Speaking to India TV, Sehwag said: "We were experimenting with the batting order at that time. We decided that if we get a good opening partnership then Sourav Ganguly would come at No.3 but if we had a bad opening stand then we would send pinch hitters like Irfan Pathan or Dhoni to accelerate the scoring rate.
"Ganguly at that time decided to give Dhoni a chance at No.3 for three or four matches. There are very few captains who would first give away his own batting spot for Virender Sehwag and then his set spot of No.3 for Dhoni. Had Dada (Ganguly) not done that, Dhoni would not have become such a great player. Ganguly always believed in giving chances to new players."
Interestingly, Ganguly recently said that current skipper Virat Kohli has had a massive role to play in the return to form of MS Dhoni in recent weeks, something which has helped the former captain silence his critics following a barren run with the bat after giving up captaincy in the limited-overs format.
Ganguly credited Kohli for keeping faith in the former captain and remarked that the relationship between them has in effect helped India go from strength to strength.
“When players play for so long, MS has played over 300 ODIs for India, they know how to get runs. More than 9000 runs for Dhoni in one-day cricket and he’ll get a few more by the time he finishes. It’s the captain’s confidence and Virat should get a lot of credit for it because he’s put a lot of faith in Dhoni and that allowed MS to play the way he wanted."
“Players are made and players are broken by the faith you show in them. I think Virat Kohli is responsible for what we are seeing of MS Dhoni today,” Ganguly told India Today.
First Published: October 8, 2017, 2:10 PM IST