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MS Dhoni Has No Role in Virat Kohli's Success As Captain

Virat Kohli is doing great job as captain of Indian cricket team. His performances and shrewd captaincy has lifted India to number 1 position among all the teams in world, but credit is being given more to MS dhoni, the former captain.

Ms Dhoni Virat Kohli

Tendency of discrediting Virat Kohli whenever team wins and blaming him when team loose (very rare these days) is not new. It's been going on for a while. Ever since kohli has taken over captaincy from MS Dhoni, when the latter decided to retire in the middle of tough australian tour, critics has been busy ridiculing kohli's captaincy for one reason or the other.

All this criticism despite being crystal clear that Virat Kohli is best captain ever is something difficult to understand.

Critics of Kohli include former great batsmen of India, Virendar Sehwag and VVS Laxman. Both of them have been heard multiple times while doing commentary saying that credit should go to MS Dhoni for handing over Virat Kohli this team which knows how to win. Sehwag, in particular, has gone on to say that the team is so good that anybody can captain it and team will win.

But reality is different. Doesn't matter how much critics of kohli want people to believe, the fact is MS Dhoni has no role in Virat Kohli's success as captain of team India. Yes Dhoni will always contribute given his experience, but not to the extent that almost 90 percent of success of the team is credited to Dhoni and mere 10 percent to Kohli. But that is what is happening.

MS Dhoni captained India in 199 ODI matches. Out of these India won 110 and lost 74. In test matches Dhoni captained in 60 test matches. India won 27 and lost 18. A winning percentage of mere 30.

Under Virat's captaincy thus far, India has played 46 ODI matches. Out of these India has won 36 matches and lost only 9. Winning percentage of 80. In test matches, out of 35 matches under his captaincy India has won 21 matches and mere 5 losses. Winning percentage of 60.


Virat never got anything in gift from his predecessor as a captain. In fact, Virat Kohli took over the captaincy in middle of Australian tour. A very tough situation under which to become captain. He had to lead team selected as per MS Dhoni choice. But when series was lost, all blame was put on kohli and his strategies, as if to say had dhoni led the team India would have won in Australia for sure. Fact is India has never won a test series in Australia for donkey's years.

Virat to his credit infused some sort of energy into otherwise lackluster team by his own performance as a player and by giving them clear direction to go for a win in Adelaide test match. But again rather than identifying that positive, critics mocked him for his aggression for next few months, before he went on to unprecedented winning streak as a captain of India.

While MS Dhoni couldn't lift his team after series of whitewashes away from home, despite having stars like Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Zaheer Khan, and Sehwag; Virat on the other hand has already shown that he can make comparatively much inexperienced team not only to comeback into the series from behind but also win it. India winning series against Sri Lanka in Sri Lanka, and versus Australia at home despite loosing first test match are prime examples. Recent turnaround in South Africa test series has also shown Virat's ability to change the course in the fortunes of his team.

Critics say Dhoni is cool and Kohli is angry arrogant.

Fact is kohli is excitable and energetic and wear his emotions on his sleeve. He is not an actor and everything about him is natural. One can easily differentiate between an artificial smile (which pleases galleries) and natural emotions that can appear only on a face of individual which really plays game by heart, to compete, to win, and one who never play to galleries.

Is being original and natural bad? And what one gains with artificial smile and coolness?

Yes, the smile and coolness may look good on TV. But when team keeps loosing matches after matches and you don't react and keep that cool as captain, it does more damage than good. It might help a person who is captain in an individual capacity when he maintains coolness and wear smile, in terms of his own reputation in society,  but it does irreparable damage to the team. It doesn't alter the loosing streak.

Kohli may not be considered as cool as Dhoni, but he does have a perfect mix of aggression and coolness which helps team keeping honest and focus.

If MS dhoni is the reason for all the success of kohli as captain, how come India is winning so many test series under Virat Kohli, where MS dhoni is not available?

People say MS dhoni is the one who gives suggestions and make strategies for bowlers in ODI matches. Especially for spinners it is considered that MS dhoni is setting fields. But Virat himself has revealed that his spinners, especially Kuldeep Yadav and Yuzvendra Chahal, are setting their own fields and he is backing them in their strategies.

And one has to remember the days when Ravindra Jadeja and Ashwin were part of India's ODI setup. Those days  whenever Jadeja and Ashwin wanted to flight the ball in limited over cricket, MS Dhoni was heard from behind the stumps saying "Don't give too much flight Ash" or "Nah Jaddu", and discouraged them from giving ball the air.

Virat has also ensured that he gives chances to as many players as possible, and thus have options available to him whenever changes are required in team due to conditions or match situation. Dropping bhuvneshwar kumar from centurion test in south africa and replacing him with more suited (to conditions) Ishant Sharma is one such example. This is unlike previous captains who had tendency to go into matches witch same players, even though those players may be struggling for many matches, and than they found it tough to find a match ready player when situation arise.

But critics seems to deliberately skip these fine points when it comes to judging kohli as a captain and more busy in criticizing him or shifting credit to MS Dhoni.

'No' critics 'No'. You have to really dig deep to understand Virat Kohli. All his actions are part of bringing about something positive in the team. He has his own strategies in place. He is not the one who keeps his best striker into dugout till 18th over (which MS dhoni did with Yuvraj Singh in T-20 world cup in 2007 for some strange reason). He keeps his option open when it comes to availability of bowlers in death overs too. He never miscalculates and forced to ball joginder sharma the last crucial over the match.

All the above points are ample proof that MS Dhoni has no role in Virat Kohli's success as captain. In fact, half of Virat's centuries have come under Mahendra Dhoni as captain. May be Virat played more role in Dhoni's success as captain than what Dhoni is playing in the success of Kohli as captain of team India.

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