In Numbers: Why Dhoni Is India's Greatest Cricket Skipper

30/12/2014 5:23 PM IST | Updated 15/07/2016 8:24 AM IST
Marty Melville via Getty Images
WELLINGTON, NEW ZEALAND - APRIL 07: MS Dhoni of India holds the series trophy after day five of the Third Test match between New Zealand and India at the Basin Reserve on April 7, 2009 in Wellington, New Zealand. (Photo by Marty Melville/Getty Images)

Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who just made a surprise announcement about his retirement from test cricket, was both India's most successful captains and one of the best players to have ever played for India.

Incidentally, just today he became the Indian captain to score the most runs in Tests, with 3,454 runs, going past Sunil Gavaskar (3,449), Mohammad Azharuddin (2,856) and Sourav Ganguly (2,561). He leaves a legacy that other captains will have to try hard to surpass—he was famous for keeping his cool under the most high-pressure job in Indian sports, and for pulling off improbable victories when the odds were against the Indian team. He is India's most successful ODI skipper, with 91 victories to his name, with a win ratio of 60.89 percent.

The Jharkhand-based wicketkeeper-batsman was the ICC ODI Player of the Year for 2008 and 2009. Under his captaincy, India won all the four ICC trophies—the World Twenty20 in 2007, the 50-over World Cup in 2011 and the Champions Trophy in 2013. India held the No.1 Test ranking for 18 months in December 2009.

Under his test captaincy, India won 27 matches, lost 18, and drew 15, for a win percentage of 45. At home, he led the team to 21 wins in 30 Tests. His overseas record, however, is not as impressive—he won only 6 of the 30 test matches played overseas, losing 15 and drawing 9—that's a win percentage of just 20.68. Under Dhoni, India suffered the 0-4 debacles in England (2011) and Australia (2011-12). India lost the series in South Africa, New Zealand and England yet again this summer.

Saurav Ganguly had 11 test victories overseas as a captain; six of which came against Bangladesh and Zimbabwe. In the table below, we take a look at India's greatest test captains (only those who captained for more than 10 matches have been included) and their win/loss ratio.

(With agency inputs)

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