Where the mind is without fear and the head is held high ; Where knowledge is free; Where the world has not been broken up into fragments by narrow domestic walls; Where words come out from the depth of truth; Where tireless striving stretches its arms towards perfection; Where the mind is led forward by thee into ever-widening thought and action - Into that heaven of freedom, my Father, let my country awake. - Rabindranath Thakur (Tagore)
Friday, January 5, 2007
Sourav Chandidas Ganguly (Cricketer): Captain of the Nation
He has the maximum no of centuries with just 77 ODI caps as a captain. He has the maximum winning percentage shared with Kapil. But we should see batting average and no of centuries and half centuries that sourav has scored.
His batting average as captain is in fact more than his personal all time ODI average
55.41 % success
3010 Runs (8 centuries)
Understanding the critically of Cricket, we can reach to a conclusion unequivocally that he is miles ahead of his colleagues and former captains of India whether it is Azahar, Rahul or anyone else.
For more info please see the following links.
Sourav has fought his way where he is now today. He is not a prodigy like Sachin but full of class and confidence. I do not want to compare Sachin and Sourav, as both of them are exceptional cricketer and hugely contributed to Indian cricket. I can remember the days of Sachin-Sourav Opening pair. After decades we got good openers and the best pair of Indian cricket so far. It was elegant to watch, majestic in action. Saurav along with Tendulkar forms the 4th Best Opening Pair in the History of One-day cricket and was involved in a World Record Opening Partnership of 252.
What comes my mind first if I start thinking about my favorite player, Sourav Ganguly. Lot of things and memories, I am writing down top 10.
1. Natwest trophy final : 13 July, 2002
Sourav's celebration and passionate waving of his shirt after India's stupendous resurgence, brilliantly authored by Yuveraj Singh and Mohammed Kaif at Lord's. for more info see
Sourav told before the tournament - "I am here to win games not popularity contests".
- On being criticized by the English media while touring England in July 2002.
2. Toronto 1997 : He set a new World Record for 5 consecutive Man of the Match Awards, washed out Pakistan and West Indies single handed with his bowling and batting. The make shift Indian Captain that time came out as triumphant despite having a B grade Indian team without Sachin.
3. Loosing finals of World Cup 2003 and 2000 ICC champions trophy. It was really a misfortune for India and Sourav. However Indian managed to enter into finals of different tournaments convincingly, they lost many finals during these years.
What gives you the most strength? - asked in 2003 after so many looses of the team
"A Self-belief... I’ve had my share of lows yet, after a bad day, I wake up a stronger person. At this level, a lack of self-belief will be disastrous. "
4. The concept of Team India: this concept came when Sourav was captain of India. After winning ICC champions trophy in 2002 , it was proved that the team India was feeling rejuvenated under the leadership of the Bengal Tiger.
What is your major contribution in the making of 'Team India'? - asked in 2004
Sourav: "There has been a major contribution on my behalf, especially by backing the players. Only when you give them confidence do you get the best out of them. And we can only win when you get the best out of your players. It is all correlated.I have picked boys who are talented and we are reaping the results. Everybody has become a match-winner. Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan are winning matches. Irfan Pathan and Laxmipathi Balaji have come now.."
5. Waiting Steve Waugh for Toss for misbehaving : in next match, "Then, in the 2003 series (on India's tour to Australia), Steve (Waugh) said that let's be on time for the toss now. I said: 'If you behave, I will'. - Sourav
He also told to the team mates.. "A bit of aggression is always good. I have always said that.”
After that Waugh said "He’s very competitive and knows what he wants. He has developed toughness in character and that is what is needed for Indian cricket. Ganguly has proved to be one of the best captains. He has now acquired great leadership qualities" - Steve Waugh
6. 183 in Tonton : His 183 against Sri Lanka remains the highest by an Indian in a World Cup.
May 26 1999 he was involved in the 2nd highest partnership in ODIs: a 318-run partnership with Dravod vs. SL in the 99 World Cup. Rahul & Sourav became the 1st pair to put up a 300 run partnership in ODIs.
7. Banning for slow overrate or Excessive appealing :These events happened regularly in his captaincy, which undoubtedly disappointed his fans.
Sourav was always got lot of allegation for his arrogance, he is aggressive which sometimes sound arrogant to others. He told -"I know what I am. People can label me as they like but it upsets me to hear the word arrogant being used against me. I am not arrogant. Not at all. "- On being called arrogant.
8. Chappel Conflict :In the tour of Zimbabwe 2005 Sep, in which he was newly reinstated as skipper, Ganguly ground out a century. During the match he told reporters that newly-appointed coach Greg Chappell had asked him to stand down as captain - a comment which Chappell later played down. Chappell sent an email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) and the conflict started between them, which cost a lot for Sourav.
"It happens... it happens when two friends fight. I was angry, especially when it came from someone whom you knew for quite some time. You say lot of things when you are angry, but they may be or may not be from the heart." – Dada on spat with Chappell and patching up if given a chance.
9. Coming back in Indian Team after More-Chappel Conspiracy: After almost an year exclusion, The Prince came back in style in International Cricket. When the biggest Sourav’s fan stopped thinking about his return and future, he kept faith on himself, kept on doing his job and proved himself. It’s a strenuous and long battle which he has own and I respect him for this. He made unbeaten half century in his return and contributed in India’s historic test win in South Africa.
Asked what was his reaction about the words of critics that his international career is over -
Sourav told "I didn’t pay attention… So many people were saying so many things… What mattered is what I felt about my abilities… How I looked at myself as a cricketer"
Some words from Sourav after his comeback
"If the going isn’t good, don’t wake up with your head down… Wake up thinking you’ll be successful… You won’t be if you wake up thinking ‘shit, I’m going to fail’… Believe me, one day can change your life… It’s how you approach it… Therefore, back yourself and never give up."
21st Jan, 2007 - His superb 98 off 110 balls in his come back ODI, including 11 fours and 3 sixes, in first ODI against West Indies at Nagpur, will have convinced almost everyone that ‘The Prince of Kolkata’ is back to his best. We was majestic, exquisite and now an idol for young cricketers.
10. Yet to : World Cup Success (a dream soon come to be true??)
Some Comments on Sourav:
Sourav is really the best captain India has ever had. Sunil Gavaskar
The Prince of Calcutta. Two of his special qualities are his intelligence and articulation, both of which have helped him immensely in the world of contemporary cricket. Geoffrey Boycott
Sourav is a great captain and we should be proud of such a leader. Kapil Dev
Sourav’s greatest strength is his mind. He is hardworking - not only in the nets but also mentally. He bounces back. That is his strength. Sachin Tendulkar
On the offside, first there is God, then Sourav Ganguly. Rahul Dravid
http://www.souravganguly.net/kudos.htm (for more comments)
Sourav Ganguly is not just the ‘Prince of Calcutta’ but he is also the ‘Monarch of Indian Cricket’.