'We have a chabuk new batsman' - Sourav Ganguly's first impression on MS Dhoni in 2004

‘We have a chabuk new batsman’ – Sourav Ganguly’s first impression on MS Dhoni in 2004

Ganguly had an inkling about the fact that Dhoni would do wonders for the Indian cricket team in the future.

MS Dhoni & Sourav Ganguly
Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Saurav Ganguly. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)

The former Indian captain and current BCCI president Sourav Ganguly has made the career of many Indian cricketers by backing them in their tough times and providing them with ample opportunities to showcase their talents. India’s one of the most successful captains, MS Dhoni debuted under the leadership of Ganguly. The former Indian opener identified the zeal and talent in Dhoni and helped him climb the stairs of success as India’s best wicketkeeper-batsman of all times.

MS made his international debut for India in 2004 against Bangladesh. The Ranchi Starwalt didn’t have an impressive stint during the series as his scores were 1, 12 and 7* in three ODI matches. However, his life changed for good when he was promoted to bat at number 3 in a match against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam by Sourav Ganguly. Dhoni smashed 148 runs in that particular match.

MS Dhoni is going to be a star: Sourav Ganguly

Recently, former Kolkata Knight Riders director Joy Bhattacharya revealed that Ganguly had described Mahi as a ‘Chabuk batsman’ during India’s tour to Bangladesh in 2004. Also, the BCCI president had an inkling about the fact that Dhoni would do wonders for the Indian cricket team in the future.

“I remember being on a flight to Bangladesh in 2004 and Sourav was just telling me ‘we have this chabuk new batsman’. ‘Chabuk’ means whipped. He said ‘chabuk new batsman’ who has come out. You have to see him, MS Dhoni is going to be a star,’” said Bhattacharya in 22 yarns podcast of Oaktree Sports hosted by Gaurav Kapur uploaded on Spotify and Youtube.

“One thing he was just fantastic at was that he would just see you and he would know the talent. If you have the talent, he would back you. It didn’t mean that you could not get runs, you could fail, it didn’t matter to him. Because he knew on the day you had the ability to score,” Bhattacharya added.

Sehwag opened and the history was made: Joy Bhattacharya

Further in the interview, Joy laid stress on the fact that Ganguly had an eye for young talent and he has given India match-winners like Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag. Narrating a story from the past, Bhattacharya revealed how the Kolkata based star motivated Sehwag to open the innings for India.

Bhattacharya recalled, “Look at Yuvraj, look at Sehwag. You know what he does to Sehwag. He turns around and says to him ‘look the middle order is too crowded. If you want to play for India, you have to open. There is me, Tendulkar, Laxman, Dravid… where are you going to get a chance? Yuvraj Singh did not get a chance for so many years because the middle order is crowded. Go and open’. And what happened was that Sehwag opened and the history was made.”