Monday, September 10, 2012

Best Indian Captain Ever : Sourav Ganguly (DADA)

Sourav Chandidas Ganguly born 8 July 1972 is a former Indian cricketer, and captain of the Indian national team. Born into an affluent Brahmin family, Ganguly was introduced into the world of cricket by his elder brother Snehasish. He is regarded as one of India's most successful captains in modern times. He started his career by playing in state and school teams. Currently, he is the 5th highest run scorer in One Day Internationals (ODIs) and was the 3rd person in history to cross the 10,000 run landmark, after Sachin Tendulkar and Inzamam Ul Haq. 

Wisden ranked him the sixth greatest one day international batsman of all time, next to Viv Richards, Sachin Tendulkar, Brian Lara, Dean Jones and Michael Bevan. After a series of playing in different Indian domestic tournaments such as the Ranji and Duleep trophies, Ganguly got his big-break while playing for India on their tour of England. He scored 131 runs and cemented his place in the Indian team. Ganguly's place in the team was assured after successful performances in series against Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Australia, winning the Man of the Match awards. In the 1999 Cricket World Cup, he was involved in a partnership of 318 runs with Rahul Dravid, which remains the highest overall partnership score in the World Cup tournament history. Due to the match-fixing scandals in 2000 by other players of the team, and for his poor health, Indian captain Sachin Tendulkar resigned his position, and Ganguly was made the captain of the Indian cricket team. 

Tribute To DADA
He was soon the subject of media criticism after an unsuccessful stint for county side Durham and for taking off his shirt in the final of the 2002 Natwest Trophy. He led India into the 2003 World Cup final, where they were defeated by Australia. Due to a decrease in individual performance, he was dropped from the team in the following year. Ganguly was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004, one of India's highest civilian awards. He returned to the National team in 2006, and made successful batting displays. Around this time, he became involved in a dispute with Indian team coach Greg Chappell over several misunderstandings. Ganguly was again dropped from the team, however he was selected to play in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Ganguly joined the Kolkata Knight Riders team as captain for the Indian Premier League Twenty20 cricket tournament in 2008. 

The same year, after a home Test series against Australia, he announced his retirement from international cricket. He continued to play for the Bengal team and was appointed the chairman of the Cricket Association of Bengal's Cricket Development Committee. The left-handed Ganguly was a prolific One Day International (ODI) batsman, with over 11,000 ODI runs to his credit. He is one of the most successful Indian Test captains to date, winning 21 out of 49 test matches.Sourav Ganguly is the most successful Indian test captain in overseas with 11 wins. An aggressive captain, Ganguly is credited with having nurtured the careers of many young players who played under him, and transforming the Indian team into an aggressive fighting unit. 

Sourav Ganguly Legacy

Author Pradeep Mandhani commented that in his tenure between 2000 and 2005, Ganguly became India's most successful Test captain. He led his team to victory on 21 occasions — seven times more than Mohammad Azharuddin with the second most wins—and led them for a record 49 matches—twice more than both Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar. Compared to his batting average of 45.47 when not captain, Ganguly's Test batting average as captain was a lower 37.66. Statistics about Ganguly show that he was the seventh Indian cricketer to have played 100 Test matches, the 4th highest overall run scorer for India in Tests, and the fourth Indian to have played in more than 300 ODIs. 

In terms of overall runs scored in ODIs, Ganguly is the second among Indians after Sachin Tendulkar (who has the most ODI runs) and the fifth overall. He has scored 16 centuries in Test matches and 22 in ODIs. He is also one of only eight batsmen to score more than 10,000 runs in ODIs. Along with Tendulkar, Ganguly has formed the most successful opening pair in One Day Cricket, having amassed the highest number of century partnerships (26) for the first wicket. Together, they have scored more than 7000 runs at an average of 48.98, and hold the world record for creating most number of 50-run partnership in the first wicket (44 fifties). 

Ganguly became the fourth player to cross 11,000 ODI runs, and was the fastest player to do so in ODI cricket, after Tendulkar. As of 2006, he is the only Indian captain to win a Test series in Pakistan (although two of the three Tests of that series was led by Rahul Dravid). He is also one of the three players in the world to achieve amazing treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches in ODI cricket history, the others being Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya. Bose commented that Ganguly's greatest legacy lay in his influence on the younger and budding generation of cricketers. Ganguly felt that every young player should play two years of domestic cricket before being selected for international assignments. He also said that every newcomer should be given at least five games to prove himself. Later he explained that being at the receiving end of an unfair decision against him, that threatened to ruin his international cricket career, it enabled him to understand the insecurities of other newcomers in the team better than his predecessors. Ganguly had always backed the influence and contribution of younger players of the team. Despite his contributions, his captaincy and coaching methods came under immense scrutiny from the press as well as other scholars. Engel commented that "He seems like aloof to the problems that his mal-decisions are creating. 

I don't particularly believe that Ganguly has an 'effing knowledge how to lead his team and tries to counter-pose it with instigating limitless, confrontational behaviours within the younger members of it. [One day] the time will come when such shock tactics will cease to work." An article on Cricinfo Magazine pointed out his reckless behaviour. The reporter Rahul Bhattacharya said, "Generally Ganguly fostered angry or reckless young men. To him 'good behaviour', a broad term espoused by the present team management, belonged in school and probably not even there. He himself had been summoned to the match referee no less than 12 times in the last decade. His approach was bound to precipitate what could possibly be termed a cultural conflict in the world of modern sport. For Ganguly, like for Arjuna Ranatunga, competitiveness involved brinksmanship rather than training. As far as they were concerned Australia were not to be aspired to. They were simply to be toppled. England were not to be appeased. Victory lay precisely in their disapproval. In other words, Ganguly and Ranatunga wanted to do things their way."


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