Team Zee Research Group
Leading Team India to a second consecutive victory in the Hyderabad Test in the ongoing India-Australia series, Mahendra Singh Dhoni has now become India’s most successful Test skipper. While Dhoni’s overall haul of 22 Test wins is good to beat former captain Sourav Ganguly’s 21 victories, it is not enough to catapult him to the list of all-time great Test captains.
In fact, no Team India skipper figures in the top ten list. Ranked currently at 12th, Dhoni is ideally placed to join the ranks of top Test captains. He may not become the most successful Test captain in terms of wins as the gap between Dhoni (22) and Graeme Smith who currently leads the chart with 50 wins, is way too wide. But the Indian skipper definitely offers the hope to sneak his way into the illustrious list if, and that’s a big if, he beats England’s Andrew Strauss’ 24 wins.
The biggest roadblock in Dhoni’s Test career graph is BCCI giving a cold shoulder to Tests over One-Day International and Twenty-20 matches including the two-month long Indian Premier League. Not surprisingly, Dhoni figures at a distant 20th spot in the list of number of Test matches played by all skippers of international teams.
Among the top Test captains, South Africa’s Smith is followed by Australia’s Ricky Ponting with 48 Test wins. Punter’s compatriot and predecessor, Steve Waugh follows at number three with 47 Test victories. West Indian all-time great Clive Lloyd is at the fourth spot having won 36 Tests for his country. Yet another Aussie at fifth spot is Allan Border with 32 wins while New Zealand’s Stephen Fleming trails him with 27 Test victories. Sir Vivian Richards shares the seventh spot with South Africa’s Hansie Cronje with 27 Test wins each even though the prolific West Indian skipper played just 50 Tests to achieve that in comparison to Cronje’s 53. Likewise, eighth spot is shared by England’s Michael Vaughan and Australia’s Mark Taylor for triumphing in 27 Test matches. Vaughan led in 51 Tests while Taylor took 50.
Had India not lost the Test series against England during their India visit last year in November-December, Dhoni could have been eyeing former English skipper Andrew Strauss’ record of 24 Test wins. With Team India touring South Africa in November later this year where they’ll also play three Tests, Dhoni’s task is cut out. Can he do what his predecessor’s couldn’t?