A debate has surfaced as to who is India’s best captain in Tests ever since Virat Kohli eclipsed his predecessor Mahendra Singh Dhoni after India defeated the West Indies in the second match of their recently concluded two-Test series in Kingston, Jamaica. It was Kohli’s 28th win as the captain in Tests and it came in 48 Tests at a success rate of 58.33. Dhoni, who quit Test cricket in 2014 and still plays the limited-overs formats, won 27 Tests in 60 outings at a success rate of 45.
Kohli became the first Indian captain to win a Test series in Australia last summer when his team beat the Baggy Greens 2-1 in a four-match series. It is certainly the biggest success that Kohli’s four-year-old captaincy has tasted in the red-ball format. Kohli has also won Test series in the West Indies and Sri Lanka besides winning series at home.
But former India wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani still isn’t convinced that the 30-year-old is the best captain India has produced in the Test arena. In fact, Kirmani still prefers Dhoni over his successor. “In every era, there has been a captain with different individuals. When Dhoni was the captain, he succeeded in all the three formats (Test, ODI, T20I) and took the Indian team to the highest level (No. 1). He was acclaimed as the best captain India ever had,” My Nation quoted the 69-year-old as saying.
‘Kohli has five more years as captain’
“After that, Virat (Kohli) took over. Give him some more time to achieve many more records. You cannot acclaim him as the best Indian captain ever. It is Dhoni who has been acclaimed as the best Indian captain ever, so far. So, Kohli has a long way to go. Easily, five more years are there with Kohli as India skipper,” he added.
Kirmani, who was a member of the 1983 World Cup-winning team and played under one of the best captains that India produced – Kapil Dev – also spoke about the Caribbeans’ poor show against India and how their cricket has slumped. The West Indies failed to win a single game in any of the formats in the series that featured three T20Is, as many ODIs besides the two Test matches.
“This is a cycle by itself which falls on an individual and as well as a team. There is a good time for every team and every individual. On that basis, those were the days when the West Indies ruled cricket for more than two decades. They were the best team in the world. They were beating every team in the world,” Kirmani, who played in 88 Tests and 49 ODIs between 1976 and 1986 and picked 234 scalps, said.
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