Sourav Ganguly: The controversial normal


Sourav Ganguly    Getty Images
Sourav Ganguly Getty Photographs

The mercurial Sourav Ganguly was born July 8, 1972. Abhishek Mukherjee appears to be like again at a person who appeared in numerous shades in Indian cricket all through his profession.

Notice: This text was written in 2012. A whole lot of numbers have modified since then (not for Ganguly, however for some others talked about right here).

It’s troublesome for anybody to stay impartial in direction of Sourav Ganguly: you have to love him or hate him. Certainly, the cricket fraternity is nearly completely composed of individuals with robust views for or towards the person.

He was the person who made Steve Waugh await a toss and made his followers inexplicably proud; he was the person who scandalised Lord’s by taking off his jersey to disclose in torso within the Lord’s pavilion voicing his ecstasy; he was the person whose tussle with Greg Chappell was essentially the most talked-about side of Indian cricket within the mid-2000s; he led India to their first World Cup closing in 20 years and but received only one event throughout his tenure; he led India to a Take a look at win in Australia after 23 years and to a house sequence defeat towards them for the primary time in 35 years.

Being from Kolkata provides in to the components: How does one bear in mind Sourav Ganguly? I vividly bear in mind his First-Class debut. It was a Ranji Trophy closing, no much less. After Bengal had been mauled within the 1988-89 closing at Delhi, they needed to pull off one thing particular to avenge the defeat and extra importantly clinch their second title.

In what appeared like a unusual transfer, Sambaran Banerjee determined to draft in Sourav Ganguly. The selectors had been shocked absolutely they may not thrust a 17-year previous into the Ranji Trophy closing? Sambaran caught to his opinion based mostly on the grounds that he [Ganguly] would supply Bengal with the essential third seamer on a useful Calcutta pitch. He additionally supplied Sachin Tendulkar’s inclusion for instance.

Satirically, Sourav changed his elder brother Snehashish, thought-about by many because the extra proficient of the 2. When one thing related occurred within the Waugh family over a 12 months later (albeit on the Take a look at degree) individuals in Bengal had been not likely shocked.

As issues turned out, Ganguly bowled solely 6 overs on a pitch conducive to seam (the 2 opening bowlers picked up 3 wickets apiece) and Delhi was bowled out for 278 on Day Two. When Manoj Prabhakar and Atul Wassan diminished Bengal to twenty for two a way of d j vu had crept in amongst us huddled in entrance of the tv.

The teenaged Ganguly stepped out and dealt with the seamers with ease. One can nonetheless bear in mind the strokes between cowl and level: the ever-dependent Arun Lal smothered the assault, and at shut Bengal had been 54 for 2 with Ganguly on 22. He fell on the identical rating subsequent morning however the vogue during which he took on Prabhakar left us with little doubt that Bengal’s finest batsman had arrived. Arun Lal then guided Bengal to their Ranji Trophy title and amidst the celebrations Ganguly’s 22 was forgotten.

Little did we all know that he would go on to mould Indian cricket in additional methods than one in simply over a decade’s time.

Thereafter we heard of him solely sporadically. There have been tales of him bossing across the St Xavier’s cricket group by advantage of his highly effective and prosperous household. Some individuals attributed the angle as authoritative and even ‘regal’ (true to his nickname ‘Maharaj’ he was but to be known as ‘Dada’) whereas some others known as him a snob. We received to know that his sixes simply crossed the St Xavier’s grounds and even the adjoining Park Avenue on a number of events: they known as him a destroyer of spin; others known as him weak towards bounce. We knew that he had given up a probably good profession in soccer and took up cricket on the insistence of his brother.

We had no concept what to consider. Due to Doordarshan, we didn’t see him bat rather a lot since that Ranji Trophy closing and we needed to fall again on the tales. In the present day, reflecting at his profession, one can not assist however assume that the rumours could have been true. The weak point towards short-pitched bowling remained as did the lofted drives towards spin, particularly left-arm spin.

He scored 100 and picked up 4 wickets within the Duleep Trophy match towards a robust West Zone facet subsequent season and scored 74 within the Ranji Trophy quarterfinal towards Karnataka (the bowling assault featured Anil Kumble, Javagal Srinath, Venkatesh Prasad, and Raghuram Bhat, and the facet additionally boasted of Syed Kirmani and a sure Rahul Dravid) that Bengal famously received on ‘quotient’ chasing 791.Ganguly had ended the season with 570 runs at 81.42 and 20 wickets at 38.30. It might actually not be the final time that Ganguly and Dravid’s paths would cross.

The subsequent 12 months he received a spot within the Indian squad to Australia. He performed only one ODI at Gabba scoring a 13-ball three and was fully at sea towards the West Indian quick bowlers. He failed within the two tour matches towards New South Wales and Queensland, scoring 47 from three innings and never choosing up a wicket: he was shelved for over 4 years.

There have been rumours, although, that Ganguly, regardless of being the latest member of the facet, had been smug sufficient to defy his seniors’ orders, even refusing to do his duties as a twelfth man. However with time these rumours received quashed and Ganguly started the lengthy exhausting manner up again.

The participant

Ganguly had scored 7,212 runs from 113 Assessments at 42.17 with 16 a whole bunch. He had additionally picked up 32 wickets at 52.53. In ODIs his data had been considerably higher 11,363 runs from 311 matches at 41.02 with 22 a whole bunch and 100 wickets at 38.49 with two five-fors. Identical to Sunil Gavaskar, his profession batting common by no means dipped beneath the 40-mark.

Surprisingly, his home data had been nearly equivalent: from 254 First-Class matches he scored 15,687 runs at 44.18 with 33 a whole bunch and picked up 167 wickets at 36.52 with 4 five-fors; in 437 Checklist A matches he scored 15,622 runs at 41.32 with 31 a whole bunch and picked up 171 wickets at 38.86 with two five-fors.

Together with Sachin Tendulkar, Dravid, VVS Laxman, and Virender Sehwag, he’s usually thought-about part of the ‘Fab 5’ of Indian cricket within the 2000s: the place does Ganguly stand within the quintet? Was he actually part of the league on the identical boat because the others?

The next desk is considerably self-explanatory:

Desk 1: Batting data of ‘Fab 5’

Profession Profession (excluding Ban, Zim) Away (excluding Ban, Zim)
R Ave R Ave R Ave
Sachin Tendulkar 15,387 53.86 14,099 51.08 7,645 52.00
Rahul Dravid 13,265 52.63 11,726 50.11 6,632 51.41
VVS Laxman 8,781 45.97 8,384 46.32 4,648 42.64
VVS Laxman (not as opener) 8,096 48.47 7,699 49.03 4,233 48.95
Virender Sehwag 8,503 49.43 8,151 49.70 3,569 45.17
Sourav Ganguly 7,212 42.17 6,311 41.24 3,447 41.03
Disclaimer: Away matches embody matches performed on impartial venues
Disclaimer: matches for ICC World XI have been excluded

Ganguly’s numbers had deteriorated considerably as a captain. In reality, he has not batted as poorly below some other captain.

