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Sourav Ganguly Biography: A Leader that changed Indian cricket

Sourav Ganguly
Sourav Ganguly

Every now and then arrives a cricketer who changes the way the game is looked at. When it comes to Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly is one name that altered the way the world looked at India. A few people are born leaders and Ganguly is certainly one of them. Know everything him in this Sourav Ganguly biography.

Sourav Ganguly biography

Popularly known as Dada (meaning elder brother), he is one of the finest batsmen to have played for India. Many regard him as the greatest captain of Indian cricket of all time. He certainly has the facts to prove that. First of all, Sourav Ganguly biography is very interesting from his story is not short of being a typical Bollywood story. His career has seen it all. He has witnessed the highest and the lowest as well. One thing that happened to him was that he dealt with everything like a true champion.

Early life

Sourav Ganguly was born on July 8, 1972, in Kolkata (then Calcutta). Chandidas and Nirupa Ganguly got their second child after Snehashish Ganguly. They were a rich family and had a luxurious life as Sourav’s father ran a flourishing print business.

Cricket wasn’t the most famous sport in West Bengal as football took precedence those days. Sourav was also interested in football but his parents didn’t want him to take up any sport for a career due to academics. But his elder brother Snehashish was a stable cricketer for Bengal and helped his sibling to build a career in cricket.

He was enrolled in a cricket academy where his batting talent was identified. He grew up playing the sport with his brother and learned the tricks of the trade. Gradually, he rose through the ranks and after scoring a century for Orissa Under-15, became the captain of St. Xavier School’s cricket team.

Ganguly was selected to play for the Bengal team in 1989. Coincidentally, his brother was dropped from the side that year. The left-hander came to the limelight after an impressive show in the Ranji Trophy in the 1990-91 season.

International debut

Sourav Ganguly made his international debut in the year 1992. It didn’t turn out to be the ideal start as he could score just 3 runs batting at No.6 in an ODI against the West Indies at the Gabba, Brisbane. Just after one game, he was omitted from the side for his alleged arrogance.

He reportedly refused to carry the drinks for the players as he believed that it wasn’t his job. However, Ganguly denies any such happenings. It was the time when he went back to domestic cricket and worked hard. The left-hander was a prolific run-getter in the Ranji seasons of 93, 94 and 95.

After his knock of 171 in the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy, he was called back to the Indian side. He played an ODI on the tour to England and then was removed from the Test side. Later, Navjot Singh Siddhu left the England tour due to mistreatment by the then captain Mohammad Azharuddin.

As a result, Sourav Ganguly got a chance to make his Test debut. In the second Test of the tour that was played at the Lord’s London, he represented the national side for the first time in the whites. In the same game, Rahul Dravid also made his Test debut. Ganguly scored 131 while Dravid made 95.

It was the knock that put Ganguly on the world map. In the next Test, he scored 136 and became the third batsman in the history to score centuries in the first 2 innings. The world had witnessed the rise of Ganguly who then was being deemed as the future of Indian cricket. He had the gift of an immaculate timing, he was termed as the “God of the off side”.

Drama in the marriage

Just like his career, the marriage saga of Sourav Ganguly is also full of drama. As we already mentioned that Sourav Ganguly biography is like a Bollywood movie. In 1997, he ran away with his childhood girlfriend Dona Roy. The families of the two didn’t get along well and so the couple eloped. Both the families were troubled by the incident and later came to a reconciliation.

The couple got married in February 1997. The wedding proved to be another boost for him as he evolved a wonderful cricketer in ODIs. He scored his maiden ODI ton against Sri Lanka and then won consecutive Man of the Match awards. He featured in the 1999 World Cup and struck 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton which remained his highest score in ODI cricket.

Captaincy and the turnaround

Indian cricket went through a turmoil in 2000 as some players were involved in match-fixing. The then captain Sachin Tendulkar had resigned from the captaincy and Sourav Ganguly was handed over the leadership. It didn’t take him long to shine in his natural role as India won an ODI series against South Africa and then made it to the finals of the ICC Knockout Trophy where New Zealand defeated the Men in Blue.

Then arrived the series that proved to be the game-changer for Ganguly as well as Indian cricket. Australia was a champion side those days and defeating them would only look like a distant dream for any team. The Kangaroos led by Steve Waugh toured India in 2001 and won the first of the 3 Tests in Mumbai by 10 wickets.

In the second Test in Kolkata, the hosts were bundled out for 171 in the first innings in reply to Australia’s 445. The visitors enforced the follow-on but VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid led the Indian charge and a partnership of 376 brought India back in the game. India went on to win the match and became only the second team to win a Test after being forced to follow on. It also ended Australia’s 16-Test winning streak.

