Sourav Ganguly was surprised when MS Dhoni asked him to lead in the last session of his final Test
“I feel really happy when I see MS," Ganguly said.
Updated - Jul 26, 2018 10:04 pm
Though MS Dhoni has the reputation of being the one who was harsh on the senior cricketers and showed them the door as soon as he became the captain of the Indian team he made one gesture that will be remembered for long. He had just taken over Test captaincy after Anil Kumble retired mid-way through the Border Gavaskar Trophy at home. The last Test of that series was also Sourav Ganguly’s final Test match.
Playing Australia at Nagpur, the Indian team asked Australia to chase 381 runs in fourth innings on the fifth day. On a turning track, Harbhajan Singh and Amit Mishra were the strike bowlers for India, they shared 7 wickets among themselves and ensured that the home team wins the series 2-0. In the last session when victory was knocking on the doors, Dhoni asked Ganguly to lead the side for one final time.
It was Ganguly who gave him the first chance and this was Dhoni’s way of respecting his captain who was on the last steps of his career. To date, it remains a moment of nostalgia for all Indian cricket fans and even for Ganguly.
I was surprised
Describing the moment on Breakfast with Champions Dada said: “I was surprised when he said that, I told him you continue but he insisted that I do it, we were going to win the match anyway it was a matter of a couple of overs. I had switched off by then, fifth day of my last Test, it was the end but he said ‘aap kar lo’. I captained for a couple of overs and handed it back to him.”
He is proud of what Dhoni has been able to achieve in his career coming from a small town and a place that hadn’t produced a cricketer before him. The fact that both Ganguly and Dhoni are from the eastern part of India which didn’t have any cricketing history before them and went on to not just play but lead the team as two of the most successful captains gives Ganguly great joy.
Really happy to see where MS has come
“I feel really happy when I see MS because when we started playing cricket not a lot of cricketers got here form the eastern part of India. People thought these places cannot create good players. But both of us captained the team for so long and played so many matches.
I played almost 450 matches when we didn’t have T20 at that time. The other day at Cardiff MS played his 500th match. It feels good coming from a part of India which didn’t produce a lot of players – we were two captains Sourav Ganguly and MS Dhoni who played and captained really long,” he said.
On being asked if he had spotted the leadership skills in Dhoni early on Dada said, “I didn’t see the leadership skills in him, it isn’t visible from the outside only happens with time. But I was sure that he had a lot of power in him, he was one of those you look at and think he is courageous.”