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Sourav Ganguly – Profiling

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Saurabh Chede

date post

Jun 19, 2024

Sourav Ganguly - Profiling


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As soon as Sourav Ganguly’s name pops up, his famous shirt-waving incident at the Lord’s Cricket Ground starts running through the mind. That stimulating celebration gives you an idea of his aggressive nature on the field.

And that aggressive mindset also transpired in building a formidable Indian cricket team under his staunch leadership. As a player, Ganguly had some shortcomings, but he emerged as one of the most successful Indian Test captains.

The Prince of Kolkata had a stellar international cricket career, piling up 18575 runs and scalping 132 wickets in 424 appearances for India. His career was nothing short of a dramatic ride, filled with controversies and setbacks.

Sourav Ganguly – Playing Style

During his initial days, Sourav Ganguly liked David Gower’s playing style. So he used to watch the old batting videos of the English batter growing up.

And that was reflected in Ganguly’s batting, as he executed shots with grace and precision like Gower. He was such a master at playing the ball towards the off-side that some called him the God on the off-side.

Ganguly’s command over off-side helped him play some elegant square cuts, square drives, and cover drives. However, he struggled against short-pitched deliveries and often threw his wicket while attempting hook and pull shots.

He had superb hand-eye coordination, allowing him to pick up the length of the ball early and take down the bowler by hitting big shots.

Ganguly was also an able seamer, with the ability to move the ball both ways. He chimed in with crucial wickets, often providing breakthroughs.

Sourav Ganguly – Cricket Journey

Born on July 8, 1972, Sourav Ganguly was initially inclined towards football — a sport with a major following in Kolkata. However, academics held him back from taking up any sport, including cricket.

But his elder brother, Snehasish, convinced their father to enrol Sourav in a coaching camp when he was in 10th standard. After looking at his promising talent, he was finally admitted to a cricket academy.

Cut to 1989, Sourav Ganguly broke into Bengal’s Ranji team and made his first-class debut. After remarkable performances in the 1990-91 Ranji season, he earned his maiden call-up for the Indian team.

Ganguly made his ODI debut in January 1992 for India against the West Indies. But his stay was short, as his arrogant attitude cost him his place in the squad.

It wasn’t until 1996 that Ganguly returned to the Indian squad. He went back to domestic cricket and piled up loads of runs in the 1993-94 and 1994-95 Ranji seasons.

During the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy, the left-hand batter smashed 171 runs, which brought him back into the Indian team’s scheme of things. He was on the flight to England for the ODI and Test series in 1996.

Dada played one ODI match and later made his Test debut in the second match at Lord’s. Unlike his ODI debut, Ganguly made a memorable start to his Test career by smashing 131 runs on his debut.

He followed that up with a 136-run knock in the next match, along with picking up crucial wickets, proving his worth as an all-rounder.

Then Ganguly cemented his place in the team across formats and churned out brilliant performances. 

The start of the 21st century brought a huge responsibility for Ganguly. In 2000, a match-fixing saga shook Indian cricket, resulting in then-captain Sachin Tendulkar stepping down and Ganguly being given the job of captaincy.

Under his leadership, India touched new heights, especially in Test cricket, as the Men in Blue conquered on foreign soil and dominated at home. In ODIs as well, Ganguly led the team by example, guiding them to the finals of the 2000 ICC Knockout Trophy and the 2003 World Cup.

His outstanding captaincy record in Tests and ODIs makes him one of the most successful Indian captains. His Test record, especially, earned him laurels as he built a formidable team that was out there to conquer the world.

But not all good things last forever, doesn’t it? The same happened with Ganguly, as he endured a bad patch and had differences with coach Greg Chappell.

This resulted in Ganguly being stripped of his captaincy and dropped from the team in 2005. Later, he was recalled to the Test team for the 2006 South Africa tour, where he scored a couple of half-centuries, gaining back his place.

Likewise, Ganguly made a comeback in the ODI squad in 2007 and had a remarkable run in what was his last year in the format. At the end of 2007, he played his last ODI, and a year later, he announced his retirement from Tests as well, putting a break to a stellar career.

Sourav Ganguly – Stats and Records

Captaincy Records

  • Sourav Ganguly captained India in 49 Tests and bagged 21 victories, which makes him the third most successful Indian Test skipper.
  • Likewise, in ODIs, he occupies the third spot with 76 wins in 146 matches, after MS Dhoni (110) and Mohammad Azharuddin (90).
  • Overall, Dada led India in 195 international matches and won 97 of them.

Test Records

  • In 1996, Ganguly became the 62nd batter (overall) and 10th Indian player to score a century on debut in Test cricket.
  • He was the second Indian batter to notch up centuries in 2 consecutive Test matches from debut.
  • Ganguly featured in 113 Test matches for India, scoring 7212 runs at an average of 42.17 and picking up 32 wickets.
  • In the process, he smacked 16 centuries, which is the 10th most for India in Tests.
  • He is among the over 80 players who have scored 5000+ runs and taken 50+ catches in Test cricket.

ODI Records

  • Sourav Ganguly accumulated 11363 runs in 311 matches, placing him at the 9th spot on the global ODI run charts.
  • His 22 hundreds are the 4th most by an Indian batter and overall 10th most in ODI cricket.
  • He has put up 94 fifty-plus scores in ODIs, which is the 9th most by a batter.
  • Ganguly has achieved the double of 1000 runs and 100 wickets, making him one of the 10 Indians to do so in ODIs.
  • He has also accomplished the triple of 1000 runs, 100 wickets, and 100 catches in the format.
  • In 1999, Ganguly accumulated 1767 runs in 41 matches, the second-most ODI runs by a batter in a calendar year.
  • The next year, he hammered 7 ODI hundreds, which is the joint second-most in a single year.
  • The left-hander slammed 190 sixes (10th most) and 1122 fours (9th most) in the 50-over format.
  • Ganguly is the 4th fastest batter to 7000, 8000, 9000, 10000, and 11000 runs in ODI cricket.
  • Ganguly bagged 31 Player of the Match awards (7th most) and 7 Player of the Series awards (6th most) in ODIs.

All Formats Records

  • Sourav Ganguly amassed 18575 runs in 424 international games, which is the 18th most runs scored by a batter across formats.
  • His 38 hundreds place him in the joint 24th position on the list of batters with the most centuries in all formats.
  • He occupies the 16th spot among the batters with the most fifty-plus scores across formats, with 145 fifties to his name.
  • Ganguly had an exceptional outing in 1999 across formats, amassing 2580 runs in 51 matches, the 12th most runs scored in a calendar year.
  • His 424 appearances for India are the 30th most by a player in international cricket.
  • Ganguly won 37 Player of the Match awards (18th most) and 10 Player of the Series awards (13th most) across formats.

Sourav Ganguly – Awards

  • Sport Star Person of the Year (1998)
  • Arjuna Award (1998)
  • CEAT Cricketer of the Year (1999-2000)
  • CEAT Indian Captain of the Year (2001-02)
  • Padma Shri – India’s fourth-highest civilian award (2004)
  • Banga Bibhushan Award (2013)

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