Sourav Ganguly is one short of 50. Here are the best decisions he took for the Indian men’s cricket team
Former Indian Cricket Team captain Sourav Ganguly celebrates his birthday on July 8, just a day after another former captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni celebrates his birthday, making it all the more special.
Ganguly is hugely credited for taking some of the best decisions for the cricket team and above all building a team that would set the ideal for the future. On this occasion, let’s look at some of the best decisions he has taken as a captain and as a player for the men in blue which have essentially helped in shaping the team in recent years.
One of the best in Indian team, Sourav Ganguly was known for his instincts on the ground. Earlier, the captains were restricted to the paper where the team as per the order was written but as for Ganguly, he had his own instinct to trust on. The ‘Prince of Kolkata’ took a major call in 2001 when he suddenly took a decision to send VVS Laxman at number 3.
During the Kolkata test against Australia, Ganguly knew that only Laxman was comfortable enough to continue the game. On day three, the former captain decided to send Laxman ahead of Dravid and both went on to partner for the historic win and the notable factor was that Laxman alone managed to score 281 that day.
Moving ahead we have another major call. Those who watch cricket have always seen Virender Sehwag as an opener. He was an explosive batsman and if he would have played in today’s scenario, he would have been an obvious choice for opener but at that time, it was not the case.
Sehwag did not start as an opener rather as a middle-order batsman. Ganguly trusted his instincts when it came to Sehwag after the latter scored a century in his test debut against South Africa. He asked the right-hander to open the upcoming innings and the results then after are proof of how lucky Sehwag was and how brave Ganguly was to give the Haryana batman a chance.
Looking at the team now, we feel that India has always been a balanced side. But did you know that it was not always the case in fact the team did not even have a Wicket Keeper? Anyone who could slightly be stable with the gloves was selected as the keeper but it all changed when Dravid came into view, which was again Dada’s call. He finally concluded the search for a wicketkeeper and with that also added an extra batman for 2002 and 2004 series where Dravid played one of the best knocks of his life.
Even for producing a captain and player like MS Dhoni, Ganguly is the one to be credited. Dhoni was always an explosive batsman but it was not hidden from anyone that he lacked technique and despite Ganguly being aware of this, he decided to go with Dhoni. He picked Dhoni after the Jharkhand-born player smashed huge runs in India A series in Kenya.
But soon after, he did not click with the bat anymore. Keeping all that in mind, Ganguly still gave Dhoni a chance and promoted him to number 3 and no one can forget how the former captain cool played against Pakistan as he smashed 148 during ODI in 2005.