Not his immediate successor as Indian captain, Dhoni is seen as the true heir to Ganguly having taken a team whose foundations were laid by the West Bengal cricketer to World Cup glory in 2011.
However, during a short span in his career, Ganguly played under the captaincy of Dhoni in the home series against Australia in 2008 that happened to be his last series in international cricket.
In his last Test match at Nagpur, Dhoni, the newly-appointed skipper of the Indian cricket team in Tests offered Ganguly to captain the side for the final few overs of the game as India inched closer to a series-clinching victory at Nagpur.
Ganguly after hesitating initially accepted the offer and rolled back the years. He was in his element, changing the field and shuffling his bowlers.
“As the match came to a close, MS 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. Ironically, my captaincy career had begun exactly eight years ago on this very day,” Ganguly has written in his book titled ‘A Century is Not Enough’.
Dhoni had offered Ganguly the chance to captain at the start of the day but the left-hand batsman had turned down the offer.
India gave Ganguly a perfect send-off as they won the Nagpur Test and win the series 2-0. It was quite fitting for Ganguly whose captaincy career had taken off with an incredible Test series win against Australia eight years before.
Ganguly led India in 49 Tests winning 21 of those and losing only 13. Dhoni, though, bettered his record as he won 27 out of the 60 Tests that he captained. Dhoni also added the 2007 World T20, 2011 ICC World Cup and 2013 ICC Champions Trophy to his kitty making him one of India’s best-ever captains. But one wonders where would Dhoni be if Ganguly hadn’t groomed the youngsters that went on to be integral parts of these triumphs under Captain Cool.