Former India cricketer and chairman of selectors Kiran More revealed that it took around 10 days for the team selectors to convince Sourav Ganguly to let MS Dhoni keep wickets for East Zone in 2003-04 Duleep Trophy final against North Zone in place of Deep Dasgupta. He also added that it was a time when India was looking for a wicketkeeper who could have given quick runs in the middle order
More added that the experiment of playing Rahul Dravid as the wicketkeeper had gone on for too long. And it was then that the team was in search of a keeper who could have brought a balance to the team, and eventually spotted Dhoni. “We were looking for a wicket-keeper batsman. At that time the format was changing and we were looking for a power-hitter, someone who can come at No.6 or 7 and get us quick 40-50 runs. Rahul Dravid played 75 ODI matches as a wicket-keeper and he played the 2003 World Cup as well. So, we were desperate for a wicket-keeper”, said More in a YouTube show called ‘The Curtly & Karishma’ hosted by Karishma Kotak and former West Indies pacer Curtly Ambrose.
“My colleague saw him first, then I went and saw him. I especially flew down and saw him get 130 runs out of the team’s total of 170. He smashed everyone. We wanted him to play in the finals as a wicket-keeper... So, it took about ten days to convince Sourav and his selector to ask Deep Dasgupta to not keep wickets, and to let MS Dhoni keep wickets”, said More.
More also played as a wicketkeeper in the India team during 1986-1993, having played 49 Tests and 94 One-day Internationals (ODI).