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MS Dhoni deserves every bit of respect he's getting: Sourav Ganguly

India Today logo India Today 10-01-2017
© Reuters

Mahendra Singh Dhoni has dominated the news waves since he announced his decision to step down as India's limited-overs captain last week.

Thousands turned up to watch Dhoni as he led an Indian team for the final time (India A vs England at the Brabourne Stadium), news channels and websites have gone on an overdrive in honouring India's greatest captain ever.

In fact, an intruder rushed on to the field of play on Tuesday afternoon as Dhoni plundered an unbeaten 68 off 48 balls. While that was certainly a security breach, it went on to show the kind of adulation Dhoni still enjoys after captaining India for nearly a decade.

Dhoni, who usually keeps his emotions in check, was visibly flattered when he saw a huge turnout for a warm-up game and he said that showed how much people loved him.

Former India captain Sourav Ganguly, speaking exclusively to India Today, said Dhoni deserved every bit of respect and adulation.

"I must congratulate India Today for showing so much respect to Dhoni. He's a great captain. In the ODI format, he's probably the best in the country and one of the best in the world. The number of tournaments he has won, there cannot be any comparison," he said.

"What he (Dhoni) has left behind will be very, very hard to match."

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Dhoni, many feel, will now be able to play freely, having given up the burden of captaincy. Among people who think Dhoni will enjoy his cricket more now, is Virat Kohli, who took over the mantle from the wicketkeeper-batsman.

Ganguly said he was bowled over by Kohli's comments and reiterated that the young captain raised the status of Indian cricket.

"I must also congratulate Kohli because I read what he said on bcci.tv. People like him raise the status of Indian cricket. When you speak so well with whom you have played for so long, it shows what Indian cricket is made of," he said.

Ganguly went down memory lane and said he remembered the time Dhoni walked into the team and having played under him, he wished the Jharkhand superstar a long career.

Slideshow: Sourav Ganguly - The Prince of Calcutta

undefined Sourav Ganguly - The Prince of Calcutta

Ganguly, now president of the Cricket Association of Bengal, said he has fond memories of his days as captain.. "The best thing is Indian cricket has got stronger. I passed on the baton to Rahul Dravid, he passed it on to Anil Kumble and he passed it on to MS, who has now passed it on to Virat.

"When I watch Virat play, I feel amazed at his ability. It has been a great journey for all of us."

Watch: Virat Kohli's special message to Captain Cool Dhoni

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