Virat Kohli and Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s legacies in the game are undeniable, but which of the two players has been more impactful for Indian cricket in One-day Internationals over the past decade?

It is, by no means, an easy question to answer and certainly goes beyond just numbers.

Speaking on Star Sports show Cricket Connected, former India captain Sunil Gavaskar and Australian batting legend Matthew Hayden weighed in on the question, with both picking different players.

While Gavaskar went with Kohli, Hayden gave the nod to Dhoni.

“I think if you look as an individual, then certainly it’s got to be Virat Kohli, because if you look at the number of matches he’s won for India when India has been chasing big scores,” said Gavaskar.

“I look at the impact a player has had, and not just the runs or wickets that he has taken, and in that aspect, you have got to say that in this decade it really has been Virat Kohli who has had the most impact on the matches that India has won.”

Virat Kohli's career numbers

Mat Runs HS Ave SR 100 50
Tests 86 7240 254* 53.62 57.68 27 22
ODIs 251 12040 183 59.31 93.24 43 60
T20Is 85 2928 94* 50.48 138.43 0 25
Courtsey ESPNcricinfo

MS Dhoni's career numbers

Mat Runs HS Ave SR 100 50 Ct St
Tests 90 4876 224 38.09 59.11 6 33 256 38
ODIs 350 10773 183* 50.57 87.56 10 73 321 123
T20Is 98 1617 56 37.60 126.13 0 2 57 34
Courtsey ESPNcricinfo

While Kohli’s batting numbers are undoubtedly superior to Dhoni’s, what works in favour of the former India captain is his record as a captain. And that, according to Hayden, gives Dhoni the edge.

“I think it’s really important and significant that MS Dhoni has won a World Cup and a Champions Trophy. That World Cup for me, that’s a real big milestone,” said the Australian legend who played with Dhoni at Chennai Super Kings.

“I have mentioned it before we have played loads of cricket in the one-day format and I just feel that when it comes to being ready for a World Cup, you not only got to have a good leader but you also need to have a calm strong player in the middle order like he has.”