BCCI president Sourav Ganguly is the main man off the field in Indian cricket right now but he is remembered a lot more for the time when he was the top dog of Indian cricket on the field.
Under Ganguly’s captaincy, India emerged as a force in international cricket reaching the final of the 2003 World Cup and becoming joint winners of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002.
Ganguly led a team of youngsters backing them to the hilt as India beat all teams it faced in the 2003 World Cup barring eventual champions Australia.
The Bengal cricketer was known for sticking with his players he felt would win him games. However, 17 years on from that World Cup run, Ganguly has revealed the three players he would love to have had in his 2003 World Cup team.
Ganguly picked current Indian captain Virat Kohli, vice-captain Rohit Sharma and fast bowler Jasprit Bumrah.
“The quality of fast bowler (Bumrah). We played in South Africa, although we bowled exceptionally well in that series. Bumrah, Rohit and Virat would be in the middle. Rohit at the top, and I at no. 3. I don’t know maybe Sehwag might be listening to this and I would get a phone call tomorrow, ‘what the hell do you think’. But I would have these three in the squad,” he told Mayank Agarwal in a chat show on BCCI’s official Twitter handle, explaining his selection.
Ganguly also said that it was a tough call to exclude MS Dhoni from the list.
“MS Dhoni also - but since you gave me three choices, I would have managed with Rahul Dravid behind the stumps, because I think he did a great job in the World Cup,” he said.
The former Indian captain said he recalls the 2003 World Cup campaign with pride despite losing out to Australia in the final.
“Reaching the World Cup final is special. Beating every team hands down, except Australia, I thought was a great achievement,” he said.