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Virender Sehwag makes another revelation - the men behind MS Dhoni’s greatness

Virender Sehwag has said the sacrifices of Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly have made MS Dhoni the best cricketer that he currently is in Virat Kohli’s Indian cricket team. The former India skipper had made his international debut under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly in 2004

cricket Updated: Oct 09, 2017 20:58 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
MS Dhoni,India national cricket team,Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag has said that under Rahul Dravid’s guidance, MS Dhoni evolved into the best finisher in cricket while Sourav Ganguly’s sacrifices gave the India wicketkeeper plenty of confidence. (Getty Images)

Former Indian cricketer Virender Sehwag has claimed that Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid’s sacrifices helped MS Dhoni become the ultimate finisher in the Indian cricket team. According to Sehwag, Ganguly gave up his batting slot in a star-studded Indian line-up to help MS Dhoni establish his career.

In a recent interview to India TV, Sehwag, who played under the captaincy of both Ganguly and Dhoni, said the former Indian skipper might not have become such a great player had Ganguly not believed in promoting youngsters.

Sehwag said, “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 MS Dhoni to accelerate the scoring rate.”

He added that it was under Dravid’s captaincy that MS Dhoni was assigned the role of a finisher. “During Rahul Dravid’s captaincy, Dhoni got the role of a finisher. He got out a couple of times playing a bad shot and he was also reprimanded by Dravid during one instance,” Sehwag said.

Dhoni made his ODI debut under Ganguly’s captaincy in December 2004 during Bangladesh tour, while Rahul Dravid was at the helm of the Indian team when Dhoni played his first Test, against Sri Lanka a year later.

Interestingly, it was under Sehwag that Dhoni — who led India to title win in the inaugural ICC World T20 2007 — made his T20I debut in the one-off game on South Africa tour in December 2006.

Sehwag hailed Ganguly for giving up his batting slot to promote a youngster, a move that eventually proved to have made a massive impact on Indian cricket.

“Ganguly at that time decided to give Dhoni a chance at No 3 for three or four matches. There are very few captains who would first give away his own batting spot for Virender Sehwag and then his set spot of No 3 for Dhoni. Had Dada (Ganguly) not done that, Dhoni would not have become such a great player. Ganguly always believed in giving chances to new players,” Sehwag claimed.

“But from that instance, he completely changed his approach and became a very good finisher. The kind of partnerships he had with Yuvraj Singh are memorable,” Sehwag added.

First Published: Oct 09, 2017 17:00 IST