Desk 2:Ganguly as captain and in any other case

R Ave
as captain 2,561 37.66
not as captain 4,651 45.15
below Mohammad Azharuddin 1,000 52.63
below Sachin Tendulkar 1,505 41.80
below Rahul Dravid 746 41.44
below Anil Kumble 1,086 43.44
below MS Dhoni 314 62.80

In reality, Ganguly’s stature within the Indian batting line-up has diverse considerably throughout his management versus the management of others.

Desk 3: The three phases of Ganguly’s profession

R Ave
pre-captaincy 2,055 45.55
as captain 2,561 37.66
post-captaincy 2,146 44.71

In ODIs, although, Ganguly had been one of many greats of the game and nonetheless stands at sixth on the all-time checklist by way of runs and fourth by way of a whole bunch. Aside from Tendulkar, Sanath Jayasuriya, and Jacques Kallis, Ganguly is the solely different one to have reached the double of 10,000 runs and 100 wickets in ODIs.

Aside from Viv Richards and Paul Collingwood (who’ve achieved the feat in the identical match) Ganguly is without doubt one of the three all-rounders (aside from Yuvraj Singh and Chris Gayle) who’ve achieved each the all-rounder’s doubles of fifty and 5WI and 100 and 4WI in the identical ODI. Aside from Tendulkar and Jayasuriya he’s the one one to have scored over 20 a whole bunch and have snared two 5WIs in ODIs.

Nonetheless, regardless of his spectacular tally of runs, a whole bunch, and common, Ganguly’s strike fee of 73.7 has not been top-of-the-line within the sport, particularly on condition that Dravid (71.2) and Kallis (73) are usually thought-about sluggish batsmen.

The next desk shows Ganguly’s stature amongst Indian batsmen with over 7,000 ODI runs. Ganguly’s achievements are apparent from the information, however so is his fallibility in antagonistic circumstances:

Desk 4: Indian batsmen with over 7,000 ODI runs

Profession Profession (Aus, Eng, NZ, Pak, SA, SL, WI) Away (Aus, Eng, NZ, Pak, SA, SL, WI)
Ave SR Rating Ave SR Rating Ave SR Rating
Sachin Tendulkar 44.83 86.23 58.99 43.04 85.24 57.20 40.14 83.05 54.12
Sourav Ganguly 40.95 73.65 52.63 37.97 73.07 47.78 35.89 71.45 47.78
Rahul Dravid 39.15 71.18 50.52 38.61 70.83 49.98 35.85 66.94 46.69
Mohammad Azharuddin 36.92 74.02 49.27 36.35 73.79 48.71 35.78 70.47 47.46
Yuvraj Singh 36.90 87.39 51.89 35.88 85.79 50.60 33.22 83.31 47.50
Virender Sehwag 35.37 104.44 52.84 34.68 102.67 51.85 33.52 100.32 50.25
MS Dhoni 50.63 87.55 64.16 48.77 86.96 62.49 43.58 83.11 57.18
Disclaimer: Away matches embody matches performed on impartial venues
Disclaimer: matches for ICC World XI, Asia XI, and many others are excluded
Disclaimer: The rating is the harmonic imply of the typical and strike fee

His partnership with Tendulkar on the prime of the Indian batting has undoubtedly been one of many options of Indian cricket within the Nineteen Nineties and 2000s. The pair has placed on extra runs than any pair in ODI historical past. Their 176 partnerships have yielded 8,227 runs at 47.55 with 26 century stands (Jayasuriya and Marvan Atapattu are second with 5,462).Ganguly and Tendulkar’s tally solely as openers comes to six,609 from 136 innings at 49.32 with 21 hundred partnerships and they lead this column as properly.They’ve put up three partnerships in extra of 240.

Ganguly had additionally added 4,363 runs with Dravid from 88 innings at 50.14 with 11 hundred-stands. They kind the seventh-most prolific partnership in ODI historical past. Aside from their world file second-wicket stand of 318 runs additionally they had a 236-run stand.

The lesser recognized side of Ganguly and Tendulkar’s partnerships is their file in Assessments: with 4,173 runs in 71 innings at 61.36 and 12 century-partnerships they rank ninth within the all-time checklist; of all partnerships with over 4,000 runs they rank second by way of common solely after Matthew Hayden and Ricky Ponting.

Dream debut

After India’s sudden exit within the World Cup semi-final in 1996, the selectors seemed for choices: they introduced in Dravid first (albeit for ODIs) after which pooled in Ganguly for the tour of England. He performed within the ODI at Previous Trafford and scored a strong 46 and made an impression.

Then, after Navjot Sidhu left for dwelling following a rift with Azhar, Ganguly made his debut within the second Take a look at at Lord’s together with Dravid. 4 different Indians had made their debut within the first Take a look at at Edgbaston which India misplaced. Azhar put England in and the hosts had been bowled out for 344 within the second afternoon (Ganguly took 3 wickets, for good measure). Popping out at 25 for 1, Ganguly batted until stumps on Day Two with Tendulkar for firm. He remained unbeaten on 26.

Circumstances had been very best for seam bowling on Day Three; England had a four-pronged seam assault; however Ganguly was as much as the problem, discovering the off-side fence with uncannily positioned drives (the ‘God of off-side’ tag would come later) principally by cowl. He misplaced three of his companions and eventually discovered a dependable accomplice in Dravid. He finally drove Dominic Cork by the covers to turn into the third batsman to attain 100 on debut at Lord’s and his 131 continues to be the best rating by a debutant at Lord’s. The hundred had taken him 237 balls and he had hit 17 fours.

The shape didn’t cease: Ganguly and Tendulkar discovered themselves with the rating on 33 for 2: as soon as once more Ganguly performed a wonderful innings, outdoing his effort at Lord’s. He placed on 255 with Tendulkar and went on to attain 136 in 268 balls with 17 fours and a couple of sixes, thereby changing into the third batsman to attain a whole bunch in his first two Take a look at innings. Nonetheless not content material he scored a brisk 48 within the second innings.

With Tendulkar additionally scoring two a whole bunch within the sequence and Dravid simply lacking out (he scored 95 and 84 in his first two innings, falling agonisingly in need of his maiden Take a look at hundred) India’s new-looking batting order seemed prepared for the long run. Ganguly was named the Indian Cricket Cricketer of the 12 months that season.

Love thy neighbour, and extra

Quickly after his return from England Ganguly eloped together with his childhood flame and neighbour Dona Roy, a scholar of the legendary Kelucharan Mohapatra. Given the feud between the Gangulys and Roys over generations a correct marriage was inconceivable, which meant that they needed to marry secretly. Former Bengal cricketer Malay Banerjee organized for a wedding registrar and a secret marriage ceremony came about at Banerjee’s place on August 12, 1996 with solely essentially the most trusted buddies current.

