Ravi Shastri has started his new term as the Team India’s Head Coach with a bang after the Virat Kohli-led side defeated Sri Lanka in the first test by a huge margin of 304 runs at Galle and took the lead of 1-0 in the three match test series.
It is not a hidden fact that Ravi Shastri had backed Virat Kohli during his 2014-16 stint with the Indian team to promote him across all formats even when MS Dhoni was leading the side in T20Is and ODIs, and now after winning the first test against Sri Lanka, the head coach has given a statement which will definitely trigger a new yet controversial debate, Is Virat Kohli Better Than MS Dhoni?
Speaking to Anandabazar Patrika, Ravi Shastri said,
“The way Virat is progressing, he may well catch up with MS Dhoni. I have been involved with cricket for over 35 years as a player, commentator and as a coach. Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, I have never seen any player break records like Virat Kohli. He has caught up with many of the greats, playing just half the number of matches. I wonder where will he stop.”
His statement was supported by some numbers that show Virat Kohli is actually leading the pack with a pace, never seen before. Considering all the captains who have led India in more than 20 Test matches, Virat Kohli has the highest winning percentage of 62.96. He has won 17 out of 27 matches already while MS Dhoni managed 27 out of 60 in Tests as the Indian captain, with the winning percentage of 45. Sourav Ganguly sits third on the list with a winning percentage of 42.85, having led the team to 21 victories out of 49 Tests as a captain.
But majority of Test matches won by Virat Kohli as the Indian team skipper has been played in home conditions and in the following seasons, India will go head-to-head against South Africa, Australia, and New Zealand in away series, and if Virat Kohli and his squad is able to emerge as clear winners, Ravi Shastri’s prediction might as well be proved because foreign soil is one area where MS Dhoni’s team failed to stamp their dominance as well as authority.
However, taking about the benchmarks that MS Dhoni has set as a skipper, Ravi Shastri said,
“MS Dhoni has won two world titles – an ODI World Cup and a World T20. Besides that, Dhoni has also finished as the runner-up in another World T20. He has played in the semi-finals of two other World T20 as well as World Cups. People often talk about his limited-over record, but when we compare Dhoni’s Test with any captain, it clearly shows who is the greatest ever. Virat Kohli is progressing in the same direction as well.”
He further added that Steve Smith’s batting average, as a captain, is exceptional and Virat Kohli too is headed on the same way. Interestingly, Steve Smith’s batting average as a captain is 73.27, which is second only to Don Bradman’s 101.51 and Virat Kohli is third on the list with a batting average of 61.09.
MS Dhoni is the greatest captain India has ever had and his records speak highly of his potential as he is the only captain in the world to win all the three ICC trophies, i.e. the World Cup, World T20 and Champions Trophy, and under his leadership, the Indian team became the No.1 Test team in the world.
However, if only statistics are to be believed, Ravi Shastri’s opinion can never be doubted, but when the quality of opposition is to be considered, as Sourav Ganguly once said, Virat Kohli is yet to face a real test.
Do you think that Virat Kohli will be able to shatter all the records made by MS Dhoni as the Indian Captain? Or is it even right to compare the two?
Share your thoughts in the comments section below.
1 August 2017