"I had over the years constantly looked out for players who remain steady under pressure and possess the capability to change the course of the match. Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who came to my notice in 2004, was a natural progression of this thought. I was impressed with MS Dhoni from day one," Ganguly wrote in his autobiography.
"I wish I'd Dhoni in my 2003 World Cup team. I was told that when we were playing the 2003 World Cup final he was still a ticket collector with Indian Railways. Unbelievable!" added the former India skipper.
"Today I am happy that my assessment was proven right. It is amazing how he broke through the ranks to become what he is today," added Ganguly.
Ganguly, who is known to not mince words has revealed that he had rejected an offer to lead the team in his final Test match. Ganguly wrote that he rejected an initial offer from Dhoni to lead the team against Australia in Nagpur.
“As the match came to a close, Mahendra Singh Dhoni in a surprise gesture asked me to lead. I had rejected his offer earlier in the day, but could not refuse a second time,” he writes in his book.
The legendary left hander’s last Test match was in 2008 when India beat Australia by 172 runs in Nagpur. Ganguly, for a brief period took over the responsibility of setting the fields and changing the bowlers around after he couldn’t refuse Dhoni’s offer a second time.
“Ironically, my captaincy career had begun exactly eight years ago on this very day. I handled the bowling changes and field placements while the last Australian wicket batted,” he said. “But I must admit, at that stage, I found it difficult to focus. So after three overs I handed it back to Dhoni saying, it is your job, MS. We both smiled.”
First Published: March 1, 2018, 10:30 AM IST