Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Ganguly-The Man of The Masses

Let my first article concern a topic in which I am very familiar and can explain my ideas in a fair manner.I am not a great fan of Ganguly but I admire his early days as a batsman and his wonderful captaincy where one could see fire in him.He silenced his critics.He was the only captain who took on the Great Steve Waugh and brought about a new aggression in the Indian cricket team.I believe this genius deserves a better send off equal to Steve Waugh.The reason for this is my article.

Saurav Ganguly-Prince of Calcutta

This is an exciting topic to discuss.Let me tell about the Emergence,the Rise and the Fall of Ganguly if you are not aware of it.

1992-Was a part of the 16 member squad in the Indian team which embarked on a tour Down Under after some awesome performances for Bengal in the Ranji matches.Bad mouthed the team management for being made to sit in the reserves and being asked to carry drinks to the players(Thinkin that he was the Prince of Calcutta) throughout the tour.

He did nt get into the team though his performance in the Ranji nmatches though his performances were the best in India due to too much politics.

1996-After a dissapointing World Cup,India toured England which can be called as a tour where two new stars were born-Rahul Dravid and Saurav Ganguly.Ganguly and Dravid made it to the team in the 2nd test after losing the first test.Ganguly started his International career with a bang-A fitting reply to his critics.Started with a century on debut and thrashed away the English bowlers with.Dravid made a solid 95.Sourav looked very confident in that innings against the likes of Rose,Lewis etc..His boundaries on the cover area were a treat to watch

From here on,started a new chapter in Ganguly's cricketing career where he was welcomed by the Indian audience and was at one stage almost equal to Sachin in terms of popularity.He opened the batting in ODI s with Sachin.His performances were stunning and was called as "The God on the Off-Side" by his fellow mate Rahul Dravid.His average was always 44+.This goes to show his consistency.He was a good bowler too and picked up two 5 wicket hauls.His test performance too was not at all bad.He even now averages 43+ in tests.

1998-Shared the record with Sachin for the highest opening partnership against Sri Lanka and scored a wonderful match winning knock of 124 at Dhaka against Arch-Rivals Pakistan.His timing was simply brilliant.His elegance was there,perfect.The way he used to smash those mighty sixers made me wonder if there could be any other player on Earth who could hit a six better than him.He makes his sixers look so easy.

1999-Scored 183 which is supposed to be Ganguly's best knock so far in ODIs.He hit 7 sixers in that innings in which one broke a camera on the top floor of the Pavilion stand and one was hit outside the ground and the ball was never seen again.These innings paved him way to become the vice captain of the team deputing Sachin Tendulkar.Since Sachin's essay as a Captain was not as impressive as his batting,he voluntarily resigned the job in 2000.

2000-Took over one of India's prestigious post as the Captain of the Indian Cricket team after Sachin Tendulkar resigned.The team was in shatters after the match fixing scandal and credit should be given to Dada for bringing up the team.He has the distinction of being the only Indian Team Captain who called up the entire team to come to the dias and collect the cup.That was the Sahara Cup at Toronto which was his maiden tournament as Captain.From then on,there was no looking back for this man.He brought up young guns like Yuvraj and Kaif into the side.

2001-This can be called as one of the golden years in his life.He took on the Aussies even before they could arrive here.He made fitting replies to Steve Waugh's comments on the pitches in Indian grounds.Though the hosts lost the first test at Mumbai after a dismal performance.The rest is history. Harbhajan,Sachin,Laxman and Dravid came to his rescue but his control on the field was amazing.The way he encouraged Bhajji was great which made him even take a hat-trick.His fiels placements were amazing.The attacking mindset of Ganguly really helped Bhajji and he looked so confident.

2002-Who can forget this year???.......Natwest triumph at The Mecca of Cricket..This chap showed his body to the whole world(Freddie style)...But credit to be given to him on the battin part surprisingly for the start he gave to the side..smashin the bowlers all around the park.The way he hugged Kaif later (I dont think he would have even hugged his wife in that manner) showed his true character,like how happy and involved he was.That one aspect I ve never seen in any Captain in World Cricket

2003-After 20 years, an aggressive captain made the Indian team reach the finals of a WC.This is none other than our DADA..His shrewd captaincy was the main factor in their morale-boosting performances after a disappointin start in the WC.It was correct on his part to voice the team's opinion through Sachin after huge violence set the scene in many of the cricketer's houses after a disgusting performance against Australia in the league match.His brave decision to play Bhajji instead of Jumbo was to be appreciated but I see no justification in his act but though accept that it was a tough choice to make.

2004-After the WC,the Indians were on a high and set out on the tour to Pakistan.The convincing victories in both the test series and ODI s made Ganguly even bigger among the masses.The way he commanded respect from his team mates was simply amazing.The 2004 tou Down Under showcased how great and confident he was while taking on the Aussies.The Indians before leaving the Chennai Airport were the underdogs but things changed once they arrived in Australia.Started off with a draw in the first test at Brisbane,thanks to the overcast conditions and frequent rain.But Ganguly led from the front and exuded confidence in the team with a brilliant 144*.He gave a fitting farewell to Waugh by preventing him from leaving his cricketing career with a series victory.The series was levelled 1-1.

From now on,started the dark phase,the entry of Creg Chappell..It was Ganguly who insisted on Chappell takin up the job and wanted to work with him but Chappell had other plans.But Ganguly's horrible batting form was a main factor to his exclusion.His decision to discuss that issue in the press conference was very bad and that too after scoring a century seemed he like he wanted to justify his captaincy with a century against the minnows.This was not at all expected of him.I think now he must be regretting for what he has done.But still I believe Dada should have been given some more chances considering his stature in the Indian team.People like Kiran More, I think has no right to talk so ill of Ganguly.

So on the whole,I believe he should have been given a better farewell and not be treated in such a shabby manner.One of the main aspects which I really admire in him is the fact that he always defends his decisions and his players and always sounds confident in the post-match presentation ceremonies and press conferences and always defends his players when they are going through a bad phase.His words are so powerful and sends out clear messages to the opponent's camp.

You can clearly see the three stages-Emergence,Rise and Fall of Dada in the 3 pictures above.. Ganguly-The Captain stands tall and higher than the other two.

Comments,suggestions and feedback are always welcome




Jeevan said...

this is really nice ,,, i m a great fan of ganguly and i admire this article like him,,,

durga said...

simply awesome..i ve nothing more 2 say of ur meticulous portrayal of Sourav's cricketing life...
i wil allow myself however 2 say tht it is scintillating,riveting,informative an moving....
A brilliant first on ur blog.