Each households turned furious because the information received out extra so as a result of it was an inter-caste marriage. Fortunately the mother and father finally noticed sense and the couple had a correct marriage ceremony reception on February 21, 1997. Dona later went on to turn into an achieved Odissi dancer.

Uncovered towards tempo and a fightback

When Australia toured India for the one-off Take a look at at Delhi Ganguly seemed all set for his third hundred in three Assessments a file nonetheless held by Azhar. Nonetheless, when he was on 66, a ball from Brad Hogg took his glove (or wrist simply above the glove the replays stay inconclusive) and the resultant catch was taken, thereby ending his goals. He completed issues off with a 21 not out within the fourth innings. After three Assessments, Ganguly’s profession tally learn 402 runs at 100.50.

It was at Jaipur in the course of the Titan Cup that adopted that Ganguly and Tendulkar opened batting for India for the primary time. They added 126 however India collapsed after their partnership was damaged and misplaced by 27 runs. Nonetheless, extra considerably, the best opening partnership in ODIs had been shaped.

Ganguly missed out the primary dwelling Take a look at towards South Africa at Ahmedabad however performed within the second Take a look at at Calcutta his first match towards his dwelling crowd. The livid tempo and uncanny bounce of the Proteas took him unexpectedly and he ended up scoring 86 runs from 4 innings. He was even booed by his dwelling crowd for his obvious incapacity to deal with tempo. The nightmare continued in South Africa the place he scored 69 within the first 4 innings.

He fought again at Wanderers, although: as Dravid scored his first Take a look at hundred a well-compiled 148 when India had been down and dusted within the sequence Ganguly supported him ably with 78. Within the second innings, too, he performed second fiddle with 60 to Dravid’s 81.

Thereafter Ganguly scored 3 a whole bunch (147 at SSC, 109 at Mohali, and 173 at Bombay) in a span of 4 Assessments towards Sri Lanka; in between got here a 99 at Nagpur. Within the Bombay Take a look at he hit one of the humongous sixes Wankhede has ever witnessed a lofted drive off Kumar Dharmasena that simply cleared the stadium. Throughout this part he additionally scored 113 at Premadasa his maiden ODI hundred when no person else crossed 28.

In between the 2 sequence, nonetheless, was sandwiched the Sahara Cup of 1997 the best level within the profession of Sourav Ganguly the ODI all-rounder.

Sahara Cup 1997

The annual bilateral ODI sequence towards Pakistan at Toronto was speculated to consist of 5 matches however after the third match received known as halfway off a sixth was named as alternative. Ganguly scored 222 runs within the sequence at 55.50 and picked up 15 wickets at 10.67 from the 6 ODIs. Although ten different males have managed to attain 200 runs and take 15 wickets in an ODI sequence or event none of them have achieved it in as few as 6 matches. He picked up two or extra wickets each innings he bowled in and received the Man of the Match awards 4 consecutive instances.

Of the 11 Ganguly is the one one to have had a sub-15 bowling common. Additionally, the opposite ten circumstances have both been in World Cups or on Australian soil. Within the course of he returned figures of 10-3-16-5 within the fourth ODI his first five-for and finally his career-best figures.

Toronto to Taunton

Toronto had established Ganguly as one of many main ODI cricketers. Certainly, not solely was his partnership with Tendulkar on the prime of the order a peerless one, he additionally began to contribute with the ball. The shape prolonged to the longer model as properly. He shared the brand new ball at Calcutta with Javagal Srinath within the 1997-98 Australia Take a look at and picked up three for 28, following up with an innings of 65 and put up an unbeaten 194-run partnership with Dravid at Hamilton to attract a Take a look at; however the extra grand performances got here within the shorter model.

First got here Karachi: chasing 266 in 47 overs India misplaced Tendulkar early however Ganguly saved the match alive with a violent 96-ball 89 earlier than the middle-order pulled off the match the ending act offering by a Rajesh Chauhan six that got here out of nowhere.

Then got here Dhaka: the ultimate was a best-of-three affair the place India clashed with Pakistan of their third sequence in six months. Pakistan piled up 314 for five, asking India to drag off a world file 315 in 48 overs.

It was one of many best chases ever: Tendulkar succumbed after an preliminary 26-ball blizzard of 41 however the shock transfer to push Robin Singh as much as three labored. Ganguly finally fell for a 138-ball 124 and Hrishikesh Kanitkar introduced up the successful runs with a single ball to spare.

In 14 matches towards Pakistan over six months Ganguly had scored 658 runs at 59.82 and had picked up 16 wickets at 18.75: India had managed to show the decade-long pattern.

There have been different moments of glory, just like the world file 252-run Singer-Akai Nidahas Trophy in Sri Lanka with Tendulkar (they’d break the partnership themselves in a number of years). Simply earlier than the World Cup Ganguly scored 130 and picked up 4 for 21 towards Sri Lanka, and seemed all set for the event.

Ganguly started properly with a well-compiled 97 towards South Africa at Hove. A lot had been mentioned about his weak point towards tempo and there had been strategies to ship the specialist Sadagoppan Ramesh out to open with Tendulkar however Ganguly managed to silence his critics with the innings. India misplaced the match and misplaced the next one at Leicester towards Zimbabwe.

After a convincing win towards Kenya India moved to Taunton to face Sri Lanka.Ramesh fell within the first over with the group rating on 6; the remainder was historical past: Ganguly and Dravid placed on the first ever 300-run partnership in ODI historical past. The 2 added 318 runs 269 balls, and even after Dravid fell for a 129-ball 145 Ganguly marched on.

The County Floor was too small to include Ganguly in his pomp: he hit 17 fours and 7 sixes, went previous Kapil Dev’s 175* and set a brand new Indian file, and finally fell for a 158-ball 183 making an attempt to interrupt Saeed Anwar’s file of 194. India received by loads and had been again within the event.

He scored one other essential 40 and picked up three wickets towards England to carry his facet to the Tremendous Sixes. Nonetheless, India didn’t make it to the semi-final and crashed out of the World Cup.

Captain of India: First stint

Ganguly’s captaincy debut got here in a rain-curtailed 30-over match towards West Indies at Singapore. With each Tendulkar and Ajay Jadeja injured Ganguly was requested to guide a depleted India (that contained six left-handed batsmen for the primary time for an Indian facet).

He received an extended stint later that 12 months at Toronto towards West Indies. The brand new captain led India to a 2-1 sequence victory and received hearts by asking “can I name up my boys?” in the course of the closing presentation.

