Akhtar pat for skippers Ganguly, Dhoni

In his just-released autobiography ‘Controversially Yours’, he says that Ganguly’s decision to bring youngsters had changed the face of their team and Dhoni had benefited by that when he took charge of the side.

“An important thing that happened to Indian cricket was the captaincy of Ganguly. I think he was a superb captain, a giant of a man in a slight body. One of his greatest gifts to his side was the very brave decision to bring in youngsters, and he backed them as well. This has changed the face of their team. Dhoni has benefited greatly after taking over Ganguly’s team,” Akhtar writes.

Akhtar described Dhoni as a smart man. “He is also an intelligent captain and manages his resources perfectly. Plus, he wants to win. India is blessed to have someone as level-headed as him at the helm.

“I admire the way he overcomes problems, and on the field he is calm and collected, and means business. He knows how to lead and the Indian team were deserving winners of the 2011 World Cup,” he says.

Akhtar also had good things to say about the likes of Yuvraj Singh and Virender Sehwag, who he thought “played to win’. “Things changed when younger players like Virender Sehwag and Yuvraj Singh arrived on the scene. These guys didn’t play for records. They played to win.

“I know our whole team gives Sehwag the credit for being the one to lead India’s winning streak. Gautam Gambhir and he have given India quick and wonderful partnerships. Before that, there was only Sachin; the poor man carried the entire burden on his shoulders. With him, was Dravid who has a great technique but has never been a match-winner,” Akhtar says.

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