MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli have been often compared for their captaincy, despite having different leadership styles. While Dhoni transformed white-ball cricket in India, leading the team to multiple ICC tournaments, Kohli’s India ruled Test cricket for a period of three-four years, including multiple series wins in Australia. However, veteran pacer Ishant Sharma, who played majority of his cricket under Dhoni’s leadership, labelled Kohli as “the best”. While speaking on JioCinema’s ‘Home of Heroes’ show, Ishant said that Dhoni groomed the fast bowlers before handing them over to Kohli, who took them to their prime.
“He (Kohli) was the best. When Virat was captain, bowling was complete. When we were playing under Mahi bhai, we were in a transition phase. At that time, Shami and Umesh were new, and only I was there. Everyone else would rotate. Bhuvi was also new. There is no match for Mahi bhai as a communicator. But what he did was groom the bowlers and leave them with Virat. Shami and Umesh, over time, became different bowlers and then Jasprit came in. So, he got a complete package. The best thing he did was identify everyone’s traits, that he used to talk about one thing with one person and then Iet them be,” said Ishant.
The 34-year-old added that Kohli’s aggressive approach, coupled with his ability to identify roles of each player, made him special.
“First thing, he was aggressive. If you’re bowling with the new ball, you can concede 25 runs in five overs as long as you take two wickets. The important thing was that he gave everyone defined roles. After 2021, I realized he wanted all of us to think out of the box,” the veteran pacer added.
For the record, Kohli (63.38) has a much higher win percentage than Dhoni (53.61) as captain of India. Only Rohit Sharma has a better win percentage than Kohli, but the former has played far less games as captain.
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