Slowly, absolutely, with Jadeja’s spot within the Take a look at facet being below scrutiny, Ganguly emerged because the vice-captain of the Indian facet. In between he scored an outstanding 153 not out towards New Zealand at Gwalior an innings lots of his followers think about his finest within the shorter model. He scored 153 out of 261 group runs (a whopping 58.6%). Essentially the most majestic stroke got here off Chris Cairns when a yorker was hit out exterior the boundary-line disdainfully.

The mantle, lastly

After the debacle in Australia the selectors most popular Ganguly over Jadeja as Tendulkar’s deputy. Nonetheless, after South Africa pulled off an in depth match towards India Azhar was recalled for the second and closing Take a look at at Bangalore.

Darkish shadows of match-fixing had been already looming closely on the Indian cricket group. There had been a rift between Azhar, the prime suspect, and Tendulkar, accepted by most as the nice embodiment of integrity in Indian cricket the 2 males who had outlined Indian batting within the Nineteen Nineties greater than anybody else. Tendulkar had already voiced his displeasure at Azhar’s choice. Regardless of Azhar’s majestic 102 (together with his group and the group opposing his presence within the facet) India misplaced by an innings.

When selectors named Azhar within the subsequent ODI squad Tendulkar resigned in protest: the nice man had in all probability needed Ganguly and the opposite seniors to assist him. As an alternative, Ganguly assumed the position because the captain of India. A couple of years later Ganguly would criticise Dravid for doing precisely the identical however we are going to come to that later.

To his credit score, Ganguly managed to guide India to a good 3-2 win within the sequence. There have been speculations that there have been a number of fastened matches, however Ganguly marshalled his troops fairly capably on discipline essentially the most important a part of which was dealing with Tendulkar and Azhar concurrently.

Captain of India

Ganguly started his tenure somewhat poorly, not having the ability to take India to the ultimate of the Coca-Cola Cup in Sharjah or the Asia Cup in Bangladesh that adopted. Nonetheless, when India resumed cricket after a niche of 4 months the suspected gamers (Azhar, Jadeja, and Nayan Mongia, amongst others) weren’t within the facet anymore.

Ganguly’s India toppled Australia and South Africa within the 2000 Champions Trophy knock-out matches however misplaced within the closing to offer New Zealand their solely main trophy until dat even after India had New Zealand at 132 for 5 once they had been chasing 265 for a victory.

Ganguly had by now led India in three sequence failing to win a single one. The excellent news was the truth that his first Take a look at as captain can be towards Bangladesh who can be enjoying their first Take a look at.It was not simple, although: Bangladesh, defying the low expectations, piled up 400 within the first innings; it took a superlative efficiency from Sunil Joshi (92 and eight wickets) to win the match from there.

Regardless of a daring declaration in towards Zimbabwe at Delhi (Ganguly closed the innings solely 36 runs forward) leading to a win India didn’t handle to bowl out Zimbabwe twice at Nagpur. Andy Flower appeared inconceivable to get out and Ganguly seemed clueless on discipline towards his masterful show towards the spinners.

Defending the ultimate frontier

The critics didn’t give India an opportunity when Australia toured India. Ganguly had lately did not win a Take a look at towards Zimbabwe whereas the Australians had received 15 matches on the trot. Issues seemed worse when India had been mauled at Mumbai regardless of Tendulkar’s good batting; Ganguly’s unusual ways to ask Tendulkar to bowl with Australia on 99 for 5 had been criticised; regardless of Harbhajan Singh’s hat-trick Australia had been allowed to succeed in 445 from 269 for eight at Kolkata; and India had been requested to follow-on.

Then the turnaround occurred. On John Wright’s insistence Ganguly despatched VVS Laxman to bat at quantity three: one of the talked-about rearguard actions occurred, and Harbhajan and Tendulkar bowled India to a historic victory. India then clinched a thriller at Chennai because of Harbhajan and Tendulkar, and India received one of the wonderful sequence ever.

Ganguly was hailed a hero, however a better look would reveal that the sequence was received on the person performances of 4 males Laxman (503 runs at 83.83), Dravid (338 runs at 56.33), Tendulkar (304 runs at 50.67), and Harbhajan (32 wickets at 17.03). No one else averaged over 30 for India with the bat or picked up greater than 5 wickets with the ball, and it might hardly be known as a group effort.

The followers additionally hailed him for making Steve Waugh wait on the toss intentionally, mentioning that it was a wonderful show of sportsmanship hardly ever seen on discipline. Nonetheless, years later, Ganguly confessed on the Bengali speak present Dadagiri (which he hosted) that it was not worldwide: he merely had misplaced his blazer which had delayed his arrival on the floor. The incident had managed to harass Waugh, although: he talked about in his autobiography that Ganguly had accomplished it to ‘wound up’ Waugh.

The ‘Bengal Tiger’ roars

After the sequence, nonetheless, there was little doubt about Ganguly’s place on the mantle. Incidents like being unable to win a sequence in Zimbabwe didn’t matter, and neither did the sequence loss towards Sri Lanka. The second Take a look at at Galle, nonetheless, can be remembered for his superlative 98 not out.

India had conceded a lead of 42 however had managed to carry Sri Lanka down at 157 for 9. Muttiah Muralitharan then performed the innings of his life a 67-ball 65 to carry the Indian goal to 264: it was a frightening ask towards Murali, particularly with Tendulkar and Laxman out because of accidents.

Ganguly strode out at 103 for two to hitch Dravid; the duo added 91 in 157 balls to carry India considerably, after which Ganguly added 71 with Mohammad Kaif in 101 balls to complete the match very quickly. Not solely was Murali defied, he was mastered as properly, and was taken for practically 4 runs an over.

India misplaced the sequence as talked about above, and had been then overwhelmed in South Africa a sequence principally remembered for the suspensions Mike Denness dished out to the Indian cricketers. They received the house sequence towards England but it surely was a victory that might hardly be known as complete.

The subsequent season India toured West Indies and received at Queen’s Park Oval, however West Indies fought again fiercely to win at Kensington Oval and Sabina Park to clinch the sequence. Ganguly had by now received Assessments in 5 abroad nations however had managed to win a sequence solely in Bangladesh.

India, nonetheless, managed to win the ODI sequence in West Indies, triggering off an incredible run of ODI successes that season.

The one event he received

India reached England with out loads of expectation from the followers. They dominated their solution to the ultimate of the event to satisfy the hosts, however as soon as once more issues seemed hopeless as England piled up 325 for 3.

Ganguly and Virender Sehwag then launched a thunderous assault, displaying utter disdain for the England seamers. He had scored 89 from 6 innings within the event however now he got here to his parts: 100 got here up very quickly and when Ganguly finally fell for a 43-ball 60 India had been manner on observe.

After a collapse Yuvraj and Kaif added 121 runs to pull off an incredible victory which led Ganguly to have fun at Lord’s in essentially the most outrageous of fashions. The conservative Lord’s was shocked. Indian cricket followers had by no means seen something related beforehand. He later donated the shirt to a retailer in London.

