Sourav Ganguly delighted for MS Dhoni and Rohit Sharma after India clinch ODI series
Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly expressed his delight after seeing India clinch the ODI series against New Zealand in a thumping fashion on Saturday with a 190-run victory over the tourists at Vizag, claiming that the victory was a much-needed one for skipper MS Dhoni who might have otherwise come under unfair pressure if the series had been lost.
After the Virat Kohli-led Indian Test side completely outplayed Kane Williamson’s side in the three-match Test series, the Indian side were expected to continue their dominance in the 50-over format as well only for the visitors to come back strongly and put up a strong fight taking the five-match series to a decider.
With Dhoni in the twilight of his career and Kohli waiting in the wings to take over the captaincy in all three formats, Ganguly feels that the series victory was crucial to Dhoni's chances of continuing as skipper in the shorter formats, especially after India had lost their previous ODI series at home against South Africa in 2015.
“He’ll be happy with this win in Vizag. Had India lost this series, Dhoni would have been under enormous pressure to retain his spot as captain. He’s fought hard and he's fought hard today with the bat as well. He deserves this win,” Ganguly told India Today.
Ganguly praises Rohit Sharma’s innings
The current Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) president also praised Rohit Sharma's contribution of 70 runs from 65 balls that helped India make a good start in the decider hailing the Mumbai Indians skipper as a big match player who always stood up when the team needed him the most.
The knock was indeed a much-needed one for Sharma who had struggled so far in the series with 53 runs from 4 matches but as has been the case throughout his career, produced the goods when pushed into a corner, to help India on its way in the decider before Virat Kohli continued his impeccable form in 2016 to help India post 269 batting first.
“Whenever Rohit plays well, India win. It was great to see him play well. He’s a big match player. When they played Australia a couple of years ago, they were 2 all in the series and he scored a double hundred in the final game. It was once again an important game for Team India,” Ganguly said.
The 44-year-old also sounded a warning to the England side who will be visiting India after the conclusion of their ongoing series against Bangladesh as he expects the Indian spinners to continue their fine showing on home soil.
“It’s never easy playing in India when the ball spins and spinners are at their best. Teams have struggled in the past and teams in the future will. England are coming next month and life’s not going to be easy for them,” he said.