Sourav Ganguly is regarded as one of the finest captains India has ever produced and one of Ganguly’s biggest contribution to the Indian team was to bring through young and confident players including the world cup winning captain MS Dhoni. However, Sourav Ganguly, despite of his excellence, could not manage to win the 2003 World Cup as a captain for Team India. Looking back, he feels that Dhoni should have been a part of the Indian team that had played the 2003 World Cup Final against Australia.
Sourav Ganguly had promoted MS Dhoni to No. 3 against Pakistan
MS Dhoni made his debut under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy and made an instant impact and gradually turned into the best wicket-keeping batsman of his era. It was Ganguly’s decision to promote Dhoni to number 3 in a game against Pakistan which changed the face of Indian cricket forever.
According to Sourav Ganguly, it was not a decision made in rush but it was a calculated move after seeing MS Dhoni prove himself in the training especially with his ability to handle himself under pressure and adversarial situations.
Sourav Ganguly wished MS Dhoni was a part of the 2003 World Cup Indian team
Sourav Ganguly spoke about MS Dhoni at length in his autobiography ‘A Century is Not Enough’ where ‘Dada’ claimed that it would have been a great help had Dhoni been in his 2003 World Cup side.
When India was playing 2003 World Cup, Dhoni was a ticket collector
Ganguly said: “I wish I’d Dhoni in my 2003 World Cup team. I was told that when we were playing the 2003 World Cup final he was still a ticket collector with Indian Railways. Unbelievable!” added the former India skipper.
“Today I am happy that my assessment was proven right. It is amazing how he broke through the ranks to become what he is today.”
Later in his career, Sourav Ganguly also played under Dhoni’s captaincy and in one of the most remarkable of instances, MS Dhoni had asked Sourav Ganguly to lead Team India in his final moments as a test cricketer. That match against Australia ended in a draw but Dhoni’s gesture had won everyone over including his former skipper Sourav Ganguly.
MS Dhoni had a very successful stint as the Indian captain where he won the ICC World T20, Champions Trophy and the World Cup in 2011. Team India acquired the World Number 1 status under Dhoni’s leadership and while Dhoni is approaching the final years of his international career and like Sourav Ganguly, he will always be remembered as one of the finest captain Indian and World cricket has witnessed.