Sourav Ganguly: Controversial, candid and combative, he was general that changed the face of India cricket

Picture courtesy: Wikipedia.

Regardless of the highs the Take a look at sequence started on a damaging observe with a complete thrashing at Lord’s. It was some superlative batting from Dravid, Tendulkar, and Ganguly adopted by a dogged combat by younger Parthiv Patel that saved them at Trent Bridge.

At Headingley, although, Ganguly picked two spinners below overcast circumstances and went for the one possibility he had to bat first to offer his spinners a good likelihood. Dravid, in a gritty show of willpower, focus, and method, carved out what was arguably the innings of his life, Tendulkar scored a dominant 193, and Ganguly supplied the ending touches with a pleasant 128, hitting Ashley Giles for 3 sixes in an over.

The spinners bowled India to an innings victory. Dravid scored a double-hundred at The Oval, and India returned with the sequence levelled 1-1. It was the sixth abroad nation the place Ganguly had received a Take a look at, the one sequence victory coming in Bangladesh.

India reached the ultimate of the Champions Trophy however a washout ensured that the trophy can be shared collectively by India and Sri Lanka. India, nonetheless, fully blown away by the New Zealand seam assault in each Assessments and ODIs: the morale of the Indian group wasn’t precisely on a excessive as they went to the World Cup.

Rising like a phoenix

India had a nightmare begin to the World Cup: Netherlands pushed them exhausting (India didn’t final 50 overs) and Australia beat them by 9 wickets. Again dwelling the risky followers stoned and tarred the gamers’ residences: the group they’d supported albeit blindly had turned them down.

India clawed again: the three seamers, Srinath, Zaheer Khan, and Ashish Nehra bowled admirably, and Tendulkar batted head and shoulders above everybody else within the event. Ganguly, too, did his bit ending second on the runs tally (although he completed 208 runs behind Tendulkar) however his contribution was restricted to the affiliate nations:

Desk 5: Ganguly in World Cup 2003

M R Ave SR 100s
In opposition to Take a look at nations 7 127 18.14 70.6
In opposition to affiliate nations 4 338 338.00 87.8 3
Whole 11 465 58.12 82.3 3

India reached the ultimate, however Ganguly erred by placing Australia in at Wanderers: the Indian seamers, particularly Zaheer, was a bundle of nerves that day; Ricky Ponting and Damien Martyn massacred the bowlers and India went on to lose by a whopping 125 runs.

Down Underneath and extra

After failing to beat New Zealand at dwelling India set sail for Australia. Australia had the weakest bowling assault in years lacking their champions Glenn McGrath and Shane Warne. Their different two stars, Jason Gillespie and Brett Lee, had been additionally obtainable solely sporadically all through the sequence, which meant that the Indian batsmen made merry on a sun-baked Australian summer season.

Certainly, Dravid scored a career-best 233 at Adelaide (topping 300 within the Take a look at); Sehwag made merry and threw it away when he seemed like taking it away at Melbourne; Laxman scored huge a whole bunch at Adelaide and Sydney; Tendulkar scored a chanceless career-best 241 not out at Sydney (as soon as once more, topping 300 within the Take a look at); however the first of all of them got here from Ganguly: he scored 144 and added 146 with Laxman for the fifth wicket.

Nonetheless, but once more, India received an abroad Take a look at below Ganguly however had did not clinch the sequence. India moved to Pakistan, and with Ganguly sitting out nursing an damage Dravid led India to their first ever victory on Pakistan soil. It got here at the price of an argument, although.

With Tendulkar advancing albeit at a slower tempo than desired in direction of his 200 Dravid declared the innings closed at 675 for 5 with Tendulkar on 194. Faisal Shariff wrote on Rediff: “Sourav Ganguly signalled the declaration earlier than stand-in captain Rahul Dravid waved to [Sachin] Tendulkar to return to the pavilion.” Nonetheless, Ganguly later modified the model, calling it ‘a mistake’.

India misplaced the second Take a look at however received the third Take a look at at Rawalpindi to clinch their first ever sequence in Pakistan (because of Dravid’s magnum opus of 270) and all was forgotten. That 12 months Ganguly was awarded the Padma Shri.

The decline

Then got here the decline, and it got here too quick for consolation. India misplaced a sequence towards Australia after 35 years; they managed to beat South Africa at dwelling however couldn’t defend its dwelling sequence towards Pakistan: Abdur Razzaq and Kamran Akmal defied them at Mohali and the Pakistani spinners received the Bangalore Take a look at for them.

The Indians, particularly Ganguly, had been booed by the group in the course of the awards ceremony; the identical crowd, in an uncharacteristic show that was unthinkable even 5 years again, cheered every little thing the Pakistan captain Inzamam-ul-Haq mentioned. Issues seemed ominous for Ganguly and his group.

His personal kind didn’t assist. As India saved on dropping Assessments and ODIs Ganguly’s kind had plummeted to an all-time low. For the reason that victory in Pakistan until the top of the Pakistan sequence at dwelling he managed solely 204 runs at 20.40 in different phrases, worse than the bowlers:

Desk 6: Ganguly’s dip in Take a look at kind Might 2004 to September 2005

M R Ave
Parthiv Patel 3 156 31.20
Anil Kumble 9 198 24.75
Irfan Pathan 6 188 23.50
Dinesh Karthik 6 207 23.00
Sourav Ganguly 7 204 20.40

The scene was not very completely different in ODIs both. Ganguly scored 487 runs from 21 matches at 25.63 with a strike fee of 63.2, and ended up beneath each Kumble and Zaheer by way of averages.

His a lot talked-about extra-marital relationship with the actor Nagma (one thing that the Ganguly family had vehemently opposed) had already come to an finish simply earlier than this part. Nagma herself had talked about in an interview to Savvy:”There was a profession at stake, moreover different issues, so one needed to half. One needed to weigh loads of issues, somewhat than be on an ego journey and demand on being collectively.”

She had added: “When it turns into an excessive amount of, it begins affecting the curiosity of each other. Then slowly, although you’re speculated to convey happiness to an individual’s life, you convey distress. Then it’s in the most effective pursuits to maneuver on. Love and respect for one another will stay.”

Chappell arrives

Greg Chappell and Ganguly weren’t strangers to one another earlier than the previous’s appointment as India’s coach in 2005. Throughout his tour Down Underneath Ganguly had sought the recommendation of the legendary Australian on find out how to enhance his efficiency. Ganguly scored the aforementioned 144 at Brisbane after the session. The grateful scholar even wrote the foreword to Chappell’s guide Greg Chappell on Teaching,and fortunately admitted that “I’ve no hesitation in saying he has made a big contribution to my batting. He urged a number of psychological and technical changes they usually will need to have been good.”

