When Indian cricket was maligned by the shadow of the match-fixing scandal at the wake of the millennium, Sourav Ganguly was appointed the Captain of the Indian team. The team had nothing more to lose. They were defamed by all the controversy surrounding the team, the team was losing almost all their matches and the rankings soared down, every player was treated with an eye of suspicion. Ganguly taught the guys to stand up tall and face any challenge on the field and he knew that with victories all this would be left behind. He taught the team that though cricket was a gentleman’s game, one can be gentle only when the other person is. Here was a captain who not only led the side with conviction but built a new breed of fighters who were willing to win at any cost. Eventually he ended up winning 21 of his 49 tests as captain and drawing 13 of them, a record not matched by any, in Indian cricket’s history. Why still the best Left Hander India has ever produced has always been criticized and made to stand near the guillotine all along his career?
Let’s put them in points: - and being a follower of cricket I would give this day for this conversation. I invite one and all to debate and prove me wrong.
1. Sourav Ganguly has scored more than 18000 international runs, and is amongst the seven top batsmen in One Day internationals to have scored more than 10,000 runs with 38 career hundreds.
2. He is supposed to be a choker and the one who shows his back to the opposition. His 144 at the Gabba in 2003 was a knock which laid the foundation for India’s success (Drawn Test Series) in the Tour Down Under.
3. His pulling out of Nagpur test in 2004 was highly criticized and why so? Coz Mr. Niranjan Shah the then President of the Vidharba Cricket Association and a staunch critic of Sourav for some political interests in the board, had laid off a green pitch helping the visiting side to fulfil his selfish desire and not national interest. If protesting that for the sake of the country is wrong then, he was.
4. When he was ousted from the team due to undemocratic practices and not cricketing reasons, he showed his grit and determination to come back strong and hard. At the age of 33 he went back to the grass root levels of domestic cricket and came back into the team only with his performance in the domestic leagues. Once back, the talisman in him showed what mettle he is made up of. He scored freely and handsomely and had an average of 54 after coming back in 2005.
Let me know your views. Why criticize this legend of Indian cricket unnecessarily.