Veteran Indian cricketer MS Dhoni celebrated his 39th birthday on Tuesday. Dhoni is regarded as one of the best finishers in the history of the game. He is the only captain to lift all three ICC trophies. The wicket-keeper batsman made his debut in 2004 under the captaincy of former Indian skipper Sourav Gangly.
Dhoni was picked for India’s ODI series against Bangladesh in 2004. However, the selectors were in confusion regarding Dhoni’s place as there were other options available, but it was Ganguly who told the BCCI selectors to pick Dhoni in the ODI side for the series in the neighbouring country.
On the occasion of MSD’s birthday, the official twitter handle of BCCI posted a video of Ganguly’s recent interview conducted by Indian Test opener Mayank Agarwal. In the clip, the current BCCI President said that backing ‘Mahi’ was his job as a captain.
“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 Mahendra Singh Dhoni because he is unbelievable,” Ganguly told Mayank.
However, Dhoni’s beginning in the Indian squad didn’t go well as he failed to live up to the expectation in the series against Bangladesh followed by the first ODI game against Pakistan in the next series. But after that the then skipper Ganguly decided to promote Dhoni at No. 3 in the batting order.
This time, the Ranchi-born power-striker lived up to his captain and team’s expectations by smashing 148 off 123 balls including 15 fours and 4 gigantic sixes, and since then Dhoni never looked back.
During the chat with Mayank, Ganguly recalled Dhoni’s historic knock and said that the veteran stumper should have batted up the order throughout his career.
“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 Kolkata-born added.
“The best players in the shorter format had the ability to hit boundaries at will. You look over a period of time in the history of ODI cricket, the best players can find the fence under pressure consistently, and MS Dhoni was one of the best. That’s why he was special,” concluded Ganguly.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 7, 2020
So far, Dhoni has played 350 ODIs for India and has stockpiled 10,773 runs at an impressive average of 50.57 with 10 centuries and 73 half-tons.