Chappell would go on to name Ganguly “a wonderful batsman (who) had hassle with the ball rising into the road of his physique he was extraordinarily likeable and a very good scholar.”Issues circled in lower than two years.

Quickly after his preliminary interplay with the captain because the group coach Chappell mentioned “This was a really completely different Sourav from the constructive, bold younger man I’d met in Australia. This Sourav was filled with self-doubt and caught up in his personal wrestle for survival.” He added that “he didn’t desire a coach he needed a political ally.” However extra on that can comply with later.

When India toured Sri Lanka in 2005 Ganguly was going through a four-match suspension and Dravid was appointed captain. Nonetheless, Ganguly was not reinstated as captain when the ban was over, and he was made to play below the management of Dravid. This was the primary time he performed for India below another person because the South Africa ODIs of early 2000. The event below Dravid handed with out a lot fuss.

Murky. Very murky

The drama started on the Zimbabwe tour. With Ganguly again on the helm India simply went previous Zimbabwe however misplaced to New Zealand within the closing. Then got here the Mutare match the place Zimbabwe Board XI declared at 294 for 9. The rating was a cushty 382 for 3 when Ganguly walked out to bat.

Chappell later wrote: “Sourav batting when the second new ball grew to become due, determined to stroll off after 4 overs. He was retiring damage, however appeared to haven’t any damage. I urged he go for an MRI scan, however he declined. He was, for my part, merely afraid of a failure earlier than the Take a look at sequence.”Ganguly had apparently felt a ‘click on in his elbow’.

Ganguly had in all probability been paranoid of his failure; nonetheless, the captain’s reluctance to come across tempo did little to spice up the group’s morale. Chappell added: “When the hazard had handed, he requested Kumble to retire in order that he might return in. Admirably, Kumble ignored him. The subsequent day, I requested a few of the group about Sourav’s antics, they usually mentioned it had been happening for years.”

Chappell later wrote in that ‘notorious’ e-mail to the BCCI the one which ‘someway’ made its solution to the press: “Once we arrived in Bulawayo I made a decision I wanted to ask Sourav if he had over-played the damage to keep away from the hazard interval of the brand new ball because it had appeared to me and others throughout the touring get together that he had protected himself on the expense of others. He denied the suggestion and requested why he would try this towards such a modest assault. I mentioned that he was the one one who might reply that query.”Ganguly finally returned when the ball was 20 overs previous and scored 46.

After this match Chappell requested Ganguly to step down and drop himself from the facet even if Tendulkar had dominated himself out of the tour: “I felt we needed to decide Kaif and Yuvraj following their good kind within the one-day sequence and that Sehwag, Gambhir, Laxman and Dravid needed to play. He mentioned that his file was higher than Kaif and Yuvraj and that they’d not proved themselves in Take a look at cricket. I countered with the argument that they needed to be given an opportunity to show themselves on a constant foundation or we’d by no means know. I additionally mentioned that their kind demanded that they be chosen now.”

Afterwards Laxman had come as much as Chappell questioning whether or not the coach needed him out of the facet. When Chappell requested Laxman he needed to confess that he had received the piece of data from Ganguly. At 6.00 pm that day Chappell organized for a gathering with each Ganguly and Laxman the place the captain might by no means clarify the allegations correctly.

Ganguly, nonetheless, threatened that he would pull out of the tour had he not acquired unequivocal assist. It took some coaxing from Chappell and Dravid to cease him from doing one thing so drastic. Thus retaining his place Ganguly got here out to bat at 228 for 3 after Zimbabwe had been bowled out for 279 at Bulawayo. He scored a painstaking hundred his first because the Brisbane 144. He finally fell for 101 in 262 balls after batting for six hours. India received comfortably and Ganguly was retained.

India received the following Take a look at at Harare, clinching the sequence. Rather a lot was made within the press for India ‘successful a sequence exterior Asia after 21 years’. Issues didn’t look rosy for Ganguly, although. Greg King’s reviews constantly talked about that the captain did the least health coaching.

The worst bit got here in direction of the conclusion of Chappell’s e-mail: “This group has been made to be fearful and distrusting by the hearsay mongering and deceit that’s Sourav’s modus operandi of divide and rule. Sure gamers have been handled with favour, all of them bowlers, whereas others have been shunted up and down the order or not noted of the group to swimsuit Sourav’s whims.” Chappell added: “It’s time that every one gamers had been handled with equity and fairness and that good behaviours and attitudes are rewarded on the choice desk somewhat than punished.”

Ganguly went on to say that Chappell had arrived with some ‘private vendetta’ towards him however was surprisingly quiet on precisely what they had been.

A number of of the juniors, nonetheless, confirmed immense respect in direction of Chappell’s tenure and have acknowledged his affect on the formation of the careers. Suresh Raina, for instance, mentioned: “Greg Chappell at all times ensured that kids get their due within the Indian group, and it’s due to him solely that the likes of RP Singh, Dhoni, Murali Kartik, and others had been capable of play within the Indian group.”

The axing

BCCI, for as soon as, noticed sense. In all probability as a response to Chappell’s e-mail the choice panel, headed by Kiran Extra, determined to drop Ganguly for the ODIs towards Sri Lanka. Even after India took a 4-0 lead and a recent group was introduced for the final three matches Ganguly was not recalled. The group, in the meantime, returned to its successful methods below Dravid.

Ganguly was recalled for the Take a look at sequence as a batting all-rounder regardless of a bowling common of over 50. He was most popular to the seamer Zaheer in a choice that defied logic fully. Ganguly was most popular forward of Yuvraj within the first Take a look at (Tendulkar had returned by now).

Ganguly failed within the first Take a look at at Chennai and the stage was set for Yuvraj to return at Delhi. Nonetheless, Sehwag pulled out of the Take a look at owing to an sickness and each Ganguly and Yuvraj performed. After India received the Take a look at by an enormous margin Extra introduced that Ganguly would get replaced by Kaif within the squad.

The drama continued as Dravid pulled out of the third Take a look at, leading to Sehwag to guide and leaving a clean spot. India, nonetheless, performed Kaif and Ganguly was not recalled. India received by a good greater margin to clinch the sequence.

In the meantime, protests began, particularly in Kolkata. Chappell’s face was used because the face Mahisasura the demon villain of Durga Puja; effigies of Chappell had been burned on the streets; roads had been blocked; and the trigger was escalated by Federal Parliamentarians to Lok Sabha.

Ganguly was omitted for the house ODI sequence towards South Africa. Eden Gardens supported South Africa within the ODIs nearly unanimously, and the uproar that went up as Charl Langeveldt hit Dravid’s timber had put this columnist, who was current on the floor, to disgrace.

