HAPPY BIRTHDAY SOURAV GANGULY: It is a simply difficult task to gauge or measure Sourav Ganguly’s contribution to Indian cricket by just analysing or judging some mere facts. Sourav Ganguly, arguably one of the finest captains ever to lead Team India, not only changed the attitude of the national side but also set a solid foundation for the upcoming skippers. As ‘Maharaj’ celebrates his 50th birthday today, let us explore some facts about the man who changed the face of Indian cricket.
The never-say-die attitude
After being appointed as the Indian captain in early 2000s, Ganguly had a tough task at hand. After all, it is not easy to lift a team from the ashes of match-fixing scandal. Ganguly instilled a sense of fearlessness into the young squad which went on to achieve some memorable victories in the history of Indian cricket
Series win against Australia
Sourav Ganguly kicked off his captaincy with a terrific 3-2 ODI win against South Africa. Though, the most remarkable win probably came later against Australia when the his side achieved a 2-1 win against the Aussies in Tests. During that series, the Indian team became only the third side to win a Test match after being forced to follow-on.
Historic victory against Pakistan
In 2004, Indian team under the leadership of Sourav registered their first Test series win in Pakistan. The visitors had clinched an emphatic 2-1 win that series to achieve a historic feat.
Natwest Series victory
One of the iconic events in the history of Indian cricket had taken place back in 2002. Team India chased a mammoth total of 326 against England in the final to win the Natwest Series. It was India’s highest successful ODI run chase at that point of time. Along with the remarkable win, Indian cricket fans will also never forget skipper Sourav Ganguly’s iconic shirt-waving celebration at Lord’s after the match.
Reaching ICC 2003 World Cup final
Indian fans might desperately want to forget the heartbreaking 2003 ICC World Cup final defeat against Australia but what the Men in Blue had achieved in that event is nothing less than a miracle. Sourav Ganguly led a youthful Indian squad with sheer conviction and an unmatched passion to the final. As a batter, Ganguly scored three centuries in that edition of the World Cup. He is also the only Indian skipper to notch three centuries in a particular World Cup.
Sourav Ganguly led Indian team in 49 Tests and managed to win 21 matches along with 15 draws. In the 50-over format, he captained the team on 146 occasions and emerged victorious 76 times.