Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is known to have supported youngsters like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag in the past. In fact, it’s because of Ganguly’s support to youngsters back then, is the reason why some players have flourished later on in their careers.
Just like other players, Ganguly supported and backed MS Dhoni very early on in his career. It was under the captaincy of Ganguly, Dhoni had made his one day debut against Bangladesh. The wicket-keeper batsman had grabbed the attention of Indian selectors and the Indian captain for his six-hitting ability. Looking at the impact and qualities Dhoni possessed, Ganguly decided to hand the Ranchi born a debut.
Ganguly predicted Dhoni would be a star
Joy Bhattacharya recalled in a chat with Gaurav Kapur in Oaktree Sports’ podcast titled ’22 Yarns’, how Sourav Ganguly had predicted that MS Dhoni is soon going to be a star. He described Dhoni as a ‘Chabuk’ new batsmen.
“I remember being on a flight to Bangladesh in 2004 and Sourav was just telling me ‘we have this chabuk new batsman’. He said ‘chabuk new batsman’ who has come out. You have to see him, MS Dhoni is going to be a star,” Bhattacharya said.
MS Dhoni did not let down Sourav Ganguly as he slammed 123-ball 148 against Pakistan in Vizag. Ganguly further promoted him to number three and we saw how Dhoni revolutionised batting. Joy Bhattacharya also mentioned about Ganguly’s ability to spot talent and how he used to back players even when they’d fail at times.
“One thing he was just fantastic 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.”