'Sachin, Rahul, Sourav Played Roles in Dhoni Becoming Captain'


PTI
 
Mumbai, May 12:
Apart from Sachin Tendulkar, former skippers Rahul Dravid and Sourav Ganguly also played key roles in Mahendra Singh Dhoni's appointment as the Indian captain for the inaugural World Twenty20 Cup in 2007, former chief selector Dilip Vengsarkar revealed on Monday.

"I was in England then (as the then selection panel chief watching the Indian team in action) and interacted with Sachin, Rahul and Sourav who felt Dhoni had the right attitude to become the India captain," Vengsarkar said.

"We (selectors) too felt so, though there was initial apprehension about how he would assume full charge", he said.

The senior trio had pulled out of the Twenty20 World Cup to pave the way for Dhoni to become the captain and create history by leading the squad to a spectacular triumph by beating arch-rivals Pakistan in a pulsating final in South Africa.

Vengsarkar said he knew that the team would win the 2007 title after the league opener against Pakistan which ended in a tie and had to be resolved through a bowl-out won by Dhoni and his men.

"We had beaten Pakistan in our first match in 1985 in the Benson and Hedges (World Championship in Australia) and went on to win the championship", Vengsarkar recalled, explaining reasons for his optimism two years ago about the Dhoni-led side.

The former Test batsman felt in the seaming conditions of England, a total of 180 should be a winning one.

"I feel that a total of 180 would be a winning score," said Vengsarkar.

He also dismissed concerns raised by India coach Gary Kirsten that the fatigue factor could work against the team as the IPL ends only on May 24 and the World T20 Cup begins in just over 10 days time.

"I don't agree with Kirsten. They have a week's time -- if they choose not to take part in commercial shoots -- to rest after the IPL before the T20 World Cup," he pointed out.

Vengsarkar also expressed confidence that key players -- pace spearhead Zaheer Khan and Virender Sehwag -- would recover from their injuries ahead of India's top assignment.

"I'm confident Zak and Viru would be available to play in the T20 World Cup", he said, referring to the injuries sustained by the duo in the IPL.

The former captain did not wish to say which other teams, apart from India, were capable of clinching the title, saying the shortened form of the game was such that any team can beat any other team.

"In Twenty20, any team can beat any other team. All the teams can win but I feel India have the best chance to win the Cup", he said. 

  

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