12 Hallmark Cricket Moments Of Bengal’s Favourite Son – Sourav Ganguly

Cricket, captaincy and controversy. These are the few words which perfectly describe Sourav Ganguly, one of the best captains that Indian cricket has ever produced.

The man who changed the face of Indian cricket for good. The man responsible for introducing Indian cricket to the element of healthy aggression. The man who taught India to stand up and fight. The Prince of Calcutta, the name, which he earned from his fans.

So, on his 43rd birthday, let us have a look at the career highlights of ‘The Warrior Prince’.

1992: Horrible Start To His International Career

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Sourav made his international debut against West Indies in 1992. It was a dismal beginning for Ganguly as he managed to score just 3 runs and was dropped from the squad.


1996: Dream Test Debut At The ‘Mecca Of Cricket’

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After four years when he was selected again to make his Test debut, he did not disappoint the selectors and scored a century at Lords in his very first match against England. Though England ended up winning the series 1-0, it remained a dream debut for the southpaw.


1997-98: The Rise Of Dada

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It was the best phase of his career. His all-round skills fetched him four consecutive man of the match in the Sahara Cup against arch-rivals Pakistan in Toronto. He shared a record partnership of 258 runs for the first wicket with Sachin Tendulkar against Sri Lanka and his brilliant knock of 124 helped India successfully chase down a target of 315 in the Independence Cup final.


1999: The Most Ruthless Opener The World Has Ever Seen

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Ganguly by now was a big name in the Indian dressing room. He had the potential to demolish any bowling attack of the world. A glimpse of this was seen during the ’99 World Cup when he hammered Sri Lankan bowlers to score 183 runs, second highest in World Cup.


2000: Captain Courageous

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The Indian team was embroiled in the match-fixing scandal in 2000. India needed someone who could just unite the team and focus on the game. After Sachin resigned from captaincy, Dada’s leadership injected confidence into his teammates and propelled the team to better their performance as well as keeping the spirit of the game. It was during this time when the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Ashish Nehra, Virender Sehwag and Zaheer Khan started their cricketing career.


2001: Beating Australia 2-1 From An Impossible Situation

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Ganguly’s army stunned the then world champions Australia and brought an end to their winning streak. After trailing 0-1 in the Test series, India gave a big jolt to the Australian dominance, winning the series 2-1. Who can forget the Kolkata test where after conceding a first innings lead of 274 runs, India crushed Australia after enforcing a follow-on.


2002: ‘Shirt-waving’ At Lord’s Balcony

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The Natwest Trophy will remain the most iconic moment in every cricket lover’s life. A moment of pure joy and vindication for Indian cricket fans. It was the moment that signalled the change in the attitude of Indian cricketers.


2003: Taking India To The World Cup Final After 1983

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Ganguly’s three spectacular centuries in the World Cup went in vain because of India losing to Australia in the World Cup finals. Despite this heartbreaking loss, Ganguly led his team to more and more successes that year and was regarded as Team Blue’s one of the most successful captain.


2004: Awarded The Padma Shri

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In recognition for his efforts, Dada was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004.


2005: Ugly Spat With Greg Chappell

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His poor form and troubles with the coach of Indian team led to him being dropped from the team in October 2005.


2006-07: Beginning Of ‘The End Of The End’

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Dada made a comeback to the Indian side when the team was going through a bad patch. On return, Ganguly scored a match-winning 51 against SA in Johannesburg and helped India win the match. He was recalled in the ODI team and there too he scored a magnificent knock of 98 and even won the Man of the Series award.


2008: Retired From International Cricket

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Finally, Ganguly decided to quit international cricket post the Indo-Australian Test series, bringing an end to his illustrious 16-year old cricketing career.

Currently an advisor of the BCCI’s Advisory Committee, Ganguly’s contribution cannot be expressed in words. He may not have won the World Cup for us, but he definitely showed the path for it.

Thank you, Dada.

Here’s wishing you a very ‘Happy Birthday’ and that you continue to win hearts, just as you won matches for India.


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