Ganguly picks Dhoni to lead his all-time great Indian ODI side

Kolkata, Jul 9 (PTI): Former India captain Sourav Ganguly on Monday spoke highly of Mahendra Singh Dhoni as he picked the current skipper to lead an all-time great Indian one-day side.

Talking to media at his residence on his 41st birthday, Ganguly said: "Dhoni has a phenomenal record (of winning all the world titles). If I were to pick a side, he would definitely captain an all-time great Indian XI because of his batting ability as a wicketkeeper."

"I've not seen any wicketkeeper with the batting prowess of Dhoni. I may give it a thought for a Test side, but Dhoni is an obvious choice for one-dayers," he added.

Ganguly, however, clarified that he would not figure in the XI as he was picking the side.

Refusing to compare himself with Dhoni, who has become the most successful Indian skipper, Ganguly said: "I don't believe in comparisons. You can't compare eras, players, opposition etc. It isn't possible."

Free from cricket, Ganguly is now contemplating writing his autobiography.

"I was waiting for the right time. I continued to be really busy after giving up international cricket. There was IPL. But now, I will (write) for sure. It is difficult to say at this point whether it will be a 'tell all' but there's no doubt I will write and speak the truth," said Ganguly, who retired from international cricket in November 2008.

Asked whether Virat Kohli has the flair for captaincy in future, Ganguly said, "I'm not looking him as a captain yet. I'm more impressed of him as a batsman, whenever he scores India wins."

In the absence of Dhoni, Kohli led from the front with a masterly 102 for a bonus point win against the West Indies to keep Indian hopes afloat in the ongoing tri-nation series.

"Indian youngsters are doing a good job but we have to give them six months to one year time to pass a judgement."

The retired cricketer reckoned India have a bright chance to reclaim the numero uno status in Test ranking with packed calendar ahead.

"The series against South Africa later in the year would be a battle between one and two. More than the pressure, it would give us an opportunity to make a statement. On green pitches conducive to movement and pace, batting would be testing. We have a tough year ahead but it would determine the Test ranking also," he said.

Asked whether it would be Sachin Tendulkar's swansong series, Ganguly said, "It's difficult to say... All depends on him, if you look at his age it seems to be the last one."

Jammu & Kashmir off-spinner Parveez Rasool's journey from being a terror suspect to getting into the national team spread a ray of hope in the Valley and Ganguly said: "It's an inspiring story. Nobody knows what future has in store. One should always start the day positively and not lose hope."

"With no Ravichandran Ashwin (for the Zimbabwe-bound squad), he should get an opportunity," he said.

It's been less than five months since his father Chandidas passed away and Ganguly has no plans to celebrate his birthday.

"It would have been different some other time but the situation is different," he said.

However, he recalled his birthday celebrations after winning the NatWest Trophy final on July 13, 2002.

"We won it after my birthday. It was a double celebration. I still remember the gala party at Central London," he signed off on an emotional note.


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