Lalchand Rajput, who served as the team manager for India post the resignation of Greg Chappell in 2007, has now opened up on Dhoni as the captain in the initial days of his leadership. Rajput was in-charge of the position as manager when a young Indian side defied odds to lift the inaugural T20 World Cup under Dhoni's captaincy.
He likened Dhoni's style of captaincy to former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly. The Kolkata cricketer remains one of the most celebrated captains of the Indian team and is widely credited to bringing about a revolution in the Indian team. Rajput believes that Ganguly brought a change in the mindset of the players while Dhoni took the baton forward.
"He (Ganguly) used to give players a lot of confidence. Ganguly was the one who changed the mentality of the Indian team and I think it was just carried forward by Dhoni... If Dhoni felt like a certain player had potential, he made sure he gave that player got enough opportunities," Rajput told Sportskeeda during a live video interaction on their Facebook page.
When Dhoni took over the charge of the Indian team, he had senior players in the side including former captains Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, as well as the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and VVS Laxman. Rajput said that Dhoni's style of captaincy had a combination of Ganguly and Dravid. (ALSO READ: On this day in 2007: Tendulkar reaches 15,000 runs in ODIs)
"To be honest, he was very very calm. He used to think two steps ahead because a captain has to make a decision on the ground... One thing I liked about him was that he was a thinking captain," Rajput said.
"He seemed to me like a mixture of Ganguly and Rahul Dravid... Ganguly was very very aggressive and thinking but was positive and thinking."
Dhoni is widely regarded as the one of the finest captains ever to lead Team India. Under his leadership, they took over the No.1 spot in the ICC Test rankings in December 2009.
Also, Dhoni remains the only captain in the history of the sport to lead his team to three major ICC titles - WT20 2007 (now T20 WC), World Cup 2011 and Champions Trophy 2013.