Thursday, December 15, 2005

Goodbye Saurav Ganguly

Having been axed from the third India-SL test matches, looks like it’s the end of the road for Ganguly. Though his performance in the Delhi test match was nothing much to write about, he performed consistently in both the innings. I would rather not go into the performance and cricketing reasons for Ganguly’s exclusion from the team, since I am not qualified enough to comment. Far from being qualified, I am just an occasional cricket enthusiast, my enthusiasm peaking for the sport whenever the World Cup draws close. Only to be quashed mercilessly for another four years, by our perennial bridesmaids.

During our stay in Australia in 1999-2000, the Indian cricketing fraternity was at its lowest ebb and the Australians reduced the team to mere spectators under Sachin’s captaincy. Returning back from that Sachin stepped down as the captain and the reigns of Indian cricket were handed over to Saurav Ganguly.

Agreed that in the past four years there were no tournament worth serious consideration we won or we became a colossal cricketing power. What happened, was that we stopped rolling over against our opponents. Well until we reached the finals, and then it was the same of the old.

Under Ganguly the team got balls. He defied tradition, riled his opponents, goaded his teammates and berated the slackers. Ganguly’s legacy will be the Viru Sehwags, Harbhajan Singh, Yuvraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif’s, who undoubtedly will serve us well in the many, many years to come.

What Ganguly gave the team was the never-say-die attitude and the unwillingness to walk away from a fight. Cricket captains don’t wave their jerseys on the balcony at Lords after a win or make opposing captains wait for the toss or be the first Indian captain to win a series against arch-rivals Pakistan, in Pakistan. This kind of behavior is expected of a rugby player, not in a game where they break for tea.

But Ganguly did all these things and much more. He was assertive, demanding and cared deeply about winning. No Indian cricket captain, maybe with the exception of Kapil Dev, came even close to Ganguly’s never-say-die demeanor. Its unfortunate that this is how his career had to end, but sad as it may be, he set the team upon an irreversible path of winning, despite his own performance being patchy.

So though it was time for Ganguly to go, he will leave the scene as the most successful cricket captain in the history of the sport.

And I for one, am pretty convinced, that in my lifetime, I am never going to see any Indian captain, wave his jersey from a balcony, at any opposing team. Goodbye Dada.


Blogger Anshul said...

Agree with you, Sourin.
SG and John Wright have changed the entire outlook of the team in the last couple of years and Greg/Rahul are successfully carrying on the baton.

I feel we are concentarating on building up the winning team rather than exceptional individuals.

10:47 AM  

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