MS Dhoni is the most successful captain India will ever have: Gautam Gambhir

Ahead of the Chennai Super Kings (CSK) versus Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) clash on Monday, April 8, Gautam Gambhir praised MS Dhoni for his contribution to Indian cricket and called him the “most successful captain India will ever have”.

Gambhir led the Knight Riders for seven seasons and helped them win the coveted Indian Premier League (IPL) title in 2012 and 2014. During his captaincy tenure, fans witnessed a clash of two sharp cricketing brains when KKR faced Dhoni-led CSK. On Monday, the two icons of Indian cricket will be playing different roles for their respective teams as Gambhir will be mentoring the Knights, while Dhoni will be playing as a wicketkeeper-batter and not as a captain.

“I wanted to win. I am very clear in my mind. Friends, mutual respect, everything will remain. But when you are in the middle, I am captaining KKR and he is captaining CSK. If you ask him, he will probably give you the same answer. It’s about winning. Obviously, MS is the most successful captain India will ever have. I don’t think anyone can reach that level – winning 3 ICC trophies,” Gambhir told Star Sports.

We knew that till he was batting, he could finish off the game: Gautam Gambhir

The 42-year-old Gambhir went on to reveal how much he enjoyed coming up against Dhoni and his team during his playing days. The Delhi batter also said that the Knight Riders knew as long as Dhoni was present at the crease, Chennai was not out of the game.

“But, yes, in the IPL, enjoyed every bit of it because I knew MS had that tactical mindset. He is very good tactically. Knew how to control the spinners, how to set the fields against them and would never give up as well. He batted at No. 6 or 7, and we knew that till he was there, he could finish off the game. Even if they needed 20 runs in an over, and MS was in the middle, he could finish off that game,” Gambhir said.

The former cricketer also mentioned that he had to up his tactical game when he came up against Dhoni, who wasn’t someone who would give up at any point.

“At the same time, I knew I had the bowling attack to challenge anyone in the Super Kings. Knew that tactically had to be better than him in every front because he is not that aggressive on the field, but knew he would not give up. Chennai is that kind of a team, against whom you know you are not winning until the last ball was bowled,” Gambhir said.

A packed MA Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai is set to welcome the two successful franchises on Monday. While KKR are unbeaten so far, having won all three of their games in IPL 2024, the home team is coming off two consecutive defeats and has four points from as many matches.