India surrendered meekly on a green-top wicket to a 10-wicket defeat, a lot to the enjoyment of the hostile Kolkata crowd who applauded each stroke by Graeme Smith and Andrew Corridor all through the South African innings. In the meantime, Ganguly, again to home cricket, scored 159 on the identical day (after choosing up 5 for 75) towards Maharashtra at Pune; the Eden Gardens scoreboard saved on flashing updates from the match one thing they’ve by no means accomplished throughout a global match amidst raucous cheer from the group.

Issues went worse as the group booed Chappell with banners and posters in entrance of the group coach. Chappell retaliated by displaying his center finger on the mob, which made it to the information the following day amidst offended responses.

It took Dravid immense psychological power to sq. the sequence at Mumbai with a gutsy 78 not out towards a high-quality four-pronged seam assault. Ganguly, nonetheless, managed to retain his A-grade BCCI contract whereas Yuvraj and Kaif needed to be content material with B-grade ones.

As an final result Extra determined to drop Ganguly from the squad to Pakistan. Subsequently, a really quick sequence of occasions came about. To cite The Hindu from December 21, 2005, “Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly flew down right here [New Delhi] on Tuesday to satisfy BCCI President Sharad Pawar to current his case within the wake of the current developments regarding his ouster from the group.”

After a dialogue with Ganguly and agreeing to an unbiased enquiry, Pawar apparently talked to ‘a number of senior cricketers’ of the Indian group, who mentioned that Ganguly’s presence didn’t hamper the dressing-room surroundings.

The trail of return was now clear for Ganguly. It didn’t actually matter to him that he had ditched his one-time mentor Jagmohan Dalmiya and had sided with the latter’s rival Pawar.

On December 25, 2008, Mumbai Mirror known as the complete incident a ‘low-cost paperback thriller’ and wrote: “Pawar, the brand new boss of Indian cricket, has achieved three essential targets in a single shot by orchestrating Ganguly’s newest restoration:

– He has completed the Jagmohan Dalmiya menace, maybe as soon as and for all, by taking up the mantle of Ganguly’s saviour and silencing all of the voices that had been saying the sacking was a part of a political vendetta;

– He has managed to point out new coach Greg Chappell, the selectors, and different board members that, regardless of all of the heavyweights within the BCCI, he’s certainly the boss;

– He has taken the warmth off himself, raised in Kolkata by Ganguly’s torch-bearing followers, and by the Left entrance in Parliament.”

Consequently Ganguly changed Kaif within the tour to Pakistan as soon as once more as batting all-rounder. Extra issued a press release that the recall was not because of any exterior purpose. Dravid opened the batting with Sehwag (one thing Ganguly had refused to do in Zimbabwe) to accommodate Ganguly a slot and to accommodate an additional bowler at Faisalabad. Ganguly didn’t do a lot of observe and was dropped for good.

Years later Ganguly vented out his fury on Dravid on the bottom that the latter didn’t converse as much as Chappell and the selectors and had accepted the provide to guide India. The truth that Ganguly had not protested himself when Tendulkar had stepped down as a protest towards Azhar’s inclusion was conveniently forgotten; as talked about above Ganguly had assumed the submit with no fuss.

The assault had come out of the blue simply when the complete nation was basking within the brilliance of Dravid’s Don Bradman oration, a speech that had impressed the complete cricket world. It was additionally timed simply earlier than a demoralised India’s tour of Australia.

Few individuals had questioned Dravid’s credibility or integrity earlier than or after the allegation, and of the 2 it was actually not Dravid whose picture took a toll after the incident. Ganguly has, and can nonetheless have his followers probably taking a dig at Dravid with an enthusiasm to match their celebrations after Dravid’s aforementioned dismissal off Langeveldt at Eden Gardens however years forward, time will in all probability not be as type to him for his angle.

Was it as a result of Dravid was not at fault when Ganguly had misplaced his place within the facet? Was it as a result of Ganguly had been the blue-eyed boy when his profession had taken off and Dravid a second hero, solely to see the roles swapped each on discipline and off it as time handed? One can solely speculate.

The comeback

India progressed properly for the following season, as did Ganguly at home degree. Whereas India thrashed Pakistan, England, and West Indies in ODI sequence and have become the primary Asian facet to win a sequence in West Indies in 35 years Ganguly performed brilliantly within the 2005-06 home season, scoring 521 runs at 52.10 and choosing up 19 wickets at 19.31.

Ganguly finally made his comeback throughout Dilip Vengsarkar’s tenure as Chairman of Selectors. Enjoying towards The Relaxation (that included Nantie Hayward and Morne Morkel amongst others) on the South African tour of 2006-07 he scored a defiant 141-ball 83 at Potchefstroom, including 139 with Irfan Pathan to carry India from 69 for five.

Ganguly had modified his method and had tailored to a middle-stump guard. Chappell, impressed by Ganguly’s enchancment and software, was all in reward: “It was a wise transfer. It confirmed that he had utilized his thoughts and give you the best technique to beat the circumstances. He appears to be like calm, relaxed, very match. He appears to be like like he’s labored exhausting on facets of his sport. He’s making use of each thoughts and technique and that’s displaying.”

The comeback started at New Wanderers. Popping out at 110 for 4 Ganguly top-scored with 51 and guided India to 249. India dominated the remainder of the Take a look at because of a lifetime efficiency from S Sreesanth and an exquisite innings from Laxman, happening to win their first Take a look at in South Africa. Nonetheless, they misplaced the sequence 1-2.Ganguly scored 66 and (after he was promoted to 4) 46 within the final Take a look at at Newlands, and was again in enterprise.

Ganguly’s best 12 months

Quickly afterwards Ganguly made a comeback to the ODI facet: within the seven ODIs towards West Indies and Sri Lanka at dwelling Ganguly scored 347 runs at 69.40 and received the Man of the Sequence award towards Sri Lanka. Regardless of India’s early exit (and shock defeat towards Bangladesh at Queen’s Park Oval) within the World Cup Ganguly did properly, after which performed two high quality innings for Asia XI towards Africa XI. He had scored 629 runs at 57.18 from 12 matches and seemed just like the Ganguly of yesteryears.

In all he scored 1,240 runs at 45.96 with 12 fifties from 32 ODIs in 2007 and ended fifth on the planet. He additionally picked up his one centesimal ODI wicket in his closing ODI by trapping Shahid Afridi leg-before.

He additionally sparkled within the longer model, scoring 102 at Kolkata towards Pakistan after which finally scoring that elusive double-hundred: he bludgeoned his solution to a 361-ball 239 and adopted it with 91 within the second innings falling solely 14 in need of Sunil Gavaskar’s match tally of 344 runs. He additionally did properly in Australia, and ended 2007 with 1,106 runs from 10 Assessments at 62.59 with 3 a whole bunch.

Ganguly’s most interesting hour

The 87 at Kanpur in 2008 can probably be thought-about the best innings in Ganguly’s profession. After scoring 265 South Africa unleashed a rampant assault consisting of Dale Steyn, Makhaya Ntini, Morne Morkel, and Jacques Kallis. The pitch provided awkward tempo and bounce and the batsmen had issues going through the deadly assault.

