Former India captain Sourav Ganguly has expressed his desire to have the services of MS Dhoni in his 2003 World Cup team that had played the final of that particular showpiece event in South Africa.
"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!" Ganguly wrote in his autobiography titled ‘A Century is Not Enough’.
Dhoni, who made his international debut under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly back in 2004, is now widely deemed as one of the finest cricketers produced by India. While the cricket fraternity may have realized Dhoni’s potential after some of his big knocks in international cricket, but Ganguly had noticed that x-factor in the Jharkhand man way before.
"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." Dada penned it down.
"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," he further added.
The Prince of Kolkata also revealed that he always wanted a big-hitter in the team to help the trio of Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag and himself. And Gangly is satisfied with his assessment on Dhoni today.
"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," Dada wrote.
Dhoni was leading the Indian team when Ganguly bid adieu from international cricket after the Nagpur Test against Australia in 2008. The Indian cricket fans still remember how Dhoni had shouldered Ganguly with the responsibly to lead the side on the final day.
Recalling that momentous incident Ganguly said had initially refused Dhoni's request to captain the side.
"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."
"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," Sourav elaborated in his book.
Ganguly has also shed light on his equation with Yuvraj Singh, who is considered as a tough to manage character.
"For me, handling him [Yuvraj] was never a problem. Yes, he would meet his friends and have parties. But that didn’t matter as he won you matches like the very first one-day in Nairobi," Ganguly wrote.