The name Sourav Ganguly is not new for the Indian team fans. He is well known for his aggressive captaincy. The tiger from Bengal is also known as the DADA of Eden Gardens, Kolkatta. He is the one who changed the face of the Indian Cricket team after the fixing scandals in the late 1990s which earned much disrespect for the team. He laid a path which resulted in the earning of global respect for the team. The contribution of Sourav Ganguly to the Indian Cricket team can be briefed as “Ganguly has neither been a genius or a saint or a great batsman. But he has served with distinction and leaves Indian cricket in a much better state than he found it.” Let’s take a memory lane into some of the top moments in his career.
A century on Test Debut
Sourav Ganguly made his test debut in 1996 when India toured England. In the second match of the test series, he made his debut in the Home of Cricket, Lords. The debut was an unforgettable one for him as he scored a century of 131 runs. In the same match, he proved that he was a handful medium pace bowler by taking three wickets. Subsequently, the match was drawn.
Took over Captaincy
In 2000 after some players of the team were alleged for the fixing scandals Sourav Ganguly was named as the team captain as the former captain Sachin Tendulkar resigned it due to his health issues. Ganguly was the vice-captain during that time. As a captain, he impressed the fans by taking the team to the finals of ODI Knockout cup in 2000. During his era, he introduced and developed many gems in the team. A major part of the gems was instrumental in India’s Worldcup win in 2011. They are Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan and Mahendra Singh Dhoni.
Runner-up in 2003 Cricket World cup
The men in blue who were well known as “DADA ARMY” managed to become as the runners-up in 2003 Cricket World Cup. In the finals, they lost to the Mighty Aussies who were dominating the international cricket at that time. During the tournament, he became the first Indian to score a century on a knock out match in an ICC Cricket tournament. He had a successful world cup personally scoring 465 runs with an average of 58.
The Famous Celebration in Lords
During the final match of Natwest series in 2002, after the great finish of Mohammed Kaif to take home the team, Sourav Ganguly went aggressive as he celebrated the victory by removing his jersey in Lords. This was supposed to many criticisms. In Sourav’s defence, it was merely a response for Andrew Flintoff’s celebration in Wankhede in the previous ODI series between India and England. All of these things apart the celebration is still a treat for his fans.
Sacked from Captaincy in 2005
In 2005 during India’s tour of Zimbabwe, he scored his 12th test century in the first test. Greg Chappell was the coach of the team. Ganguly’s dispute with him resulted in many headlines. Chappell had emailed the BCCI, stating that Ganguly was “physically and mentally” unfit to lead India and that his “divide and rule” behaviour was damaging the team. Following this controversy he was sacked from the team as captain and also got dropped from the team.
Comeback in 2006
Following India’s poor batting display in the 2006 ICC Champions Trophy and the ODI series in South Africa, in which they were whitewashed 4–0, Ganguly made his comeback to the Test team. During his first Test innings since his comeback, against South Africa in Johannesburg his score of 51 helped India to victory, marking the first Test match win for the team in South Africa. After his comeback into the test team, he was recalled into the ODI team. In his first ODI innings after almost 2 years, he scored a match-winning 98.
These are some main moments that every Ganguly fan will cherish forever. The service he rendered and rendering now for the Indian cricket team is unmeasurable. Currently, he is having a successful profession as the president of Bengal Cricket Association and also the adviser for the BCCI. He was an untold story in the history of Indian Cricket Team.