Whenever there is a discussion on best Indian captains, it generally revolves around 4 names- Kapil Dev, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Sourav Ganguly, and lately, Virat Kohli. While fans seem divided on these names, former Indian cricketer adds a different dimension to the discussion, throwing up a new name in Rahul Dravid. The wall captained India in 79 ODIs, winning 42 of those, while losing 33, making for a winning percentage of 56. Mr. dependable, as he is commonly known, also captained India in Tests, winning 8 of the 25 matches, and losing 6, adding up to a winning percentage of 32.
Gambhir, known to be very vocal, spoke about Dravid’s impact, on Star Sports’ show Cricket Connected: “I made my one-day debut under Sourav Ganguly and my Test debut under Rahul Dravid. It is so unfortunate that we do not give Rahul Dravid enough credit for his captaincy.”
“We only talk about Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, now we talk about Virat Kohli, but Rahul Dravid has been a fabulous captain for India as well. Even his records, he’s probably the most under-rated cricketer and probably the most under-rated leader as well. We won in England, West Indies, we won some 14 or 15 games (17 games) on the trot,” he added.
The southpaw also spoke about Dravid being a true team man, wherein he was ready to take up any role the team wanted him to play. From wicketkeeping to opening in games, Dravid did it all for the side, most notably in the 2003 World Cup.
“If you look at Dravid as a cricketer, I think if you asked him to open the batting in Test cricket, he did, he batted at No. 3, he kept wickets for India, he batted as a finisher, he did everything what Indian cricket asked him or what a captain asked him to do and that is the kind of role models you want. For me, I think he has had a bigger impact,” Gambhir said.
“Sourav Ganguly has always had a bigger impact in white-ball cricket because of his flamboyance, but Rahul Dravid overall, in Indian cricket, had a much bigger impact than probably anyone,” he further explained.
Gambhir even went to the extent of comparing Dravid’s contribution to that of the legendary Sachin Tendulkar, who is probably referred to as the God. “You can actually match his impact to someone like Sachin Tendulkar as well because he played under the shadows of Sachin Tendulkar all his life, but yes, impact wise, probably the same,” he said.