Sourav Ganguly, the former Indian captain, credited Virat Kohli for MS Dhoni’s success in limited-overs cricket this year. Dhoni has amassed 627 runs in 19 games at an average of 89.57 so far this year, and has staged brilliant rescue acts after the top order has failed.“When players play for so long… MS Dhoni has played over 300 ODIs for India, they know how to get runs. More than 9000 runs for Dhoni in one-day cricket and he’ll get a few more by the time he finishes,” Ganguly was quoted as saying to India Today on Tuesday (September 19). “It’s the captain’s confidence and Virat should get a lot of credit for it because he’s put a lot of faith in Dhoni and that allowed MS to play the way he wanted.“Players are made and players are broken by the faith you show in them. And I think Virat Kohli is responsible for what we are seeing of MS Dhoni today,” Ganguly added.
Dhoni, who has played a sum of 302 ODIs, returned to his ‘second home’ Chennai in style, with his 66th half-century and 100th international fifty after an astute 79 that rescued India from a precarious situation of 87 for 5. His century stand with Hardik Pandya, eventually was the turning point of the game, which took India to a 26-run win by the Duckworth-Lewis Method in the rain-hit opening ODI against Australia on Sunday. Pandya, himself, belted a career-best 83 off just 66 deliveries in a 118-run stand with Dhoni. The Baroda all-rounder backed that with the crucial wickets of Steve Smith and Travis Head to leave Australia struggling in a truncated chase.
“He’s (Pandya) getting better and that’s the best part of it. You can see the confidence, because of the performance with the bat, in his bowling. If you do well in one aspect of the game you automatically get better in the other aspect,” said Ganguly. “He’s got to think big because the job of an all-rounder is not easy. He’s fit, he works hard and for him the role model should be Jacques Kallis. I’m not comparing him with Kallis but he should start looking at putting in performances over a period of 10 years in all formats because he’s got ability.”Earlier in the year against England too, Dhoni played a similar innings after India were reduced to 25 for 3 in Cuttack before Dhoni struck 134 to combine with Yuvraj Singh to power the side to 381 for 6. His knocks against the Windies (unbeaten 79-ball 78) and his four unbeaten knocks in Sri Lanka recently proved that he still had what it took to validate his spot in the side.