There has always been a debate as to who is the greatest cricketer or best ever captain. So here is my opinion as to whom I believe should get the title of the greatest ever captain. This man being current Indian captain M.S Dhoni. Below is a list of the best and my opinion of them. Hansi Cronje and Mohammed Azurhudin were left out the list as they have been disgraced for match fixing.
Every country has had at least one great captain and some having two that could argue that they are the best. Off the top of my head I would name the following captains in a list of greats:
10: Michael Vaughn: He was the England captain in the famous 2005 Ashes. Like many of the other captains on this list he had the aid of a fantastic side and in particular a fantastic player in Andrew Flintoff. It has to be said that he built on the foundations laid by the previous captain Nassir Hussain. The foundations had been good but it is clear to see that he was a good captain and will go down in history as one of the England's greatest. It was a close call between Vaughn and Strauss for the number 10 spot.
9. Arjuna Ranatunga: People may be surprised to see his name on such a list but his tenure as Sri Lanka captain changed the perception of Sri Lanka as a cricketing force and as a nation. His country were not ranked in the top tier of cricket nations when he started off as captain but he guided them to a world cup title and established them as a cricketing force.
8. Nassir Hussain: In my opinion he started off the 2005 Ashes victory. England didn't always perform on the pitch under his stewardship but what he did off has made England one of the best teams over the last ten years. Working closely with Duncan Fletcher he put down the blueprint for a new aggressive England which the side are still benefiting from. He unlike most on this list did not have the great side around him but still in my opinion is England's best captain over the last twenty/twenty five years.
7. Stephen Fleming: Similar to Hussain he did not always have a great team to work with, but it was evident that he was a great captain I believe New Zealand have missed Fleming since his retirement and have not fully replaced his captaincy. He is one of the youngest and longest serving captains in world cricket after being appointed at the age of 23.
6.Clive Lloyd: The reason he may be low on the list of all time best captains is that I have never seen him play. His record as captain is really good, he oversaw West Indies dominant period in world cricket. Under his reign The West Indies went on a run
5. Rikky Ponting: One of the best players to have graced the cricket pitch, he guided Australia to their period of dominance. Winning back to back world cups as captain and keeping the side at number one in test cricket. His record of captain has to put him up their with the best. His innings in his first world cup final as captain will be one that will last in my memory foe ever.
4. Saurav Ganguly: There will always be a debate in India over who has done more for India out of Ganguly and Dhoni. The simple answer is that both have changed Indian cricket. He was the first real captain to go toe to toe with the Australians. The side he captained probably was the best ever India have had. If India had won the world cup final that Ganguly's side lost he may have been top of the list. He was once described by Yuvraj Singh as a leader of men. The only reason that I have placed Dhoni higher is that he exceeded the great heights of Ganguly.
3. Graeme Smith: The South African had been identified as captain from a relatively early stage of his career. Being captain from 2003 onwards he has overseen a dramatic change in South African cricket. South Africa are currently the most feared team in world cricket. The protection that Smith has provided for his players have allowed the rest of the team to flourish.
2. Steve Waugh: Some of the things which Waugh has achieved as Australia captain are truly remarkable. A record 16 straight test wins still is the greatest achievement ever recorded in cricket. He also guided his country to a world cup victory. He did push Dhoni very close to being the greatest but the iconic match winning innings in the world cup final swings it his way.
1. M.S Dhoni: Under his captaincy he has guided India to a world T20 trophy, world cup victory and to world number one. He has a remarkable gift of never feeling pressure. He also is a great thinker of the game, knowing every situation. The fact that he turns losses into easy wins makes him very unique. There has never been a captain to win so many games for his side. He has every accolade in the book and the worrying thing for his rivals is that he is going strong.