That Ravi Shastri and Sourav Ganguly don't get along is no secret in India's cricketing circles. It was all out in the open soon after the BCCI appointed Anil Kumble as coach of the Indian cricket team last year after consulting the Cricket Advisory Committee, of which Ganguly is a part. Shastri and Ganguly then went on to trade several blows in full public view, accusing each other of lacking professionalism. After the controversy died down, the duo shared stage during Indian cricket team's 500th Test celebrations in Kanpur and it appeared as though all was now well.
But soon after MS Dhoni stepped down as India's limited-overs captain last week, Shastri's remarks have now fuelled another debate. Speaking to Wisden India, the former Indian team director termed Dhoni as a 'dada captain' and omitted Ganguly's name from the list of the best Indian skippers. Shastri, who has been a firm backer of Dhoni in the past, added that the timing of wicketkeeper-batsman's decision was perfect.
"My salaam to a dada captain. This has given Virat (Kohli) time till the Champions Trophy to prepare for the title defence. MS has won everything there is to win, he really has nothing to prove," Shastri said.
"Again, the reason I say he has nothing to prove is that he is easily India's most successful captain, by a distance. There is no one even close to him in that regard.
"The names that follow in that list a fair distance behind are Kapil Dev, who led India to the World Cup title in 1983 and because of whom we won the Test series in England in 1986. And Ajit (Wadekar) in an era before there was one-day cricket, when we won successive Test series in the West Indies and then England in 1971. And of course, Tiger (Pataudi) for flamboyance. Baaki koi nahi [there is no one else]," he added.
While Shastri is entitled to his opinion, any Indian cricket fan would find it hard to argue against Ganguly's record as India's captain. Dada led India in 49 Tests with a win 42.6 win percentage. Under Ganguly's leadership in ODI cricket, the Men in Blue won 76 and lost 66 out of their 147 matches.
While Dhoni's record as India captain is certainly better than his predecessor's, Ganguly though isn't too far behind. Dada, however, is yet to comment on this issue.