When we talk about great captains then we often rate them on basis of their ratio winning and losing matches. But there are many other parameters to rate the captaincy which needs to be considered rating the captain. Following are the parameters which are essential to rate the greatness of the Captain:
1. Man - Management.
2. An eye for the talent.
3. Motivating the team and believing in the ability of the team-mates.
4. Express openly rather than hiding emotions.
5. Backing up players and capability of building a team.
6. Control the over aggression of few players and get the best out of them.
7. Neck of developing strategies.
8. Play naturally under pressure without changing the basic style.
9. Pro-active and ability to lead from the front.
10.Winning and losing ratio.
If anybody has all these qualities then we have to consider him great captain. Very few captains have these qualities in World Cricket. Here I will talk about the captain whom I seen playing. These captains are:
Imran Khan, Kapil Dev, Sourav Ganguly, Ricky Ponting, Steve Waugh, Greame Smith, Gautam Gambhir, Andrew Strauss and Arjuna Ranatunga
Here I am not going to talk about all these captain but here I am going to talk about MS Dhoni. Now you will be wondering why I have not included him in great captains list then answer is that I don't consider him great captain because he failed on many parameters.
If we rate him on winning parameter he proves good captain but when we talk about other parameters then I feel he is big let down.
1. Man - Management: He failed to manage players too an extent and often we heard about his rift with Sehwag, Harbhajan, Yuvraj. This is where I feel Sourav Ganguly is best. Ganguly managed all the players well.
2. An eye for the talent: I believe no new player we have seen in his captaincy whom we can say is brought in by MS Dhoni. Even whichever players are playing in the team, all of them made their debut under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly or Rahul Dravid or Anil Kumble. Few players who made their debut in his captaincy were failed to find a permanent place in the team. Dhoni failed to groom any player under his captaincy .Eg. Ravindra Jadeja, Murali Vijay, Pragyan Ojha, Amit Mishra, and list continues.
3. Motivating the team and believing in the ability of the team-mates: He hardly talks to the players in the ground. We can see clearly from the fact that often we see Tendulkar, Harbhajan, Sehwag, Gambhir or Zaheer talks to the players and motivate them. Dhoni also don't believe in the ability of his players and clear example of this was Yusuf Pathan who sat out in first two ODIs just because of Dhoni's disbelief. Another example is the exclusion of Saurabh Tiwary and S.Sreesanth.
4. Express openly rather than hiding emotions: He hardly express his emotions on the ground. Mostly remains reactionless even if team does well or does bad.
5. Backing up players and capability of building a team: He fails to build a team yet because all the players in the team are playing for long-time. This can also proved from the fact that he failed to find out replacement of Sourav Ganguly in the test team. He even failed to back-up his players and prime examples of that is S.Sreesanth who is a match winner in his own right.
6. Control the over aggression of few players and get the best out of them: Dhoni often restrained himself from controlling the players and channelizing the aggression into performance. He fails to control any player. He probably ask selectors to drop that player. Prime example is S.Sreesanth. Dhoni unable to control him so he asked selectors to drop him from the squad. He also admitted in press conference that he finds it difficult to control Sreesanth.
7. Neck of developing strategies: Often we see him playing with defensive strategies. I hardly saw him employing innovative and offensive strategies. Prime example of that is final test match in Capetown where he allowed South Africa to build score in excess of 300 after reducing them to 130 for 6. He opened the field and allowed Boucher and Kallis to settle down and form the big partnership. This has happened many times. I never saw in any test match whether in India or abroad in which he had 6 fielders surrounding the batsmen when spinners are bowling even if India is dominating in the match. Clearly shows his lack of faith in his bowlers or lack creating correct strategy that suits to the situation.
8. Play naturally without changing the basic style: When he first burst on the scene he was very aggressive and hard hitting batsmen but as the time progressed he changed his natural game and became more defensive in his batting. I believe he forget his natural style of batting and which is creating lot of problem for Team India when they are on back-foot in any match because he comes and play defensively rather than counter-attacking the opposition bowlers.
9. Pro-active and ability to lead from the front: He never looks pro-active in the field and often it is seen that some other players help their team-mates to do well in the game. Dhoni just observes his team in monotonous way from behind the stump. He hardly speaks to his team-mates on the field. He is capable batsmen but don't promote himself up the order and lead from the front.
10. Winning and losing ratio: I feel this is the only thing where he is reasonable good but not yet in the league of Steve Waugh or Ricky Ponting. Dhoni is winning matches because he is having a team which he got in legacy from Ganguly, Dravid and Kumble and not because of his brilliance.
So according to my observations I don't feel he is a great captain. I believe Sourav Ganguly or Imran Khan or Kapil Dev were much better captain than him. In fact Gautam Gambhir in his little stint as captain looked better than him.
Final Stroke of Summary:
Sreesanth needs captain like Sourav Ganguly, Imran Khan or Ricky Ponting who are naturally aggressive and show their emotions and can drive player like Sreesanth to perform well. Dhoni is thanda captain and he hardly show his emotions even team is winning or losing. Dhoni failed to manage players like Sreesanth and get the best of him by backing him in the trouble times. This is where Ganguly to me was far better captain than Dhoni as he managed young Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag very well and made them champions. Dhoni is thriving on the legacy of Ganguly and certainly he don't have an eye of picking up talent like Ganguly or Imran Khan have.