When the former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly picked up the wicketkeeper-batsman MS Dhoni for the first time, he was very confident about Dhoni’s success in international cricket.
Sourav Ganguly introduced MS Dhoni in the national team for the first time in December 2004 during India tour of Bangladesh. Dhoni was selected for the ODI series in that tour.
Former Kolkata Knight Riders (KKR) Team Director Joy Bhattacharya recently revealed that Ganguly described the youngster Dhoni as a “Chabuk” batsman. Ganguly even correctly predicted that the wicketkeeper-batsman would be a star of the Indian team.
Bhattacharya told 22 yarns podcast of Oaktree Sports, “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.’”
Though Dhoni didn’t impress much with the bat in that entire Bangladesh tour, Ganguly was confident on the ability of the young wicketkeeper-batsman. Dhoni retained his position in the next ODI series, which was against Pakistan at home in April 2005. In the second ODI of that series at Visakhapatnam, which was Dhoni’s fifth ODI, he was promoted to the no.3 batting position and played the brilliant match-winning knock of 148 runs off 123 balls. It became the turning point in his career as he only took the rising path since then.
One thing he was just fantastic at was that he would just see you and he would know the talent: Joy Bhattacharya about Sourav Ganguly
Bhattacharya praised Sourav Ganguly’s ability to recognise the actual talent of the player, even if the player is struggling in his initial period.
Bhattacharya claimed, “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.”
He added, “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.”
The former Indian aggressive batsman Sehwag became one of the greatest opening batsmen in international cricket history. On the other hand, the former all-rounder Yuvraj proved himself as a match-winner and one of the greatest and successful all-rounders.