Virender Sehwag has claimed that Sourav Ganguly played a huge role in making MS Dhoni a great cricketer by sacrificing his number three position for the explosive batsman where he excelled. Sehwag also feels that Rahul Dravid had a similar role in helping Dhoni become a great finisher.
Dhoni had entered the India squad back in 2004 when Ganguly was the captain and Sehwag stated that Ganguly's belief in giving more chances to new players played a crucial part in Dhoni’s career.
Speaking to India TV, Sehwag said, “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.”
Though it doesn’t rule out the fact that India was in need of a pinch hitter then and Dhoni’s brilliant innings of 148 against Pakistan and 183 against Sri Lanka helped in cementing his place in the squad. Ganguly's decision to give his place to Dhoni worked the magic.
“We were experimenting with the batting order and 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 Dhoni to accelerate the scoring rate. Ganguly at that time decided to give Dhoni a chance at No.3 for three or four matches,” Sehwag narrated.
Sehwag added that it was not only Ganguly but Rahul Dravid too, who was next player to captain the Indian side after Ganguly, who played a key part in making Dhoni the great finisher that earned him worldwide acclaim. After Ganguly was axed from the side in 2005, Dhoni’s batting position changed and Dravid
“During Rahul Dravid's captaincy, Dhoni got the role of a finisher. He got out a couple of times playing a bad shot and was also reprimanded by Dravid during one instance. 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 explained.
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