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Dhoni and Rohit named joint best IPL captains of all time

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On the 13th anniversary of VIVO IPL, Chennai Super Kings captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni and his Mumbai Indians counterpart Rohit Sharma were declared joint Greatest of All Time (GOATs) captains of the IPL, whilst AB de Villiers emerged as the GOAT in the batsmen category and Lasith Malinga took away the title in the bowlers category.

Shane Watson, one of CSKs vital cog in the wheel, won the battle among the all-rounders.

The list was picked by Star Sports’ expert jury on Cricket Connected.

Royal Challengers Bangalore and Team India captain Virat Kohli was voted the IPL’s greatest Indian batsman for being the highest scorer in the history of the tournament with 5412 runs in the 177 matches at a staggering average of 37.84.

The jury was split right down the middle to make their pick on the greatest ever captain. While Dhoni shouldered the responsibility of taking the #YellowArmy to 10 playoffs out of the 11 seasons, Rohit proved to be the most successful captain pocketing 4 titles in 7 seasons for Mumba Indians.

In the coach’s category, the calm and composed Stephen Fleming (Chennai Super Kings) emerged the winner as he pipped Trevor Bayliss of KKR by a small margin.

GREATEST Batsman

‘Mr. 360 Degrees’ AB de Villiers, one of RCB’s batting mainstays, walked away with the recognition from among the batsmen. It was a tough choice as the shortlist comprised players such as Suresh Raina and Virat Kohli, who are among the leading run scorers.

Top Bowler

Among the bowlers, Mumbai Indians’ pace machine Lasith Malinga, the leading wicket-taker of the IPL so far with 170 scalps in 122 matches, was the near unanimous GOAT bowler due to his consistency over the years and his success at MI’s cauldron – the Wankhede Stadium.

Stellar All-rounder

Shane Watson, who fought valiantly for the Yellow Brigade in the 2019 IPL final with a bloodied knee, went past Dwayne Bravo and the powerful Andre Russell primarily due to his consistency.

About the Jury

The jury comprised of 50 members which included former cricketers (20), senior sports journalists (10), statisticians & analysts (10), broadcasters (7) and anchors (3) and analysts who chose the best among the list of top 10 players in each category and a list of 5 players each in categories of Greatest Captain and Coach.

A shortlist of 3 names based on the 50-member jury’s votes were then deliberated upon by former KKR captain and two-time IPL champion Gautam Gambhir, former England captain and World T20-winning batsman Kevin Pietersen, ICC World Cup and IPL champion Ashish Nehra, 2007 ICC World T20-winning all-rounder Irfan Pathan and former New Zealand pacer and VIVO IPL commentator Danny Morrison, who picked the winners.

KP HAILS DHONI

Meanwhile, former England skipper Pietersen believes Dhoni is the greatest-ever captain \to deal with, both while captaining India and Chennai Super Kings in the IPL.

“It will be very difficult just with the weight of expectation to go against MS Dhoni because of what everybody expects from him, how he has to live his life and what he has been through captaining India and then captaining the CSK,” Pietersen said while speaking on Star Sports ‘Cricket Connected’ show when asked how difficult it is to go against Dhoni as greatest ever captain.

Under Dhoni’s leadership, India won the inaugural edition of the 2007 World T20.

They also went on win the 50-over World Cup in 2011.

It was again Dhoni who led the Men in Blue to the 2013 Champions Trophy title and it was under him only that India reached the top of the Test team rankings.

Dhoni, 38, has not played for India since the 2019 World Cup where they had to suffer a heart-wrenching defeat in the semi-finals against New Zealand.

When it comes to the IPL, Dhoni has led Chennai Super Kings to title victory thrice in 2010, 2011 and 2018.

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