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Sourav Ganguly turns 52: A look at Dada's illustrious career that laid foundation for India's dominance for next decades

July 08, 2024 10:50 AM

New Delhi : Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly, who was regarded as 'God of off-side' by former India head coach and his teammate Rahul Dravid, made many spectacular contributions in the field of cricket and continues to do so as Indian Premier League (IPL) franchise Delhi Capitals' Director of Cricket.


As the left-handed batter turned 52 today on Monday, let's turn some pages of his almost two-decade-long career. Ganguly's ability to polarise opinion led to one of the most fascinating dramas in Indian cricket.


However, there is no denying that he was India's most successful Test captain, leading a winning team out of a group of gifted players and that he remains one of the best one-day batters in history. Even though he was a batter who could play with both grace and surgical accuracy, his career had come to a grinding halt until he struck a brilliant hundred on his debut at Lord's in 1996.


He was elevated to the top of the ODI order later that year, and he and Sachin Tendulkar together constituted one of the most potent opening combinations in history.


Ganguly was noted for his distinct leadership style throughout his time on the pitch. In the summer of 1996, he made his Test debut against England, earning the nickname 'Dada'. He quickly made headlines after scoring a century in his first Test at Lord's and the 'Prince of Kolkata' then went on to smash a ton in the second Test, becoming the third batter in history to make a hundred in each of his first two innings.


In 2000, the Team India camp got trapped in a match-fixing scandal. Ganguly was then appointed the captain of the side, where he started grooming new talent.


Ganguly led India to the finals of the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy for the first time. Another Team India milestone came in 2001 when the Ganguly-led side defeated Australia 2-1 in the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

 

The Australian team, captained by Steve Waugh, challenged India to follow on in the series, but VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid staged one of the greatest comebacks in Indian cricket history.


The former India captain's most memorable moment was definitely when he stripped off his shirt on the Lord's balcony when India famously beat England from the jaws of defeat in the Natwest Trophy finals in 2002.


Ganguly also led India to the World Cup finals in 2003, where they narrowly lost to Australia in the championship game. In 2004, he also oversaw an ODI and Test series in Pakistan. The Test series triumph was India's first on Pakistani soil.


'Dada' also had a memorable spat with then-coach Greg Chappell in 2005-6, after the 'Prince of Kolkata' was left out of the Team India squad. Ganguly, on the other hand, worked his way back into the team and recorded a fifty-plus score in Johannesburg.


He last played a Test against Australia in Nagpur in 2008. He played in the Indian Premier League (IPL) until 2012, when he retired from domestic cricket. 'Dada' played 113 Tests and 311 One-Day Internationals for India. In his international career, the left-handed batsman amassed 18,575 runs across all formats.


Ganguly is one of the main reasons for the emergence of the idea of day-night Test cricket in India. His efforts paid off as India played its first-ever day-night Test match against Bangladesh at the Eden Gardens in 2019.


He had led India in 195 matches across all formats and managed to win 97 matches out of those. The former skipper then went on to become the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and is a former President of the BCCI.

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