Sourav Ganguly laments not having MS Dhoni in India’s 2003 World Cup squad
Sourav Ganguly showered praise on MS Dhoni and lamented the fact that the wicket-keeper batsman was not part of the 2003 ICC World Cup squad.cricket Updated: Mar 01, 2018 11:26 IST
Comparing Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni in order to determine the greatest Indian cricket team captain is a common practice among fans. .
However, when it comes to the two legends themselves, they have always shared a good relationship and it was under Ganguly’s captaincy that Dhoni made his international debut.
In his autobiography ‘A Century is Not Enough’, Ganguly once again showered praises on Dhoni and lamented the fact that the wicket-keeper batsman was not part of the 2003 ICC World Cup squad that was defeated by Australia in the final at the Wanderers Stadium in Johannesburg.
“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!” said the former India skipper.
It was Sourav Ganguly who decided to include MS Dhoni in the India squad for the ODI series against Bangladesh in 2004. The Ranchi-based cricketer quickly made his mark on the global stage and his destructive innings against Pakistan (148 off 123 balls) in 2005 made him an overnight sensation.
“I had over the years constantly looked out for players who remain steady under pressure and possess the capability to change the course of the match. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who came to my notice in 2004, was a natural progression of this thought. I was impressed with MS Dhoni from day one.”
“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,” added Ganguly.
Incidentally, it was under MS Dhoni’s captaincy that Sourav Ganguly played his last international match for India in November 2008.
As the 4th Test against Australia in Nagpur drew to a close, Dhoni asked him to lead the side for one final time, as the Indian cricket team fans bid goodbye to an iconic batsman and captain.
“As the match came to a close, Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a surprise gesture asked me to lead. I had rejected his offer earlier in the day, but could not refuse a second time.”
“But I must admit, at that stage, I found it difficult to focus. So after three overs I handed it back to Dhoni saying, it is your job, MS. We both smiled,” Sourav wrote in his book.