MS Dhoni became a successful captain in Test cricket because of Zaheer Khan: Gautam Gambhir

MS Dhoni became a successful captain in Test cricket because of Zaheer Khan: Gautam Gambhir

Zaheer played 33 Tests under Dhoni and picked up 123 wickets as India reached the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in 2009.

Zaheer Khan and MS Dhoni
Zaheer Khan and MS Dhoni. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

The world witnessed the emergence of a prolific leader in 2007 when a young MS Dhoni steered India to the triumph in inaugural T20 World Cup in South Africa. What followed was Dhoni carving many captaincy records to his name. The Ranchi stalwart also led the Men in Blue to World Cup victory in 2011 and Champions Trophy triumph in 2013.

Along with the limited-overs formats, Dhoni also flaunted his leadership skills in Tests, guiding India to 27 wins in 60 matches. Under the leadership of the wicketkeeper-batsman, India remained at the top of the Test ranking for 18 months. Virat Kohli eventually took over the reins but Dhoni’s aura and leadership skills are still lauded.

Former India opener Gautam Gambhir has also reflected on Dhoni’s success in the traditional format. According to Gambhir, Zaheer Khan was one of the biggest factors behind Dhoni achieving success in Tests. Gambhir termed Zaheer as India’s ‘best world-class bowler’ and also heaped praise on Ganguly to bring the pacer through the ranks.

Dhoni has been a very lucky captain: Gautam Gambhir

“The reason Dhoni became such a successful captain in Test cricket is because of Zaheer Khan. He was a big blessing that Dhoni got, for which credit goes to Ganguly. According to me, Zaheer has been India’s best world-class bowler,” said Gambhir on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports.

Zaheer played 33 Tests under Dhoni and picked up 123 wickets as India reached the top of the ICC Test rankings for the first time in 2009. While comparing Dhoni’s captaincy stint with Ganguly’s, Gambhir said that MSD had the privilege of having a star-studded squad. Hence, it was easier for Dhoni to clinch trophies, unlike Ganguly, according to Gambhir.

“Dhoni has been a very lucky captain because he got an amazing team in every format,” Gambhir said. “Captaining 2011 World Cup team was very easy for Dhoni because we had players like Sachin, Sehwag, myself, Yuvraj, Yusuf, Virat, so he had got the best teams, while Ganguly had to work very hard for it, and as a result, Dhoni won so many trophies,” said Gambhir.

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