‘Sourav Ganguly fought with selectors to back his players’, says Ashish Nehra

Nehra shared his views on Ganguly and Dhoni as captains.

Nehra's career prospered under Ganguly’s leadership in early 2000 | GettyWith no international or domestic cricket going on due to COVID-19 outbreak, former and current cricketers are keeping themselves busy with different activities.

While some are engaging with fans on social media, some are picking their all-time XIs and favourite players from the past and modern-day cricket.

Recently, ex-India fast bowler Ashish Nehra featured on Aakash Chopra’s show Aakashvani and had an interesting take when asked about the best captain he played under.

See Also: Ashish Nehra reveals how it was like sharing dressing with Sachin, Azharuddin on India debut

“Every captain is different and there is no doubt about it. I have been asked this question several times by the media or even when we are commentating that who is the best Indian captain ever, is it Sourav Ganguly or MS Dhoni?

“I tell them India played cricket before the 2000s and there were captains like Kapil Dev, Sunil Gavaskar, Venkataraghavan and Ajit Wadekar as well. We tend to live in the present and forget the past. If you ask someone like Mohinder Amarnath or Madan Lal, they will name either Kapil Dev or Sunil Gavaskar. If you ask Sunny bhai (Gavaskar) he will say Ajit Wadekar.

“No one talks about Mohammed Azharuddin. He captained India in three World Cups, the most by anyone. So, I feel every era is different,” Nehra said.

Having made his international debut under Azharuddin’s captaincy back in 1999, Nehra’s career prospered under Ganguly’s leadership in early 2000 while he also played under Rahul Dravid, MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli at different junctures.

Since Nehra played the most under Ganguly and Dhoni, he spoke about both of them.

“Among those I have played under I can only talk about Ganguly and Dhoni as a player as I didn’t play for long enough under the others. Both knew how to get the best out of their players.

“Ganguly had the challenge of creating a new team while Dhoni had a great coach like Gary Kirsten and he had a team that was ready. His challenge was to lead so many senior players.

“The good thing about Dada (Ganguly) was that he would mark the players he knew he had to back and he would go to the extent of fighting with the selectors and speaking to the president to back them.

“Dhoni was a very calculative captain. He wasn’t impulsive and stayed calm. He used to try and give as much opportunity as he could to the players. He forged a great partnership with Kirsten. He had the likes of Tendulkar, Dravid, Laxman, Sehwag, Yuvraj and Harbhajan in his team. Even in the 2007 WT20 he had to lead a team that had seniors. You have to appreciate him for the way he handled himself and the team,” Nehra explained.

Nehra represented India in 17 Tests, 120 ODIs and 27 T20Is. While the left-arm pacer claimed 44 wickets in his brief Test career, he managed to pick up 157 and 34 scalps in ODIs and T20Is respectively. He was also part of India’s triumphant World Cup 2011 campaign.

(Inputs from Hindustan Times)



By Salman Anjum - 08 May, 2020

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