One of the most explosive openers to have played the game, Virender Sehwag on Saturday said that the former India captain Sourav Ganguly was instrumental in making Mahendra Singh Dhoni the cricketer he is today. Sehwag, while speaking to India TV 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," Sehwag went on to add.
After Ganguly was axed from his position as the captain of the Indian side in 2005, Rahul Dravid took over the captaincy and Sehwag didn't forget to mention, the kind of role Dravid played in making Dhoni a complete cricketer and a perfect finisher.
"During Rahul Dravid's captaincy, Dhoni got the role of a finisher. He got out a couple of times playing a bad shot and he was also reprimanded by Dravid during one instance. But from that instance, he completely changed his approach and became a very good finisher. The kind of partnerships he had with Yuvraj Singh are memorable," Sehwag said.
Dhoni made his debut for India when Ganguly was the captain in 2004 and within a year he proved his worth by scoring 148 against Pakistan and 183 against Sri Lanka.