Former India fast bowler Zaheer Khan likened the captaincy of MS Dhoni to Sourav Ganguly’s, saying that there were a lot of similarities between the two when it came to guiding young players in the team.
Zaheer Khan pointed out that the baton of leadership is being passed from one fine captain to another almost every decade in Indian cricket.
Zaheer recalled the early backing he got from Sourav Ganguly and said it was crucial when it came to shaping his career. He also went on to say MS Dhoni developed the skills of mentoring youngsters once the seniors in the team starting bidding adieu to the game.
As Zaheer points out, Ganguly and Dhoni led India over considerably long periods of time. While Ganguly is credited for changing the landscape of Indian cricket and making match-winners out of youngsters, Dhoni took over and successfully helped a team in transition become world beaters.
“Absolutely, that’s what you need at that stage of your career (push from Ganguly). When you’re starting your careers at the international level, you need all the support you can and then it will be upto you to shape your career. But that initial support is very vital,” Zaheer Khan told anchor Gaurav Kapur in a YouTube chat show.
“Both of them have led India for a long time. With MS[Dhoni], I have seen that change as well.
“When MS got the team, he had a lot of senior players who were experienced at the international level. So he didn’t have to do much in terms of getting them up to speed. But once all those guys started retiring, when the young batch came in, he played a similar kind of role, did similar kind of things to what Dada was doing with the young lot.
“In Indian cricket, every decade the captain has passed baton to the next in line and the person who has taken the baton has led to the team to the next level.”
MS Dhoni, who led India to World Cup glory in 2011, retired from Tests midway during a 4-match series in Australia as early as 2014. However, he stayed on as the captain of the limited-overs team before stepping down in 2017. Ever since, Dhoni has been credited for his role in mentoring captain Virat Kohli who succeeded in him across the 3 formats of the game.