Lauding Virat Kohli-led Team India’s incredible achievement to register 11 consecutive series wins on home soil, former opener Gautam Gambhir has showered heaps of praise on the current India captain. Gambhir feels Kohli’s winning mindset and his constant urge to push for victory separates him from his contemporaries and former greats. Gambhir, who has played alongside Kohli in the national and state side feels when it comes to winning Kohli is a notch above the likes of Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni – widely regarded as all-time greatest India captains.
The 37-year-old Gambhir feels the earlier India skippers including Ganguly and Dhoni had “defensive approach to draw Test matches”. Speaking on Star Sports during the second Test between India and South Africa, Gambhir said, “I support Virat’s decision of 5 bowlers. Look I’ve played a lot under MS Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly but all had that defensive mindset to draw test matches instead of winning.”
The cricketer-turned-politician further praised Kohli’s mindset of always going for the win, irrespective of where the team is playing – at home or away. “Virat has a mindset of winning test matches either at home or overseas!” Gambhir added.
Since Kohli took over the Test captaincy reigns from Dhoni in 2014, India have lost only two series. One was in their 2017/18 tour of South Africa, while the other came in England in 2018. Under Kohli’s leadership, India registered their maiden Test series win in Down Under on their tour to Australia in 2018/19.
In just 50 matches as captain, Kohli has led the team to victory on 30 occasions and boasts of a magnificent win percentage of above 58, the highest among all the other active Test captains. While Dhoni has 27 wins under his belt in 60 matches, Ganguly captained India to 21 wins in 49 matches.
“We talk about Sourav Ganguly, Rahul Dravid and MS Dhoni, but what Virat has created, India has started winning overseas as well,” said Gambhir.
“He’s taken that risk, which a lot of other captains have not been able to take. The others always wanted an extra batter so that he they don’t lose the test match. Whereas, Virat is the only captain who has gone abroad and played with five bowlers, with Hardik Pandya being an all-rounder.
Gambhir gave the example of the last Test match in India’s tour of South Africa which the former won on a treacherous pitch at the Wanderers. “There was Hardik Pandya and four other fast bowlers. He has taken that gamble and he has succeeded,” he concluded.