Sourav Ganguly sacrificed his career to make MS Dhoni, says Virender Sehwag
What’s the story?
Former Indian cricket team opener Virender Sehwag has said that Sourav Ganguly made a lot of sacrifices during his tenure to make Mahendra Singh Dhoni a successful player.
Sehwag revealed that since Ganguly allowed Dhoni to bat up the order in his place, Dhoni's career took off and it made him the player he is today.
“We were experimenting with the batting order at that time. We decided that if we get a good opening partnership then Sourav Ganguly would come at No.3 but if we had a bad opening stand then we would send pinch hitters like Irfan Pathan or Dhoni to accelerate the scoring rate,” Sehwag told India TV in an interview.
The former Indian opener who never minces his words said that unlike many other captains in the world, Ganguly sacrificed his own position to accommodate Dhoni at the number 3 and number 4 position, a step which not only gave confidence to a young player but also set a good precedent for the times to come.
Apart from praising Ganguly, Sehwag also mentioned the role of Rahul Dravid in moulding Dhoni as a finisher when he took over as the captain of the side.
He revealed that Dravid reprimanded Dhoni a couple of times when he threw away his wicket by playing a rash stroke, but these instances improved Dhoni as a player who completely changed his approach and became a far better player.
In case you didn’t know…
Sehwag has on many occasions hailed the contribution of Ganguly for the improvement of Indian cricket and this particular anecdote does not come as a surprise.
Dhoni, who struggled to get going in his in his first 4 matches, got a surprise promotion in the batting order in the second match against Pakistan at Vishakhapatnam where he scored a rapid 148. This career resurrected his ODI career and he has never looked back ever since.
Watch: MS Dhoni's blitzkrieg against Pakistan, his maiden ODI century
Often small decisions which might seem irrelevant to the naked eye has the potential to transform and resurrect any player's career and this was true in the case of MS Dhoni when a young man found solid backing from his captain and repaid his faith in good measure.
Both Ganguly and Dravid need to be hailed for their farsight and for putting all their trust in a young man whose promise was evident, but who struggled to meet the requirements of International cricket.
To be fair, Dhoni has only continued this tradition forward as he too has supported several young players coming through the ranks and has stood behind time during tough times. This has had a positive effect on many players, and today they have become crucial members of the Indian team.