There’s absolutely no doubt that both MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli are legends of Indian cricket. They’ve been simply brilliant in their respective careers. Dhoni and Kohli have had their moments during their captaincy tenures.
Dhoni led the Indian team in all three formats for seven years before quitting Test cricket in 2014. But he continued to be the captain of the shorter formats till the end of 2016. Kohli took over as full-time Test captain in January 2015 and a couple of years later, he took over as skipper across formats.
Both of them have quite different styles of captaincy. Dhoni is a lot calmer and more relaxed on the field while Kohli likes to be in the face of the opposition and express his emotions. Also, Dhoni loved playing around with spinners but Kohli likes pace on the ball. Hence, it’s no surprise that some of the players they’ve backed are different.
Thus, here are five players who’ve done better under Virat Kohli than MS Dhoni
1. Ishant Sharma
When Ishant Sharma bowled that spell to Ricky Ponting in Perth during India’s tour of Australia in 2007-08, he was hailed as the next big fast bowling sensation. But as the years went by, the lanky pacer from Delhi became India’s workhorse and not the wicket-taker he was expected to be. Sharma bowled tirelessly, holding one end up and sending in lengthy spells.
Often, he was termed as unlucky for not getting as many wickets despite bowling well. He was Dhoni’s go-to fast bowler, especially in Test cricket. However, that has changed under Virat Kohli.
For the first few years, Ishant did switch roles but since the start of 2018, he has become a wicket-taker. The Delhi cricketer may have been reduced to a Test specialist but he’s become India’s talismanic pacer. Ishant is the leader of the attack. He may still be the workhorse but he is a lot more threatening and has been brilliant over the last couple of years.
2. Ravindra Jadeja
There’s absolutely no doubt that Ravindra Jadeja was unearthed under MS Dhoni in the Indian team. He did play the 2008 Under-19 World Cup and was a star in the inaugural IPL but it was under the captaincy of Dhoni that the Saurashtra all-rounder started his career and started developing a name for himself.
However, around 2014-15, Jadeja did seem to lose his touch and needed to go back to domestic cricket to rediscover his mojo. But it was under Virat Kohli that Jadeja made his comeback in Test cricket and became a different player altogether. He offers a lot more with the bat and is very consistent with the ball. The left-handed all-rounder was always a gun fielder and his fielding has only improved.
At the moment, Jadeja is one of India’s premier all-rounders across formats. Yes, he did well under Dhoni but the numbers under Kohli are much better. He averages 40.72 with the bat under Kohli while 24.50 under Dhoni. It’s important to note that Jadeja started off mainly as a bowling all-rounder before becoming a proper No. 7. But even with the ball, Jadeja has fared much better under Kohli (average of 28.17 under Kohli vs 33.31 under Dhoni).
3. Bhuvneshwar Kumar
This might just be a slightly surprising name in this list. Bhuvneshwar Kumar found quite a bit of success early in his career under MS Dhoni. The Ranchi-born cricketer used Bhuvneshwar very wisely. The Meerut pacer didn’t have a lot of pace but swing was his strength. Hence, Dhoni would often bowl at least 7-8 overs of Bhuvneshwar upfront. Even in Test cricket, Bhuvneshwar was a more conditions-specific bowler.
But the arrival of Virat Kohli as captain changed Bhuvneshwar. He started bowling a lot more at death and is decently consistent as well. Moreover, he added an extra yard or two of pace and the swing that was lost came back. There are a couple of variations that he developed and has foxed many batsmen.
Post 2016, Bhuvneshwar Kumar was in a different zone altogether. He formed a potent force with Jasprit Bumrah and the duo have worked really well together. From being a swing bowler under Dhoni to a complete one under Kohli.
4. Ambati Rayudu
For quite some time, Ambati Rayudu was put down as a fringe player. He would tour Zimbabwe and do well but was on the bench for quite some time. He played a handful of games in 2014 and 2015 under MS Dhoni but had decent (or rather middling) returns under him.
It was only when he made his way back into the Indian team in 2018 on the back of a wonderful IPL performance that he started performing very well. Rayudu struck a fine hundred and that too from the coveted No. 4 position. The Hyderabad cricketer largely played ODI cricket under Kohli and was tipped to be the No. 4 for the 2019 World Cup. However, things didn’t go his way and he was omitted.
But Rayudu has turned up to play under both Dhoni and Kohli almost the same number of games but it’s under Kohli that he averages and performs better. He scored 535 runs at an average of 35.66 under Dhoni and 810 runs at an average of 47.64 under Kohli.
5. Hardik Pandya
Hardik Pandya’s arrival ended India’s eternal search for a seam-bowling all-rounder. India have tried a few of them but none of them clicked. But Pandya’s arrival just made life and things a lot easier for the ‘Men in Blue’.
He made his ODI and T20I debut in 2016 under MS Dhoni but still seemed raw. His bowling was wayward at times and with the bat, he threw his wicket away on multiple occasions. Hence, it’s little surprise that Pandya doesn’t have great numbers under Dhoni.
It was under Virat Kohli that Pandya found his zone and tempo. The Baroda all-rounder became a crucial component of the Indian team, especially in the shorter formats. Be it picking wickets or getting big scores, it was under Kohli that Pandya started performing consistently for India. It may be tough to judge as Pandya played only five ODIs under Dhoni but Pandya under Kohli has become India’s best all-rounder.
SportsInfo offers cricket, soccer, kabaddi, tennis, badminton, racing, basketball and other sports news, articles, videos, live coverage & live scores, player rankings & team rankings. Also, offers minute details of any match along with live commentary.
- India vs England, 2021: 4th Test, Day 1 – Virat Kohli creates new milestone, Ravi Ashwin’s feat, Axar Patel’s record and more stats
- India vs England, 2021: 3rd Test, Day 2 – Records galore for Axar Patel, Ravi Ashwin’s milestone, captain Kohli’s feat and more stats
- Ranking India’s top 10 T20I match-winners of all-time
- MS Dhoni continues gathering love on Instagram; becomes second cricketer after Virat Kohli to breach the 30 million club
- Satire: 10 Indian cricketers and their secret social media passwords