This Day, That Year: Sourav Ganguly’s One Decision Changed The Fate of MS Dhoni And Indian Cricket Forever
Sourav Ganguly was the captain who had taken out Team India from the days when the team was surrounded by the allegations of match-fixing and corruption. He has taken many important decisions during his reign, amongst them, there is the one decision which is credited to change the future of India. His decision to promote MS Dhoni to No.3 in the ODI series against Pakistan gave a glimpse of a big player in India’s history. Dhoni became the captain in the future and gave India three ICC trophies.
2nd ODI against Pakistan 2005: MS Dhoni scores century:
India was set to play the second ODI against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam on 5th April (i.e, today). India already had a led because they had won the first ODI in the six-match series.
The captain Sourav Ganguly won the toss and elected to bat first. Virender Sehwag and Sachin Tendulkar opened the innings. Disappointingly, Sachin lost his wicket in fourth over after scoring two runs. Then a bold decision was taken by the captain to send the young MS Dhoni to bat at No. 3. Usually, Ganguly joined Sehwag for No. 3 partnership but when everyone saw Dhoni walking out from pavilion, it had shocked everyone. At that time, Dhoni was the new face in the Indian team and batted at no.3 position.
Before this game, the wicketkeeper-batsman had played four games and he had returned with the figures of 0, 12, 7*, 3. So, he didn’t have a good start of his international career but Ganguly had believed in his talent.
Sourav Ganguly’s vision to promote Dhoni:
In an interview, Ganguly revealed why he promoted Dhoni at No.3 position.
When Dhoni came into the side in 2004, he played at No.7 in the first two matches. We went to Vizag (vs Pakistan) I was watching the news and wondering how could make a player out of Dhoni. He had great potential,” Ganguly later revealed to Gaurav Kapoor in Breakfast with Champions.
He added: “The next day in the morning, we did our warm-ups, did the toss, won it and decided to bat. While coming back I decided I will send him up the order. We’ll see what the result is. He was sitting in shorts because he knew he would bat at No.7. I told him to go up at No.3 and he asked ‘what about you?’ I said ‘I will bat at No.4’. And he went and scored 148,”
And Dhoni didn’t disappoint his captain and it turned out to be his one of the best innings of career. He stitched up a partnership with Sehwag and Rahul Dravid and led up the score of India to 356 runs. He scored 148 runs that included 15 fours and four sixes. The host went on to win the match
Thus, Ganguly’s decision created an impact on MS Dhoni’s international career. And now we know, the rest is history!!
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