If the expression chalk and cheese needed brand ambassadors in cricket then MS Dhoni and Gautam Gambhir would have been the strongest contenders for it. Dhoni is someone who is known to be calm irrespective of the match-situation. He generally doesn’t give out much with his expressions and rarely loses his cool. Gambhir, on the other hand, is the exact opposite. He wears his heart on his sleeve and you can get a fair idea about the match by just looking at his expressions on the field. Despite being two very different personalities and cricketers for decades, these two were undoubtedly the best captains of their time.
With three ICC trophies – 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 ODI World Cup, and 2013 Champions Trophy – in his kitty, Dhoni has a strong case to be known as one of the all-time great captains of the world. Gambhir, who has only captained India in six matches but has a 100% win record, is also one of the most successful captains of the IPL.
Explaining the difference of captaincy styles of Dhoni and Gambhir, former Kolkata Knight Riders Team Director Joy Bhattacharya, who had worked very closely with Gambhir when KKR won two IPL titles in 2012 and 2014, said they have different ways to bring success.
Bhattacharya in ‘22 Yarns with Gaurav Kapoor’ said, Dhoni, who has won three IPL titles for Chennai Super Kings, is Mr. Cool.
“Dhoni is Mr. Cool but Gambhir can never be cool. So What do you say when you have somebody like a Dhoni? He’s the coolest guy, they play chilled cricket, don’t worry about results, they’ll come just play cricket. He’s so calm that he’ll sort it out,” said Bhattacharya.
Bhattacharya asserted that the same cannot be expected from Gambhir, who is rarely cool.
“You can’t play narrative with Gautam. So what do you do when you have a Gautam in the team? You don’t say that he’s captain cool, he’s the guy who will take a bullet for his players, he’s got all passion.”
The former KKR director said Gambhir is someone who can take a bullet for the team.
“So when you’re standing with gautam, you’ll never stand alone. So that’s what we did with KKR. It has worked for CSK, it has worked for MI and it worked for us as well, that’s the secret of a successful team. Successful teams are those which match their approach with the captain’s personality,” added Bhattacharya.
The former KKR team director also narrated how Gambhir had sat beside Balaji in the team bus after the experienced seamer had leaked 21 runs off the last over against Mumbai Indians in IPL 2011.