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Two Captains at a time

MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli share a great camaraderie.Their on and off field chemistry has been quite fruitful for the Indian cricket team

Last updated: 19.03.2019
MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli sharing a light moment

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India all set to play the ODI world cup after a not so satisfactory end to the Australian series that we hosted. Losing on the home turf was an issue of serious concern and several correlations have always been drawn about the fact that how the former captain and the Indian stalwart MS Dhoni has complimented the Indian captain Virat Kohli and paved way for crucial wins not just with his bat but through his suggestions that often brand him as “second captain” of the team.


Dhoni as a Wicketkeeper

MSD is a self-proclaimed second captain as he once stated “Wicketkeeper is always the vice-captain of the side. I will have to keep a close eye on what the skipper wants. I already had a chat with Virat on where he wants his fields. I will be there to give as many suggestions to him as and when he wants. I will have to keep a close eye to read the field positioning I will have to be aware.” Dhoni being closer to stumps become more crucial as Kohli fields outside the 30 yards circle. Sunil Gavaskar has also said, “These are the kind of things where Dhoni helps the bowlers and of course with the fielding positions as Virat is so important in the deep…..”

There was a time when almost every team appointed their wicketkeepers as their vice-captains case in point Rahul Dravid in India, Adam Gilchrist in Australia but none was as active and as participative as MSD is on the field. One major factor being that MSD has been the captain for a long time and Kohli has played under his captaincy for a long time. This in no way means to undermine Dhoni’s analytical skills which are far better than the aforementioned players.

Performance with the bat

Dhoni’s contribution with the bat especially as a finisher is non-parallel hitherto. In the 8 games that he has played in this year he has made 327 runs with an average of 81.8 and a strike rate of 78.2 and has been not out 4 times (that’s why a perfect finisher). In preceding years also his average and strike rate has been phenomenally high (45 and 70 round figures) provided he bats lower down the order.

This batting performance creates a synergistic effect and MSD gets higher respect and his decisions are valued with high regard.

Relationship with Kohli

Dhoni and Kohli have always had a positive relationship since the time when Dhoni was the captain and Kohli was the new kid in the block. On several occasions, Kohli used to walk up to MSD with ideas regarding field positions and others. Dhoni always respected those ideas and implemented them. Kohli thus developed a sense of respect for MSD and that mutual respect is still seen on the field.  Both have said the same in several interviews. I don't think I have ever come across a better cricketing brain just in terms of planning, knowing what's happening in the game and what can be done. Obviously, I go by my instinct but whenever I ask him anything 8 or 9 out of 10 times what he says works. Our friendship has only grown over the years.” Kohli has said.

Both of them have the opposite temperament. If there is an actual example to show what aggression is then Kohli is the man and on the contrary, MSD is the captain cool. Both these players together soothe each other’s temperament making the game more effective.


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