Former Indian skipper and current BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly is without doubt a great judge of talent. Ganguly’s support to budding cricketers like Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan gave the Indian side match-winners for the time ahead.
The former India opener was aware that Dhoni would go on to become a leading man when the wicket-keeper batsman broke into the Indian side in 2004.
Ex-Kolkata Knight Riders Director Joy Bhattacharya let out that Ganguly had dubbed MS Dhoni as a ‘Chabuk batsman’ during India’s tour of Bangladesh in 2004 which was also the wicket-keepers maiden international tour after a successful tri-series against Pakistan A and Kenya A.
“I remember being on a flight to Bangladesh in 2004 and Sourav was just telling me ‘we have this chabuk new batsman’. ‘Chabuk’ means whipped. He said ‘chabuk new batsman’ who has come out. You have to see him, MS Dhoni is going to be a star,” said Bhattacharya.
“One thing he was just fantastic at was that he would just see you and he would know the talent. If you have the talent, he would back you. It didn’t mean that you could not get runs, you could fail, it didn’t matter to him. Because he knew on the day you had the ability to score,” Bhattacharya added.
MS Dhoni’s first series in Bangladesh under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy, was, however, not an imposing one. He was run out for a duck after facing just 1 ball in the first ODI. His scores in the next two ODIs were 12 off11 and 7 notout off 2 balls.
MSD’s career graph took an upward surge when he was promoted to bat at No.3 in an ODI against Pakistan in by Soourav Ganguly. Dhoni smashed 148 and since then has never looked back.
MS Dhoni has featured for India in 90 Test, 348 ODIs, and 98 T20Is, amassing 4876, 10773, and 1617 runs respectively.
Under his leadership, Indian side went on to win the 2007 T20 World Cup, 2011 World Cup, and the 2013 Champions Trophy.
Furthermore, Joy Bhattacharya then went to explain Ganguly’s eye for budding talent by naming Sehwag, Yuvraj and how he inspired Virendar Sehwag, a middle-order batsman, to become opener for India.
“Look at Yuvraj, look at Sehwag. You know what he does to Sehwag. He turns around and says to him ‘look the middle order is too crowded. If you want to play for India, you have to open. There is me, Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid... where are you going to get a chance? Yuvraj Singh did not get a chance for so many years because the middle order is crowded. Go and open’. And what happened was that Sehwag opened and the history was made,” Bhattacharya added.