Steyn, particularly, was on hearth: the earlier week he had bowled out India in a single session. Right here, too, he bowled with hostile tempo and the pitch did its finest to assist him. Ganguly, nonetheless, was unflinching in his method, and took India previous the South African rating, fully oblivious to the wickets tumbling round him.

He was finally ninth out for a blinding 119-ball 87 with 9 fours and a six simply the most effective efficiency of the Take a look at. Even Harabhajan’s 7-wicket haul didn’t stand an opportunity whereas selecting the Man of the Match award: the selection was unanimous. Ganguly went on describe the innings as ‘one of many perfect’ of his profession.

Remaining days

Ganguly had a depressing sequence in Sri Lanka. The Indians usually struggled towards Murali and Ajantha Mendis and misplaced the sequence 1-2. Ganguly scored 96 runs at 16, and subsequently introduced that he would retire on the finish of the house sequence towards Australia.

He did fairly properly even in his final essay: after a few first rate scores at Bangalore he added 142 for the fifth wicket at Mohali and finally went on to top-score with 102 his final Take a look at hundred. The hundred turned out to be essential as India obtained a 201-run lead and went on to clinch the Take a look at.

He scored 85 within the first innings of his final Take a look at at Nagpur, getting out simply when it appeared that he would end his Take a look at profession with 100 simply the way in which he started it with one. He scored a golden duck in his closing innings.

The ultimate blow

Ganguly performed home cricket until the 2011-12 season, scoring 424 at 53.00 in his final season and choosing up three for one towards Baroda. He additionally performed in IPL, captaining Kolkata Knight Riders and Pune Warriors India. In 2012 he led Bengal to the Vijay Hazare Trophy his first main trophy win for Bengal.

The ultimate blow got here when Kolkata Knight Riders didn’t retain Ganguly within the 2011 auctions (Dravid was not retained both, however Rajasthan Royals confirmed curiosity in him and finally made him captain of the facet; Laxman was acquired by Kochi Tuskers). Sentiment had performed a big half in Ganguly’s recognition as participant and captain: in the course of the public sale he discovered himself going through a distinct world one fully devoid of emotion and nostalgia.

As H Natarajan wrote, “Sourav Ganguly may very well be the primary sufferer of the company tradition that’s invading Indian cricket by the Indian Premier League. When the chilly and calculating czars of the company world are flexing their monetary muscle, they don’t permit sentiments and feelings to return into the equation.”

It was d j vu for Ganguly. When ousted by Chappell he nonetheless had the chance to combat again, what with Pawar preventing his trigger, his wonderful home kind the next season, and the shortage of correct replacements. This was completely different, although: the state of affairs couldn’t be modified by energy or cash and even by on-field performances anymore; in truth, each energy and cash had been working towards him this time.

Ganguly was agitated: “This isn’t cricket in any respect. I’m shocked that issues can go right down to a degree {that a} cricketer can not play in his personal nation for no fault of his… I used to be very disenchanted the franchises stalled the repurchase. The foundations of the IPL have been modified up to now. Each rule in sport ought to give a chance to play, not preserve them out whether or not it’s Sourav Ganguly immediately or another participant someday.”

Natarajan summed it up very aptly in his article: “I’m sure many males who mattered from numerous groups would have walked as much as Ganguly or will accomplish that in future to inform him that they fought for his inclusion of their group and that the choice to not bid for him was taken by another person. Sure, no person killed Sourav Ganguly! The Royal Bengal tiger has been killed and no person desires to assume he’s a poacher. Nicely, saving the Tiger is nothing greater than a slogan in our nation!”

Ganguly finally received an opportunity to play for Pune Warriors India in direction of the top of the season. When Yuvraj finally pulled out of IPL the following 12 months he even received an opportunity to guide the Warriors. Had IPL had its personal model of Graham Gooch he might need gone up and requested Ganguly “who writes your scripts?”

The season turned out to be a humid squib, although particularly the much-hyped ‘revenge’ matches towards Kolkata Knight Riders. To make issues worse for Ganguly, the Knight Riders ended up successful the event after making it to the semi-finals for the primary time.


He works as a commentator today and is often thought-about top-of-the-line in enterprise. His outspoken, candid methods haven’t modified and make frequent appearances by the microphone. The freshness he brings within the commentary field is unquestionably a welcome break from the clich s the networks have been shelling out to the viewers for years now.


As a captain Ganguly completed with 21 wins and 13 defeats from 49 Assessments and 76 wins and 65 defeats from 146 ODIs. True, his performances have been considerably lesser towards the stronger oppositions, however he nonetheless stays one of many higher captains India has ever produced.

Desk 7: High captains of India Assessments (cut-off: 25 Assessments)

Profession Profession (Aus, Eng, NZ, Pak, SA, SL, WI)
MS Dhoni 47 24 12 2.00 46 23 12 1.92
Sourav Ganguly 49 21 13 1.62 38 12 12 1.00
Rahul Dravid 25 8 6 1.33 23 7 6 1.17
Sunil Gavaskar 47 9 8 1.13 47 9 8 1.13
Mohammad Azharuddin 47 14 14 1.00 44 13 13 1.00

Although he simply ranks second amongst Indian captains his win-loss ratio comes right down to fourth not solely after the undisputed Dhoni but in addition after Dravid and Gavaskar. He nonetheless makes it comfortably to the highest 5.

Desk 8: High captains of India ODIs (cut-off: 50 Assessments)

Profession Profession (Aus, Eng, NZ, Pak, SA, SL, WI)
MS Dhoni 141 82 48 1.71 131 73 47 1.55
Rahul Dravid 79 42 33 1.27 71 35 32 1.09
Mohammad Azharuddin 174 90 76 1.18 150 70 73 0.96
Kapil Dev 74 39 33 1.18 70 35 33 1.06
Sourav Ganguly 146 76 65 1.17 110 45 60 0.75

Right here, too, he simply makes it to the highest 5.

Love him or hate him, you can not ignore Geoff Boycott’s ‘Prince of Kaalkuta [Calcutta]’. He could or could not have been the best Indian captain however he was actually a profitable one; and he was top-of-the-line ODI batsmen India has produced. Most significantly, not like many gamers earlier than and after him he has managed to amass a cult standing in Indian cricket.

(Abhishek Mukherjee is a cricket historian and Senior Cricket Author at CricketCountry. He usually appears to be like upon life as a journey involving two elements cricket and literature although not as disjoint parts. A passionate follower of the historical past of the game with an insatiable urge for food for trivia and anecdotes, he has additionally a gradual love affair with the unbelievable assortment of numbers that cricket has to supply. He additionally thinks he can bowl first rate leg-breaks in road cricket, and blogs at He could be adopted on Twitter at

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