Sourav Ganguly- The God of Off-Side!!!

Sourav Chandidas Ganguly (Dada) is one of the most successful captains in the modern cricketing era. I saw a post in a popular social networking site which says, “Bring Back Ganguly as Coach of India or as Captain!!” which made me write about him.I’m not against M S Dhoni, but when captains fail to register wins that’s when people realize the worth of old captains.Both people and media are now seeing everything in the present and future only, forgetting the past totally.When the present becomes worse, that’s when they remember the PAST.

Coming back to Ganguly, during his cricketing days he has achieved many rare feats such as highest score (131) on debut at Lord’s-The Home Of Cricket ( this record still stands) and highest partnership of 318 in a World Cup along with Rahul Dravid.Apart from his individual achievements, Ganguly ushered that fighting attitude in Indian cricketers which made them even win matches overseas. Rahul Dravid described Ganguly once as “The God of Off-Side” considering his perfection in playing off-side shots such as square cut, cover drive etc., How many people know that Ganguly is the sixth greatest ODI batsman of all times? In India, we fail to recognize cricketers other than Sachin Tendulkar (in the present). Without any doubt, Sachin is the “God of Cricket” but we shouldn’t neglect the “God of Off-Side”.Rahul Dravid (“The Great Wall of India”) is also a victim of this, whom I feel has not got enough credits for his achievements. Both these wonderful players have always been under the shadow of Tendulkar.

Ganguly took India to the 2003 World Cup final, in which Australia won convincingly.After this, Dada was under tremendous media pressure followed by the lean patch in his batting.In 2004, Ganguly was awarded the “Padma Shri”, one of India’s highest civilian awards by then President Abdul Kalam.Then, the most successful captain was dropped from the national team.He made a fruitful comeback in 2006, but was in the headlines (for bad reasons) because of his rift with then Indian Coach Greg Chappell. Ganguly retired from ODI’s and Tests in 2007 and 2008 respectively.

Ganguly, as a person is very aggressive, which was passed on to all the Indian cricketers as well.This aggressive attitude made them win against powerful oppositions such as Australia and South Africa.Despite his lucrative career, he has been in the limelight mostly for the wrong reasons which was exaggerated by media.I strongly feel that if Indian Cricket Team is able to get back the “Ganguly Phenomenon” along a good bowling coach, India will come back to its winning ways and defend the World Cup in 2015.

Ram Thilak

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