Former Indian opener Virender Sehwag while speaking to a TV news channel on Saturday said that Mahendra Singh Dhoni would not have become the cricketer he is today without the sacrifice of former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. Sehwag revealed that when the Indian cricket team was experimenting with the number 3 spot, it was Ganguly who said that Dhoni should be a given a chance at that number for three to four matches. “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.
Praising Ganguly, Sehwag said that very few captains would have given their batting positions to youngsters. “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,” he added.
However, the former Indian opener didn’t forget to mention the role for Rahul Dravid in shaping MS Dhoni’s career. He said that Dravid was the man who helped Dhoni transform into a complete cricketer and a perfect 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.