Ganguly spoke at length on MS Dhoni on the occasion of the latter’s birthday.
Former Indian skipper MS Dhoni turned 39 on Tuesday. The veteran, who made his debut in 2004, has gone to become one of the best finishers in the history of the game. The veteran has also shattered multiple captaincy records, becoming the only captain to lift all three ICC trophies.
BCCI President Sourav Ganguly spoke at length on the occasion of the veteran’s birthday. It was Ganguly who picked Dhoni for the first time for India’s ODI series against Bangladesh in 2004. The selectors were in a fix regarding which wicketkeeper to pick when Dada came to Dhoni’s aid.
Dhoni had a debut to forget as he was run-out for duck. The wicketkeeper-batsman however proved his worth when he was promoted up the batting order four matches later. Dhoni would go on to play a historic knock of 148 against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam in only his fifth ODI.
15 years later on the veteran’s birthday, Ganguly feels Indian cricket is lucky to have Dhoni serving the team for so many years. In a recent interaction with Mayank Agarwal, Ganguly revealed how he backed his instincts to pick Dhoni in 2004.
The BCCI Chief opened up on picking the wicketkeeper-batsman for the first time for India in 2004.
Ganguly revealed he had indeed asked the selectors to pick Dhoni for the Bangladesh series. Ganguly’s decision to pick Dhoni ahead of Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik turned out to be a masterstroke. The former skipper however refused to take credit for the same saying it was only his job.
“It’s true, but that’s my job isn’t it… it’s the captain’s job to pick and make the best-possible team. You go by your instincts, faith on that player that he will deliver for you,” Ganguly said. “I’m happy that Indian cricket got a Mahendra Singh Dhoni, because he is unbelievable,” he added.
Dhoni has made a name for himself finishing matches for Team India but Ganguly believes he was equally adept as a top-order batsman.”He’s one of the great players in world cricket, not just finisher. Everyone talks about the way he finishes lower down the order,” Ganguly opined.
“He batted at No. 3 when I was captain and he got a 148 against Pakistan in Vizag in the old stadium and it was fantastic. I always believed that he should bat up the order because he was so destructive. The best players in the shorter format had the ability to hit boundaries at will,” Ganguly added.
“You look over a period of time in the history of ODI cricket, the best players can find the fence under pressure consistently and MS Dhoni was one of the best. That’s why he was special,” Ganguly further said during his interaction with Mayank on his show “Open Nets With Mayank”.