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Sunny praise for Dhoni

Mahendra Singh Dhoni

Calcutta: Mahendra Singh Dhoni became the most successful Indian ODI captain on Tuesday when he notched up his 91st win, overtaking Mohammed Azharuddin’s tally of 90 victories.

Can he therefore be called India’s best ODI captain? Sunil Gavaskar, a former India captain himself, believes that comparisons between Dhoni and his predecessors is unfair.

Gavaskar, however, said that going by sheer record, Dhoni sits right at the top.

“If you look at stats after 50-100 matches, it will give you a fair bit of idea about the consistency of a performer. But what I feel is that it’s unfair to compare captains of different eras,” Gavaskar said during a television programme.

“But going by sheer statistical record, Dhoni definitely tops all and no one can deny this factů I feel, maybe, he is much more comfortable in the shorter formats,” he added.

That bit of observation is relevant because there’s huge difference between the Indian team in the Test series and the one that is playing in the ODIs.

While in Tests, Dhoni’s men squandered a lead and fell miserably like a pack of cards, in the one-dayers, a format where they are the reigning world champions, they have hardly poot a foot wrong.

“His strength is thinking quickly and the 50-over format allows you to do that,” Gavaskar said.

He also hailed India’s ODI record in overseas, but said according to him, Test cricket is the mother of all formats.

“They are certainly handling the conditions better in ODIs. They have won a lot of ODIs out of the country and have consistently performed overseas,” Gavaskar said.

“In the three ODIs played, India have completely outplayed England. India definitely have done a lot better than what England did in the Test series. But I haven’t forgotten the Test series drubbing because for me Test is always number one, it separates men from boys,” he said.

Gavaskar also hailed Ajinkya Rahane, who smashed his maiden ODI century at Edgbaston to help India take an invincible 3-0 lead in the five-match series.

“Rahane performed well, he batted well in the earlier overseas series as well. I think he certainly showed he has the capability of batting in every circuit,” he said.