The Sourav Ganguly-led side won the third Test in Chennai and clinched the series 2-1. It was a rather unexpected victory against the mighty Aussies but certainly, the one that brought the fans back to the game after the infamous match-fixing incident had forced them to turn away.

The golden captaincy era of Sourav Ganguly

Team India flourished under the leadership of Sourav Ganguly for a number of years to come. Personally, also, it was a great time for him as his wife gave birth to their daughter which they named Sana. India won the Natwest tri-series in England by defeating the hosts in the final on the back of a memorable partnership by Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh. The memories of Ganguly waving his shirt on the Lord’s balcony are still fresh.

In 2003, India reached the final of the World Cup. They had lost just one game en route to the final. Ganguly had a terrific time in the tournament as he scored 465 runs at an average of 58.12 with 3 hundreds. Unfortunately, Australia was too good in the final and won the World Cup. Ganguly’s decision to bowl first after winning the toss was criticized by many.

India had won the famous Test in Adelaide under his captaincy and drew the Test series 1-1 against Australia. He won the Padma Shree, India’s fourth highest civilian award in 2004. The team won several big series under him and the golden era of Indian cricket took place as the side started winning overseas.

The Chappell Saga

Former Australian cricketer Greg Chappell became the head coach of India in September 2005. There were several reports of rifts between him and Sourav Ganguly. Chappell sent an email to BCCI stating that Ganguly was “physically and mentally” unfit to lead the side and that his “divide and rule” was damaging the Indian team.

The Board tried to intervene and attempted to bring the 2 together to work as a team. But due to a poor run of form and disputes with the coach, Sourav Ganguly was removed from the captaincy and also dropped from the side. Rahul Dravid was chosen to lead the team from that point onwards.

Comeback and the retirement

Ganguly was exposed due to his poor technique against the short ball and the bowlers bombarded him with bouncers as soon as he took the crease. But he didn’t give up and toiled hard to alter his technique. He performed well in the domestic cricket and 10 months after his removal, made it back to the side.

The left-hander scored a decisive 51 in the first Test against South Africa. India won the match in Johannesburg and Ganguly was adamant to do well in this stint. He was recalled to the ODI side as well and put in some impressive performances that gave him a place in the 2007 ODI World Cup.

Sourav Ganguly played well across formats in the latter stages of his career and scored his maiden Test double hundred against Pakistan in 2007. He was doing well consistently and decided to bid adieu to international cricket while being in a rich vein of form. In the Test series against Australia at home in 2008, he retired from international cricket after scoring 324 runs from 4 Tests at an average of 54.

IPL and post-retirement life

Ganguly was one of the icon players in the inaugural edition of the Indian Premier League in 2008. He captained the Kolkata Knight Riders side but the franchise didn’t do too well in the first season. Brendon McCullum was selected to lead, In 2009. Ganguly returned as the captain in 2010 but after the franchise failed to do well again, KKR opted to let him go.

He was signed by the new franchise Pune Warriors India, In the year 2011. He represented the team for 2 seasons and that team didn’t shine as well. Dada decided to retire from the IPL as well and didn’t feature in the 6th edition of the league, In 2012.

After retirement, Sourav Ganguly has been active in the development of the game. Currently, he is the President of the Cricket Association of Bengal. He was appointed by the Supreme Court and is also one of the four members of IPL’s Governing Council. Also he is responsible for all the functions of the tournament.

Career Stats of Sourav Ganguly

Batting Stats

Format Matches Innings Not-Outs Runs Highest Average Strike Rate 100s 50s
Tests 113 188 17 7212 239 42.17 51.25 16 35
ODIs 311 300 23 11363 183 41.02 73.7 22 72
First-class 254 399 44 15687 239 44.18 33 89
List A 437 421 43 15622 183 41.32 31 97
T20s 77 73 4 1726 91 25.01 107 0 8

Bowling Stats

Format Matches Innings Wickets BBI BBM Average Economy Strike Rate 4Ws 5Ws
Tests 113 99 32 28/3 37/3 52.53 3.23 97.4 0 0
ODIs 311 171 100 16/5 16/5 38.49 5.06 45.6 1 2
First-class 254 167 46/6 36.52 3.29 66.5 4
List A 437 171 16/5 16/5 38.86 4.86 47.9 4 2
T20s 77 37 29 27/3 27/3 26.06 7.91 19.7 0 0

 

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