I have heard this question so many times from people, new channels and experts. So Let me write something over it. (I am not considering T20 matches because Ganguly has not played international as a captain.)
There are three aspect of the captaincy
1. Stats, that shows how many matches you have won as a captain.
2. Captain’s Performance : How the players is performing as a captain and non-captain.
3. Team building : Does captain has the team that is settled or the captains needs to build the team.
Now lets comes to the first points Stats :
Dhoni has done the captaincy in 60 test matches and won 27, lost 18. His win % is 45, that is highest as a Indian test captain.
But there is one more thing and that is, Dhoni just won 6 games out of 30 games played outside India. India lost 7 continues matches under his captaincy. So that is night mare for him to loose so matches away from India.
Ganguly has done the captaincy in 49 matches and 21 out of that. His winning percentage is 42%. So no much difference in the percentage. but if you look at winning away matches Ganguly performance is much better than Dhoni.
So what I think is that Performance out of home is more valuable than at home.
ODI matches :
Now lets comes to ODIs record. Look at the below table again Dhoni’s winning performance is better than Ganguly but again away from home Ganguly is better than Dhoni.
Now lets comes to the Second points Individual performance :
As a skipper, Dhoni’s record is better than Ganguly as a batsman. However, Dhoni’s record is skewed when it comes to home and away performances. In India, he averages 51.75, but the number drops to 32.46 away from home.
Ganguly averages 43.41 outside India, while his home record as a Test batsman is abysmal, with an average of 29.93.
BIGGEST DIFFERENCE IN ODI AVERAGES AS CAPT AND NON-CAPT (MIN 2000 RUNS IN EACH)
His batting average is better as a captain.
On the other hand Ganguly’s batting average is better as a non-captain:
Under Dhoni’s captaincy India won the 2011 world cup and because of that we say that Dhoni is better captain. But for me if team is performing good in away condition then he is better captain.
One more thing Dhoni has not even scored a hundred in test match in away condition. So Dhoni’s away record was poor than the Gangly as a batsman and as a captain.
Now comes to the third point : Team building
At the time of late 90’s and early 20’s India was doing very badly in home and away matches. When Sachin was captain, India was doing so badly, India needed a new captain, new team and when Ganguly came in the action. He did a great job. He show the world that India can win the matches at home and away also. Winning the match against Australia at Kolkata was just awesome. Reaching in final of world cup in 2003 in Africa, At the time only India was team who had chances to beat AUS.
Again as above record suggest that Dhoni was better player and captain at Home, Remember Dhoni won the world cup that was also held in india.
Note : I am not taking anything from Dhoni, He is a good captain, Led India to win the World cup 2011. But in my opinion Ganguly is better captain.
I hope this will help you to find who is better as a player and captain.