Undoubtedly, Sourav Ganguly is one of the most successful captains India has ever witnessed. Known for his ability to identify talent, Ganguly has produced match-winners for the team.
During a web show, Breakfast With Champions, Ganguly has admitted that during his captaincy he used to select those players who could make a winning impact in a match.
While talking to BWC host Gaurav Kapur, former Indian captain revealed that how he spotted talents in India’s World Cup winning captain MS Dhoni and former Indian opener Virender Sehwag.
It was Ganguly who decided to promote Dhoni up the order from the No.7 position and asked Sehwag to open the innings because he was not making it in the middle-order because of players like VVS Laxman, Rahul Dravid among others. Ganguly’s gamble did the trick as both the batsmen won several games from India.
“When Viru (Virender Sehwag) got selected so everybody asked me why are you taking him for overseas Test tour? Bowlers will hit him on his head. I replied, without giving him the chance how can you judge him. On his Test debut, Sehwag went to score a century against South Africa,” Ganguly recalled.
Then in the middle-order, Sehwag was not finding his place. So, then I asked him to open the innings as you won’t be able to make your mark while sitting on a bench. He opened for us against England and smashed a century.”
For Dhoni, Ganguly said: “When Dhoni came into the team in 2004, he played the first two matches at No.7. We were playing Pakistan at Vizag even when the team was announced after the team meeting Dhoni was at 7.”
“I was watching news sitting in my room and thinking how to make him (Dhoni) a player, I knew he had a lot of potential. Next morning after we won the toss I thought let me send him at 3 will see whatever happens.” he added.
“He was sitting in shorts as he knew he had to bat at 7, I told him ‘MS you have to bat at 3′, he said what about you, I said ‘I’ll bat 4 you go in at 3.”
At Vizag, after being promoted to No.3, he thrashed Pakistani bowlers all around the park and scored 148 to ensure that Team India posted a mammoth total of 356 runs on the board which eventually earned them a 58-run win in the 2nd ODI of the series.