Heaping praise on former India captain Mohammad Azharuddin, former Pakistan skipper Rashid Latif said he deserves a lot of credit for developing leadership qualities in someone like Sourav Ganguly, which later on helped Indian cricket get some outstanding leaders like MS Dhoni.
While paying a tribute to recently-retired legendary India wicket-keeper batsman MS Dhoni, Latif talked about the culture developed by Azharuddin in the 90s when he was the Indian captain.
"I respect Mohammad Azharuddin a lot. He served Indian cricket for a long time and left someone like Sourav Ganguly. Azharuddin played a great role in developing Ganguly as a captain. Greats like Sachin and Dravid played under Ganguly," Latif said in a YouTube show called Caught Behind.
Ganguly, who made both his Test and ODI debuts in 1996 and in 1992 when Azharuddin was the Indian captain, went on to play 65 matches – 12 Tests and 53 ODIs – under the right-hander's captaincy.
The former Pakistan wicket-keeper batsman said Dhoni's leadership qualities were a result of combined traits of Ganguly and Azharuddin.
Latif said just like Azhar deserves a lot of credit for moulding Ganguly as a leader, the current BCCI president had a big role in shaping Dhoni's career.
"Then if you have a look at Dhoni's career, it depended somewhat on Ganguly. The kind of mindset and leadership qualities Ganguly had was in-born.
"Mohammad Azharuddin made Ganguly. And Dhoni combined both of their qualities and created his own style according to modern-day cricket. He got the match-winning belief in the team, developed that culture in the team, instilled that winning mindset," he added.
Talking further about Dhoni's captaincy, Latif said the wicket-keeper batsman was a leader. He backed young cricketers and gave them the confidence to win matches.
"Dhoni won three world titles which no captain has ever done. Leaders like Dhoni took risks to take the team forward, he motivated young players. He tried to mould cricketers according to his character. Captains like this instil self-confidence in players," Latif added.