Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is widely accredited for changing the phase of Indian cricket completely. Ganguly handpicked champion cricketers and brought them into the team. The Kolkata-born was only concerned about the real talent, and for which he broke the custom of taking players from metropolitan cities.
‘Dada’ chose players from small towns and transformed them into match-winners which eventually helped India to dominate in world cricket. Many impressive players like Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Ashish Nehra, Mohammad Kaif, and MS Dhoni thrived under Ganguly’s captaincy.
Ganguly led the Indian side to the 2003 World Cup final, but ‘Men in Blue’ had to suffer a defeat from Australia. The current captain Virat Kohli also has a similar story. He led the Indian team in the 2019 World Cup, but it also failed in the global showpiece event and lost to New Zealand in the semi-finals.
But what would have been the scenario if the 2003 World Cup team had players from the current Team India squad? Well, in a recent chat show, ‘DadaOpensWithMayank’, the BCCI President has named three players from the 2019 World Cup squad which he would’ve loved to have in his side.
It all happened when during the conversation a fan asked, “Pick three cricketers from India’s World Cup 2019 squad you would have loved to have in your World Cup 2003 squad and give reasons?” Responding to the question, the former Indian captain replied, “[Virat] Kohli, Rohit Sharma, and [Jasprit] Bumrah.”
“The quality of fast bowler (Bumrah). We played in South Africa, although we bowled exceptionally well in that series. Bumrah, Rohit and Virat would be in the middle. Rohit at the top, and I at no. 3. I don’t know maybe Sehwag might be listening to this and I would get a phone call tomorrow, ‘what the hell do you think’. But I would have these three in the squad,” said Ganguly.
Ganguly also explained that he would have picked MS Dhoni too if given another option. He further said that despite Dhoni, former international Rahul Dravid would keep in his team as ‘The Wall’ did a tremendous job in the 2003 mega event.
“MS Dhoni also – but since you gave me three choices, I would have managed with Rahul Dravid behind the stumps, because I think he did a great job in the World Cup,” added Ganguly.