Sourav Ganguly was very keen to have MS Dhoni for Pakistan tour in 2004: John Wright
Apart from being the only skipper to lift three major ICC trophies, Dhoni is only the second wicket-keeper to score more than 10,000 runs in ODI cricket.
Updated - Sep 3, 2020 9:09 pm
MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly are considered flagbearers in revolutionizing Indian cricket. While Ganguly built a strong Indian side with a pinch of youngsters, Dhoni clinched trophies to script history during his captaincy stint.
Former Indian cricket team coach John Wright has revealed how Dhoni missed out on the opportunity to break into the national side. Ganguly was extremely keen to have Dhoni in the side but Parthiv Patel eventually got the nod for the Test series, while veteran Rahul Dravid kept wickets in the ODIs. Wright recalled how Dhoni nearly made it to the Indian side ahead of the Pakistan tour.
Sourav had very good things to say about Dhoni: John Wright
“MS Dhoni nearly toured with us to Pakistan. Sourav was very keen to have him in the squad. He was on the borderline, and it was one of those decisions that could have gone either way…That was obvious when Dhoni had started to come into discussions at the national level. Sourav had very good things to say about him and always encouraged youngsters who came into the set-up,” Wright said as quoted by Times of India.
It was a memorable tour for Ganguly and his men as India won the Test series 2-1 and beat the hosts in the limited-overs leg 3-2. Dhoni eventually broke into the national side in that very year against Bangladesh. The Jharkhand stalwart’s Test debut came a year later against Sri Lanka. Apart from being the only skipper to lift three major ICC trophies, Dhoni is only the second wicket-keeper to score more than 10,000 runs in ODI cricket.
Wright, who served as India’s first foreign coach between 2000 and 2005, lauded Dhoni’s intelligence. Wright pointed out that Dhoni was a very good listener and was observing all the time.
“It was obvious that MS Dhoni was not only a very gifted cricketer but also an extremely intelligent one. He was a very good listener who didn’t say much in his first series [under me] but was observing and learning all the time. I thought at the time that he had a big future in front of him,” added Wright.
While most fans remember Dhoni’s first international hundred (148 runs off 123 deliveries against Pakistan), Wright recalled Dhoni’s 64-ball 47 in the fourth ODI of the series.
[Dhoni] came in after openers Sachin Tendulkar and Sehwag had put on a good stand and he came in at No. 3. The most interesting thing was that he was quite happy just to rotate the strike and give the batsman who was in, and I thought that it was really intelligent and smart cricket. And that was one of his characteristics not only as a cricketer but as a leader, particularly in one-day cricket, throughout his career,” Wright further added.