Both the skippers Sourav Ganguly and Mahendra Singh Dhoni took the nation to greater heights with their tactical moves and brave decisions. While the current Indian skipper, Virat Kohli leading the team brilliantly in all formats of the game we would not forget those minds, Ganguly and Dhoni, who rebuilt the team.
1. Ganguly – Promoting Virender Sehwag to the opening slot in Test cricket and giving Dhoni a chance to bat in the top order
During his early days, Sehwag represented his domestic side “Delhi” as a middle-order batsman. But Ganguly had other ideas as he promoted Sehwag bat in the top order. Sehwag opened the innings for India and scored a hundred in the second Test against England. After four years, in an ODI against Pakistan, the “God of Offside” promoted Dhoni to bat at No.3 and the rest is history.
2. Dhoni – Promoting Rohit Sharma to the top of the order in the limited-overs format
As Ganguly did with Sehwag, Dhoni also came with a masterstroke by promoting Rohit Sharma to open the innings for India in the 2013 Champions Trophy. After that, he never looked back and became one of the best openers in white-ball cricket and has amassed more than 7000 runs in 133 innings that he played at an average of around 60 with three double to his name.
3. Ganguly – Backing Yuvraj Singh despite inconsistent results initially
One of the best middle-order batsman for India, Yuvraj Singh, was always struggling with his form. He had a good start to his career when he scored a match-winning knock of 84 against Australia. But his inconsistency made him in and out of the team as Ganguly backed the southpaw ahead of the 2003 ICC World Cup. Also, he played many crucial nocks in the 2007 T20 World Cup and 2011 World which helped to clinch the title.
4. Ganguly – Picking Harbhajan Singh in 2001 series
The off-spinner from Punjab made his international debut in 1998. After that, he didn’t play for India for a quite while due to the death of his father and disciplinary issues. In 2001, Ganguly picked him ahead of the 3 match series against Australia. His punt did well as Harbhajan got 32 scalps in India’s historic Test series victory.
5. Dhoni – Backing Rohit Sharma and Ravindra Jadeja after a series of initial failures
We all know that when Rohit was continuously failing in the middle order and Dhoni gave him a chance to bat at the top order which changed his career. Like Rohit Sharma, Ravindra Jadeja was also backed to the team by Dhoni. Jadeja had spent some hard time in the field as he struggled a lot in making decisions. As of now, he is one of the best fielders present in the Indian team.
6. Dhoni – Giving Joginder Sharma the over in the 2007 T20 Worlld Cup
With not much experience, it was Dhoni’s first World Cup as a captain. In the final, over of the game Pakistan had to score 13 runs with only one wicket in hand. Everyone thought that Dhoni would go with his lead spinner Harbhajan Singh but he handed over the ball to Joginder Sharma to bowl the final over against well set Misbah-ul-Haq. His trump card did well after conceding 7 from first 2 as the Pakistan Skipper threw his wicket to the Haryana pacer.
7. Ganguly – Fighting tooth and nails with the selectors for Anil Kumble for the 2003-04 Australian tour
For the 2003-04 Australian tour, Ganguly had to risk his job for the selection of Anil Kumble. The selectors wanted to go with Murali Karthik before having a debate with Ganguly which forced them to change their minds. Anil Kumble didn’t let his captain down as he finished the 4 match series with 24 scalps to his name.
8. Dhoni – Promoting himself to No.5 in 2011 World Cup Final
No one can forget the 2011 World Cup Final against Sri Lanka at Wankhede. Chasing a total of 275 set by the Sri Lankans, India lost both Sachin and Sehwag. The Ranchi-born wasn’t in a good form in that tournament but still, he took the risk and went to bat in the middle which shows the sign of true leadership. In the end, with the help of Gambhir’s 97 and Dhoni’s 91*, India clinches the title after 28 years.