Sourav Ganguly sacrificed his batting spot in the Indian cricket team for MS Dhoni which helped the wicketkeeper become the batsman he is today, former India opener Virender Sehwag has said. In a TV interview, Sehwag said that had Ganguly not allowed Dhoni to bat up the order in his place, he would not have become such a great player.
“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 Dhoni to accelerate the scoring rate,” Sehwag told India TV in an interview.
Sehwag added that it was Ganguly’s decision to promote Dhoni up the order, a decision very few captains could have taken. He said that Ganguly believed in giving chances to new players.
“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 added.
When Ganguly was removed as the captain, Rahul Dravid took over and Sehwag was quick to mention that Dravid played an equally important role in making Dhoni a great 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. 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 said.