Arguably, Mahendra Singh Dhoni was India’s best captain. The general masses love Dhoni for what he brought to the nation. He is the only captain who has achieved everything that a captain could achieve. Every ICC trophy that existed at the time of his captaincy, the T20 World Cup, ODI World Cup, Champions Trophy, and Test World No. 1, all were won by MS Dhoni.
He was also phenomenal in the IPL where he led CSK to multiple finals and won the trophy twice. He led a young team in the 2011 World Cup and won it comfortably. Therefore, very few people have ever questioned his captaincy skill or record.
Having said that, one wonders what would happen if MS Dhoni was not handed the captaincy baton, who would have led India in these years. Today we look at 4 players, who if Dhoni did not take up the captaincy, would have surely had a chance to lead India.
India’s most entertaining batsman of the last decade was in the perfect position to lead India in white-ball cricket had Dhoni not been there. Sehwag went onto play more than 250 ODIs and scored more than 8000 runs in the format. He was an attacking opening batsman and had led India a few times and has a good win percentage of 60%.
One of India’s best openers, Gambhir proved that he was a fantastic captain when he took over a struggling Kolkata Knight Riders and led to IPL victory twice. Incidentally, KKR never won a trophy after Gambhir was dropped from captaincy. In international cricket, Gambhir led India in 6 ODIs and won all of them. His attacking mindset was different from Dhoni’s but he may have proven to be as effective a leader.
Raina was India’s most dependable middle-order batsman between 2006-2012. He steadied the ship whenever the team was in trouble and played the role of an anchor perfectly. He was a fine aggressor too. He captaincy India 12 times with a so-so record. He also captained Gujarat Lions for two seasons in IPL and managed to take them to the play-offs.
The mercurial Yuvraj Singh was a captain’s delight. He could bat at any position, was a great fielder, and bowled well in the crucial overs. There was a close contest between Dhoni and Yuvi in the captaincy department since both were young and established. Though Yuvi never got a chance to display any leadership quality, he certainly was a pillar of the white ball team.