Sports Cricket 31 Jul 2018 How Sourav Ganguly&# ...

How Sourav Ganguly's sacrifice helped a struggling MS Dhoni score first ODI ton

DECCAN CHRONICLE. | DECCAN CHRONICLE
Published Jul 31, 2018, 12:49 pm IST
Updated Jul 31, 2018, 12:58 pm IST
Dhoni made his international debut during 2004 under the captaincy of Ganguly during the tour of Bangladesh and was struggling to perform down the batting order. (Photo: BCCI)
 Dhoni made his international debut during 2004 under the captaincy of Ganguly during the tour of Bangladesh and was struggling to perform down the batting order. (Photo: BCCI)

New Delhi: Mahendra Singh Dhoni came under heavy criticism in the recently-concluded ODI series against England which India lost by a margin of 2-1. But while many from the cricket fraternity slammed the veteran cricketer, Sourav Ganguly stood by his defence.

When the Jharkhand wicket-keeper batsman was new to the Indian cricket team, Ganguly was one of those who helped him settle in the squad. He recalled an incident where he saw a lot of potential in Dhoni but the then 23-year-old could not perform to his best due to limited opportunities.

Dhoni made his international debut during 2004 under the captaincy of Ganguly during the tour of Bangladesh and was struggling to perform down the batting order. In order to help Dhoni, Ganguly then suggested the swashbuckling right to bat at number 3 during a match against Pakistan at Vishakhapatnam.

"When Dhoni came into the team in 2004, he played the first two matches at No.7. We were playing Pakistan at Vizag even when the team was announced after the team meeting Dhoni was at 7. I was watching news sitting in my room and thinking how to make him (Dhoni) a player, I knew he had a lot of potential. Next morning after we won the toss I thought let me send him at 3 will see whatever happens, "Ganguly recalled in the show Breakfast with Champions.

Dhoni was surprised by the his promotion to the one-down spot which originally belonged to Ganguly. As a result, the southpaw had to demote himself at the number 4.

"He was sitting in shorts as he knew he had to bat at 7, I told him 'MS you have to bat at 3?, he said 'what about you', I said 'I'll bat 4 you go in at 3," he continued.

Ganguly's experiment yielded huge results as the youngster would go on to slam his first ODI ton for the Men in Blue, scoring 148 that consisted of 15 boundaries and 4 sixes. Dhoni was also adjudged Man of the Match for his heroics.

 

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Location: India, Delhi, New Delhi




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