Friday, January 29, 2016

The Fantastico Indian Cricketer I grew up Adoring - Part I

The Fantastico Indian Cricketer I grew up adoring - Part I

As an Indian several Indian players left a deep impact on me during my growing years. As kids when playing in our neighbourhood, we wanted to play like our famous superstars and imitated their every move. Obviously Sachin was the favourite of everyone but there were a others too who were worth emulating and in this post I will talk about a great leader and a versatile batsman, a man who led India with his heart on his sleeve.

Sourav Ganguly

He made his test debut in 1996 and hit a 100 at Lords to kick start his career. Although he played over 100 tests and scored over 7000 runs his real value came as a captain of the side where, with his dynamic leadership he spurred a team to achieve great feats under him. He was known as Dada (elder brother in Bengali) and he was also known for his off side play which earned him the nickname ‘God of the Off Side’. But he was also known to be very weak against the short rising ball and opposition teams generally used the short ball tactic to silence him.

His greatest feat as a captain came when India faced a rampaging Australian side in 2001 who had won 15 tests on a roll and who defeated India in the first test inside three days. He led India with such energy and vigour that India won the next two tests and stopped the Aussie juggernaut. He also led India with distinction in the ODI’s and was a very aggressive captain. Nobody can forget his shirt swinging while standing on the famed Lords balcony after India chased down a mammoth 325. He led India to the finals of the 2003 World Cup in South Africa where India lost to Australia. He is also credited with mentoring the careers of several young Indian cricketers like Yuvraj, Zaheer and Harbhajan who flowered and flourished during his captaincy.

He is one of the top ODI players in the world having scored over 11000 runs at a very healthy average of over 40. He partnered Sachin Tendulkar at the top and they invariably provided India with a strong start. He could also bowl some handy seam up deliveries and had the knack of picking up wickets at crucial junctures for Team India. His top score of 183 came in the 1999 World Cup in England against Sri Lanka at Taunton.

Later in his career, due poor form and differences with the then coach Greg Chappell led to him being side-lined and eventually being dropped but he made a spectacular comeback to both the test and ODI side. After a disastrous World Cup campaign by India in the West Indies in 2007 his star finally dipped and with the IPL coming in to the picture at around the same time he bade goodbye to international cricket.

1 comment:

roopz said...

Me too a Gangulian :)

Village Girl