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The Team that Kohli got was Assembled With Great Love by MS Dhoni: Aakash Chopra

The team that Kohli got was assembled with great love by MS Dhoni: Aakash Chopra
Image Source: Virat Kohli/ Instagram

Former Indian cricketer Aakash Chopra on his YouTube channel recently how both Mahendra Singh Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly moulded match-winners for Indian cricket as captain. It was discussed in the context of recent claims made by Gautam Gambhir who had commented that Ganguly had given more match-winners than Dhoni.

Match-winners under Ganguly

Gautam Gambhir recently opined that Ganguly had made a lot of match-winners for Indian cricket and given to his successor MS Dhoni. But according to Gambhir, Dhoni had not given that many to Virat Kohli. Speaking on the same, Aakash Chopra said, “He is absolutely right that Sourav Ganguly gave a lot of match-winners to India. Dada even took over captaincy when cricket was in difficulty due to the black clouds of match-fixing hovering over it and the public’s belief lost.” He recalled, “From that situation to develop a team that went abroad and won, the eye for talent was absolutely fantastic.”

Former India opener even went on to list the players who were nourished under Ganguly’s captaincy and became game-changers with time. “The first one was Virender Sehwag, whom Dada gave lot of confidence as well as opportunities even when he was getting dismissed cheaply.” Chopra continued, “Yuvraj Singh was taken from the under-19 level and had a sequence of bad performances for a long time after the initial success in the Champions Trophy. But he was backed just like Viru.”

The famous commentator then recalled Harbhajan Singh’s hattrick moment at Kolkata Test 2001 and opined, “Harbhajan Singh was an absolute match-winner. He was nowhere, Dada picked him suddenly and made him play the Australia series. And the rest is history, a definite match-winner under Dada.”

Dhoni produced match winners too

Aakash Chopra then spoke discussed the challenge Dhoni had to face at the beginning of his tenure as a captain. “MS Dhoni’s biggest challenge was the transition from an established team which had so many legends, but were on their way down from their lofty heights. You need to blood the youngsters but how do you do that without ignoring or offending a senior.”

Chopra further explained why the transition period required someone like Dhoni. He then reminded the name of some of the match-winners produced by Dhoni as a skipper. “Players who came under him include Virat Kohli himself, who could have been dropped after the England tour if it was some other captain but Dhoni stood with him. Rohit Sharma got to those heights under Dhoni.” The expert reiterated, “Jasprit Bumrah also came when MS Dhoni was about to give up ODI captaincy and he got settled before Dhoni left.”

Aakash Chopra listed a bunch of names thereafter and told that the comparison is a wrong one. “The list is quite long and exhaustive. It is not like Dhoni has not prepared a team or not given match-winners.”

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Written by Shreyasi Talukdar

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