Maninder Singh said Kapil and Dhoni are on the same page as leaders, but Sourav was the best captain for India. Maninder has represented India in 35 Tests and 59 ODIs between 1982 and 1993 picking 88 wickets and 66 wickets respectively as a spinner. He believes that it is very important to motivate the team by backing players and instilling belief in them.
A captain represents the role of a manager in a football team by taking important decisions like bowling change, field placement change which can turn the match on its head.
India have been blessed with some great captains in the past and present like current skipper Virat Kohli in terms of win percentage and his predecessor MS Dhoni in terms of winning trophies.
Maninder, a left-arm spinner credited India’s first world cup title win in 1983 due to Kapil Dev instilling belief in his teammates. It, later on, helped the likes of Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni.
“Dhoni was lucky that Kapil Dev won us the World Cup in 1983 then Dhoni was lucky that before him it was Sourav Ganguly, who made us believe that we can beat any team and in any conditions, so Dhoni got that,” Maninder told Hindustan Times in an exclusive chat.
Maninder Singh. Photo Credit: Twitter.
Maninder Singh: Kapil and Dhoni are calm, positive and takes tactical decisions
According to Maninder, both Kapil and Dhoni are on the same page as captains by being positive and calmly taking tactical good decisions on the field.
“When Kapil Dev was the captain that belief was missing. Otherwise, the positivity, the calmness, the captaincy instincts of these two is the same. For me, Kapil and Dhoni are on the same page. If Kapil had somebody else who had won us the world cup before him, then he could also have been a greater captain,” he said.
Maninder Singh: Sourav is the best captain India ever had as he was a great judge of talent:
According to Maninder, Sourav Ganguly, who is the current BCCI president was the best captain India ever had because of his ability to spot raw talent and backing the newcomers in the squad.
“I loved Ganguly’s captaincy. See what all he has given Indian cricket He was a great judge of talent. He pulled out Yuvraj from the dumps, he got back Harbhajan Singh when he was dropped,” he said.
Maninder stressed on the fact that Sourav Ganguly who led India in 146 ODIs and 49 Tests, managed to give India a bunch of talented players like Sehwag, Zaheer, Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Gambhir.
“Virender Sehwag, Gautam Gambhir you name it. He made Rahul Dravid keep wickets. Dravid scored 10 thousand runs in ODI cricket. Sehwag was a middle-order batsman, he told him to open in South Africa.
“Sehwag in an interview has said ‘what if I don’t get runs, I’m not an opener I don’t how to?’ Ganguly told him ‘I’ll give you these Test matches in South Africa, if you fail, I give you a guarantee that you won’t be dropped, I will play you in the middle order’.
“This is what a leader is. I might have forgotten names, Sehwag, Harbhajan, Yuvraj, Zaheer Khan.
“I think it was Sourav who told him to play county cricket and after that, we had a different Zaheer Khan. For me, to be honest, Sourav Ganguly was the best,” Maninder added.
Further explaining the qualities of a good leader, Maninder said, a leader has to be both patient and aggressive.
“See, a good leader will always be very patient and by patient, I don’t mean he won’t be aggressive. He will show patience by backing good talent, he will allow breathing space to young cricketers but at the same time he will show aggressive intent when on the cricket field just to send his message across to the opposition team,” Maninder Singh concluded.