'That's my job isn't it' - Sourav Ganguly refuses to take credit for picking MS Dhoni in team India in 2004

Ganguly also said that he always believed that Dhoni should bat up the order.

MS Dhoni & Sourav Ganguly
MS Dhoni & Sourav Ganguly. (Photo Source: Getty Images)

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India were strugging immensely to find a regular wicket-keeper in the team at the start of the millennium and this is when MS Dhoni came to the fore. It was in 2004 when the long-haired cricketer made his debut for India in an ODI series against Bangaldesh and the rest, as they say, is history. Sourav Ganguly was captain at that time and it is widely acknowledged that it was his decision to give Dhoni a chance.

However, he doesn’t want to take the credit and reckons it was his job to pick the best players in the team. In a freewheeling conversation with the India opener Mayank Agarwal, the former skipper and the current BCCI skipper Sourav Ganguly recalled the times when Dhoni played for the first time for his country. Though not many were in his favour, the decision eventually turned out to be a masterstroke.

Moreover, Ganguly has now revealed that went by his instincts then and asked the selectors to pick MS Dhoni ahead of the likes of Parthiv Patel and Dinesh Karthik. “It’s true, but that’s my job isn’t it… it’s the captain’s job to pick and make the best-possible team. You go by your instincts, faith on that player that he will deliver for you. I’m happy that Indian cricket got a Mahendra Singh Dhoni, because he is unbelievable,” he said.

I always believed MS Dhoni should bat up the order, says Ganguly

MS Dhoni didn’t get off to a great start to his international career getting run-out for a duck in his very first game. Rather his contribution in his first four ODIs was close to nothing. But it was in the fifth game when he was promoted up the order to bat against Pakistan in Vizag and he slammed a memorable 148. Remembering the knock, Sourav Ganguly raised a point that the wicketkeeper-batsman was always a very good top-order batsman and not only a finisher.

“He’s one of the great players in world cricket, not just finisher. Everyone talks about the way he finishes lower down the order. He batted at No. 3 when I was captain and he got a 148 against Pakistan in Vizag in the old stadium and it was fantastic. I always believed that he should bat up the order because he was so destructive. The best players in the shorter format had the ability to hit boundaries at will,” the 48-year-old added.