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Mohammad Hafeez compares Sourav Ganguly, MS Dhoni, Virat Kohli’s captaincies
By SMCS - Mar 18, 2023 7:40 pm
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Pakistan all-rounder Mohammad Hafeez has recently opined on the captaincy difference between Sourav Ganguly-led Indian side before MS Dhoni took over the reins in 2007 as well. Meanwhile, Hafeez played his last match against India in the 2021 T20 World Cup game in Dubai, which was captained by Virat Kohli as well.

sourav ganguly
Sourav Ganguly

In an exclusive interview with Hindustan Times Digital on the sidelines of the ongoing Legends League Cricket (LLC) in Doha, Hafeez said: “The foundation was laid in the Ganguly era, that is when that mindset was developed that they can beat the world. In Pakistan, to be very honest, that feel was there in the past. We did have a team who could go to any place in the world, look into the eyes of the opponent and play aggressive cricket. In India, that feel came only in the Ganguly era. A finer version of it was seen during Dhoni’s captaincy and that continued through the years making India one of the most favourite teams in any series or tournament.”

He also shared some of the most memorable moments of the India vs Pakistan matches.

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“Every India versus Pakistan match is a memorable one. Whether you lose or win, the experience of being part of the match is totally different. You are appreciated when you win the match and on losing, the fans passionately express their anger. But the one that I remember was that Bengaluru innings (scored 61 off 44 and was named Player of the Match) after which we had won – the T20I match in 2012. There was pin drop silence. I remember it vividly and I want to feel it again. Because when there is a India versus Pakistan game in India and we end up performing well, the packed-stadium becomes silent, I loved that the most,” Mohammad Hafeez again shared.

MS Dhoni
MS Dhoni and Virat Kohli

He also opined on the most memorable match of the 2017 Champions Trophy final. He scored an impressive 57 but India all-rounder Hardik Pandya gave Pakistan quite a scare with his power-hitting abilities.

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“There was a very strong feeling in the dressing room after we beat Sri Lanka and tournament favourites England that we can get the better of any team in the world. So when we went up against India, there was that pressure, but we were also very sure and confident as a team of winning that match. But we also had a strategy. India were comfortable chasing between 280 to 300 and so we decided to break that. We gave a 339-run target to them. So that 40-runs of pressure that we put in their minds, that worked a lot. Everything combined – the performance of Fakhar Zaman and Mohammad Amir – all fell in place for us. And when he dismissed Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma early, we knew we would win because had they performed India would have won. Yes Hardik Pandya performed really well, paatake ache jalaye, but it didn’t work for that day,” Mohammad Hafeez concluded.