Test debut for the Indian team directly at Lord’s, which is called ‘Mecca of cricket’… That too with such ‘dadagiri’ that the cricket world was stunned to see.
Sourav Ganguly turns 49 today
Memorable is ‘that celebration’ of victory at Lord’s
Test debut for the Indian team directly at Lord’s, which is called ‘Mecca of cricket’… That too with such ‘dadagiri’ that the cricket world was stunned to see. Yes! Talking about Sourav Ganguly, known by names like ‘Prince of Kolkata’, ‘Bengal Tiger’, ‘God of the off side’. The favorite of Indian fans, ‘Dada’ turns 49 today (July 8).
The talk is of those days, when the final of the NatWest Series was played between India and England on 13 July 2002 at the historic Lord’s ground in England. As soon as Zaheer Khan and Mohammad Kaif completed the winning run in the packed stadium, there was a lightning in the ground. Andrew Flintoff got frustrated and sat on the pitch. On the other hand, in the Lord’s balcony, the Indian captain took off his T-shirt and waved it in such a way that this incident was recorded in the pages of history.
This was the answer to Andrew Flintoff. This English all-rounder took off his shirt and ran in the field after the victory over India at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai in February of the same year (3 February 2002). And now it was Grandpa’s turn. There could not have been a bigger place to pay revenge than the Lords. And he took revenge for Wankhede by waving his shirt from the balcony.
Under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly, Team India defeated England in a thrilling match on the same soil and captured the title of the final. England had set a huge target of 326 runs for India to win. India’s five wickets fell for just 146 runs. But Yuvraj Singh (69) and Mohammad Kaif (87 not out) did a great job in helping Team India win a thrilling victory by two wickets with three balls to spare.
Although Sourav Ganguly wrote in his book (A Century is Not Enough) published in 2018, ‘The team was very excited about the victory in the final match and I could not stop myself as soon as Zaheer Khan hit the winning shot.’ Ganguly admitted that it was not right to celebrate by taking off the shirt after winning. There were many other ways to celebrate the victory.
This was the match, when India showed that they can not only play overseas but also win. If it is said that India’s ‘dadagiri’ in world cricket started from this match, then it would not be wrong. Actually, Sourav Ganguly is the name who taught Indian cricket to fight, took over the captaincy when the team was surrounded by serious allegations like match-fixing and gave new enthusiasm to the players. Characteristics like expressing trust in teammates gave Indian cricket many big players.
Sourav Ganguly, who has given opportunities and opportunities to the youth, has said in one of his interviews that he recognized the lower order batsman Sehwag and prepared him for the opening. Ganguly was once adamant about the selection of Virender Sehwag on the foreign tour. It was being said that he (Sehwag) would not be able to handle the bouncers. Then Ganguly had said that no one can be judged without giving a chance .. and after this Sehwag scored a century against South Africa in his first overseas tour. Actually, it was Sehwag’s century in his Test debut.
Sourav Ganguly also had a big hand in shaping the career of Mahendra Singh Dhoni. He not only recognized Dhoni’s talent, but also brought this Ranchi cricketer, who batted at the lower order, to the third order and gave Team India a new wicket-keeper batsman.
Sourav Ganguly has told- ‘When Dhoni came to the team in December 2004, he played at number 7 in the first four matches. We were playing against Pakistan in Visakhapatnam, the team was announced. Dhoni was once again at number 7. I told him that MS you have to land at number 3. What was then, Dhoni played a scintillating innings of 148 against Pakistan and emerged as a star.