The Indian cricket team has had several captains over the years. But none of them were as impactful and successful as MS Dhoni & Sourav Ganguly. Both MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly led the team with panache and took Indian cricket to new heights.
Former India speedster Zaheer Khan was the leading fast bowler under the reigns of both captains. Zaheer Khan made his India debut in the year 2000, which was incidentally the same year in which Sourav Ganguly was named the captain of the Indian team. Zaheer Khan played under Sourav Ganguly till 2005, when the latter was dropped from the team.
MS Dhoni was appointed as India’s captain for the first time in 2007. Since then, Zaheer Khan played under MS Dhoni until his retirement in 2014. Zaheer Khan was also a part of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2011 winning squad under Dhoni. Now, Zaheer Khan has opened up on the similarities between MS Dhoni and Sourav Ganguly.
In a chat show on YouTube, Zaheer Khan said that Sourav Ganguly's support is what was crucial for all the young players. He added that when a player starts featuring for their country at the international level, he or she needs all possible support. Then it is up to them as to how they shape up their careesr. But that initial support is extremely important, which was provided by Sourav Ganguly to Zaheer Khan.
Speaking on MS Dhoni, Zaheer Khan said that when Dhoni was appointed as the captain of the Indian team, there were a lot of senior players around so he didn't have much to do to speed them up. He added that once the senior players started retiring and younger players started coming in, he nurtured them just like Ganguly did during his time. Zaheer Khan further said that this is the quality of a leader which takes the team forward.
Zaheer Khan has been the most successful pacer in the history of Indian cricket across formats. The fast bowler has 311 Test wickets while in ODIs he has bagged a total of 282 wickets. In T20Is, the left-arm pacer has 17 wickets.