July is a very special month with the likes of Harbhajan Singh, MS Dhoni, Sunil Gavaskar, Roger Binny celebrating their birthdays during this time. One of the greats of the game who makes it in this list is the Prince of Kolkata: Sourav Ganguly who was born on the 8th of July, 1972 in Behala, Kolkata. The current President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India was one of the most efficient left-handed batsmen the world of cricket had seen. Over and above that, he was a born leader who completely shaped up the modern great Indian Cricket that we see on our TV sets.
Here are the top 8 reasons why Sourav Ganguly will always remain the game changer of fantasy cricket in the Indian Cricket Team:
A Dream Test Debut
Sourav Ganguly alongside Rahul Dravid made his international test debut in 1996 at the iconic stadium of the Lord’s. After being dropped from the ODI team of 1992, he was yet again given an unexpected call for the series in England. That was the first time when the world of fantasy cricket saw some swashbuckling off drives, down the track over mid-wicket boundaries, and that epic century celebration. Dada scored a century on his test debut at the Mecca of Cricket, Lord’s.
The Beginning of 183
Against Sri Lanka in the 1999 World Cup, Dada & his test debut partner Rahul Dravid decided to take an onslaught on the world champion Sri Lankan team as they made a partnership that seemed unending. They scored a record partnership of 318 runs for the second wicket in Taunton. Rahul Dravid made 145* while Sourav Ganguly scored 183, a number that is said to be blessed because he became Captain of the Indian Cricket team after that. The same goes for Dhoni’s 183* vs Sri Lanka & Virat Kohli’s 183 vs Pakistan at the Asia Cup.
An Opening Pair Made in Heaven
For 176 ODIs, Sachin Tendulkar & Sourav Ganguly opened together and it was an opening pair made in heaven. Having played so much cricket together since their first meeting in an under 14 trial camp in Indore, they both knew each other’s game exceedingly well and complemented their individual natural stroke play. Batting together they have scored 8,227 runs which is an impeccable record to break.
Lead From the Front
Whether it was the successful 2003 World Cup campaign or the incredible Natwest Trophy Final of 2002, whenever the target to be chased was challenging, Sourav Ganguly always led from the front for the team to follow his footsteps. In a cricket show celebrating the Natwest victory, the hero of the match Mohammad Kaif said, “Yuvraj & I could have that partnership only because Dada led from the front scoring a quickfire 60 at the top making us believe that yes we can achieve this mammoth total, and so we did.”
Grooming the Upcoming Stars
The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, MS Dhoni & many others that we know today as legends of the game were first given a chance to showcase their talent by Dada himself. Sourav Ganguly always believed that the greatness of any player can come out only when he’s faced with challenging circumstances. Ganguly made sure he gave enough chances to players to prove themselves as a player and presented opportunities for them. This made it very difficult for any outsider to make their way in the Indian team because the core of the team was so very well balanced.
Give It Back to the Opposition
India was never known to be a team of players who could sledge. In fact the likes of Steve Waugh, Waqar Younis, Wasim Akram, who used to intimidate the opposition always had an upper hand in psychological terms over the batsman. Sourav Ganguly was the most fearless player in these circumstances who not only gave it back with his words but put some icing on the kick with his huge old fashioned slogs over the bowler’s head (courtesy Stuart Broad).
An Overseas Champion
Winning overseas was a dream for the Indian Cricket team at one point of time and when Sourav Ganguly started his captaincy gig, he was very well determined to conquer the overseas even though he had the famous Laxman-Dravid Eden Gardens victory under his belt. Dada ended up winning 11 tests outside of India which is a world record for any Indian Captain.
Handed Over a Legacy to Rahul Dravid & MS Dhoni
How to comeback from the ashes is something every modern cricketer should learn from the legacy of Sourav Ganguly. When the ugly Chappel-Dada incident happened, everybody in the Indian Cricket scene was devastated. Dada was out of the team for 9 long months with his captaincy snatched but was determined to return like the Prince he was. He came back against South Africa and scored a handsome 51* to help India win that test match. He became a mainstay in the ODI scene as well and scored more consistently than he ever had in the captaincy of Dravid & MS both.
The fearless Virat Kohli led the team that we see today is nothing but a legacy of Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy from the golden era of Indian Cricket. Long live Dada & his Dadagiri! Happy Birthday Sourav Ganguly.
New concepts are making their way on the BalleBaazi app with another Virtual tournament and deposit BalleBaazi codes that will help you get up to 50% bonus money straight into your BB wallet. Check out the #DumHaiTohYahanKhel campaign on our social media handles and make sure you participate in the upcoming contests to win free entry match tickets.
Loved the Blog? Let us know in the comments below. Also, don’t forget to Download the BalleBaazi App now for the Most Amazing Fantasy Sports Experience. Lots of Winnings & Offers for you to Cash in on.