Former India captain and BCCI President Sourav Ganguly is credited with building the career of many players who debuted under him or got backing and support from him and went on to become greats of the game.
Players like Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra, Virender Sehwag, Mohammad Kaif, and Yuvraj Singh are some of the notable names who debuted under Ganguly and formed a special place in the world of cricket for themselves.
However, Virender Sehwag stood out the most thanks to the ability to bat without any pressure in any situation, without a care about the opposition or their bowling. Sehwag had actually made his ODI debut in 1999 against Pakistan under the captaincy of Ajay Jadeja, but it was Ganguly who made him open in ODIs in 2002 and the rest was history.
After Gavaskar, I Haven’t Seen A Better Opening Batsman In Test Cricket In India Than Virender Sehwag: Sourav Ganguly
Virender Sehwag was the first Indian batsman to score a Test triple hundred when he made 309 against Pakistan in Multan in 2004 and then became only one of the four batsmen to make two triple centuries in Tests when he made 319 against South Africa in 2008 in Chennai.
Sourav Ganguly lauded Virender Sehwag as the best opener in Tests after Sunil Gavaskar in India and revealed how he made the Delhi-lad open the innings for India.
“He was such a big player but didn’t get a chance in the batting order. I told him during the England tour, ‘no point in sitting in reserves. See if you can open the batting?’ He didn’t agree to in initially, said he’s never done it and is a middle-order batsman.
But see, from there, he became one of the greatest. After Gavaskar, I haven’t seen a better opening batsman in Test cricket in India than him,” Ganguly said in an interview with The Republic Bangla.
Sourav Ganguly was appointed India captain in 2000 after Sachin Tendulkar resigned from the post after the Australia tour where India lost the Test series 3-0. India was also reeling from the after-effects of the match-fixing scandal, before which India had lost 0-2 to South Africa at home in Tests.