"Who is the greatest captain of all times in Indian Cricket?" - this question has been raised many times and the answer has been different for all age groups of people. The top picks have always been Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, and Virat Kohli, all of them having revolutionised Indian cricket over the years.
However, for the younger generation, the greatest of all has been Dhoni, being the only captain to have won all the ICC tournaments – T20I World Cup in 2007, ODI World Cup in 2011 and Champions Trophy in 2013.
Dhoni has always been regarded as the best reader of the game and one of the best finishers this game has ever seen. Former India opener Aakash Chopra recently applauded the ex-skipper for having taught everyone a new way of leading the team.
"MS Dhoni taught us a new way of captaincy. Sourav used to find players but he [Dhoni] groomed them. You give him a player and he had the ability to groom them. He created an environment where he could get the best out of every player that was there," Aakash said on his Youtube channel.
Chopra explained why he regards Dhoni as one of the best captains.
"He understands what a player can and can't do. Deepak Chahar gave me an example on how he prepared him for death bowling. That makes him an amazing captain, if a captain has that then he allows you the wings and gives you the sky to fly." he remarked.
"Secondly, his reading of the game, absolutely poker-faced. You don't want your captain to lose his composure and show his emotions to you. Very rarely did you see MS Dhoni losing his cool," he added.
"Thirdly, what I found special about him was his leadership from behind. It is a different way of leading. He used to invest faith and then sit behind, that if everything goes wrong, he will manage. That's the confidence of a different level," said Aakash.
MS Dhoni had a prolific career as a wicket-keeper batsman for India, scoring 17,226 runs and 862 dismissals as keeper across all International games. He was also one of the most successful captains in the game, having led the side in 331 International matches (highest for any captain) and won 178 matches in total.