” Dishant Yagnik says about his captain.It’s no wonder Rahul exhibit his best during this IPL season as he is probably under theleast amount of pressure because for Dravid, these two months of IPL is the coolingdown period for him. The former Indian captain, who always took decisions by booksthan by pure instinct, has the best of his chances and he proves to be implementing hisgreat knowledge of the game this time.MSDDhoni’s record as skipper makes him one of the best captains the team ever had;however, the recent poor shows first in England and then the tour Down Under haveseverely dented his reputation.
Dhoni added a finishing touch to what hiscaptain Sourav Ganguly had began with and brought in a new culture of consistency andthe team went on to clinch a number of tournaments. Indian cricket team reached to theNo.1 in Test cricket and in the biggest games, unlike the past, the team didn’t crumbleunder pressure. As a result, Team India Under MS Dhoni made history by winning thetop tittles in ICC World T20 2007 and ICC Cricket World Cup 2011.The fearlessness that Dhoni instilled in the team has helped the new comers like ViratKohli, Suresh Raina and Ravichandran Ashwin, to name a few, who exhibited theirexceptional skills at the highest levels. And the good forms of the seniors like Tendulkar,Dravid and Laxman brought back the good memories of the Ganguly era.It’s here Dhoni faces the real test. After having an exceptional period of captaincy, India’sawful performance away that brought back unwanted memories of the past, generateddoubts from different corners on his leadership qualities. The IPL extravaganza is goingto be a salvage operation for Dhoni, a chance for him to figure out what’s gone missingand this cricketing festival, without the pressure of leading a national team, will draw histrue self once again.