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Sourav Ganguly snubs MS Dhoni again, picks Rishabh Pant in IPL 2017 dream team

IPL fantasy team is based on current trends in Indian Premier League and Sourav Ganguly’s doubts on MS Dhoni’s ability as a T20 player reflects clearly. Ganguly feels Rishabh Pant is better than Dhoni

ipl 2017 Updated: May 11, 2017 20:13 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Mumbai
Sourav Ganguly,MS Dhoni,IPL 2017
MS Dhoni, who plays for Rising Pune Supergiant in 2017 Indian Premier League, hasn’t found a place in former India captain Sourav Ganguly’s fantasy IPL team. (Photo courtesy: MS Dhoni's Facebook page)(Facebook)

Sourav Ganguly has once again snubbed MS Dhoni by not including him in his IPL Fantasy XI. The former India cricket team skipper has drafted Delhi Daredevils youngster Rishabh Pant to do the wicketkeeping duties.

Recently, Sourav Ganguly had doubted MS Dhoni’s ability as a T20 player. On Wednesday night, Kolkata Knight Riders handed Rising Pune Supergiant a seven-wicket thrashing. Dhoni scored 23 off 11 balls with a four and two sixes.

I am not too sure if Dhoni is a good T20 player. He is a champion ODI player but when it comes to T20 cricket, in 10 years, he has got one fifty and that’s not the best record,” Ganguly was quoted as saying.

He faced lot of criticism for his comments on the social media but Ganguly defended himself saying: “MS Dhoni has created that sort of a fan-following. People will say -- why do you criticise him? It was the same for me when I was dropped in 2006. I don’t have any problem with that.”

MS Dhoni’s midas touch has been missing over the last couple of years, even when on international duty. And it’s been no different in this edition of the IPL. Ganguly has also not picked Sunrisers Hyderabad skipper David Warner, who is also not in great form.

In eight matches, Dhoni has scored just 152 runs with only one match-winning knock of 61 not out against Sunrisers Hyderabad to boast of. Also his current strike rate of 120 is well below his career IPL strike rate of more than 138.

In the lower middle-order, where Dhoni usually bats, Ganguly has included Rishabh Pant, Mumbai Indians’ youngster Nitish Rana and Kolkata Kinght Riders’ Manish Pandey – all of them are in good touch in this IPL.

Ever former Australia skipper Michael Clarke didn’t find a room for MS Dhoni in his IPL Fantasy XI. Clarke has also included Pant as the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Pant, who lost his father recently, has had a brilliant domestic season and his striking ability has impressed one and all in the IPL. The 19-year-old is also tipped to replace Dhoni in the national teams sooner rather than later.

Ganguly’s Fantasy XI: Virat Kohli, Gautam Gambhir, Steven Smith, AB de Villiers, Nitish Rana, Manish Pandey, Rishabh Pant, Sunil Narine, Amit Mishra, Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Chris Morris.

First Published: Apr 27, 2017 11:21 IST