Sunday, December 09, 2007

God of OffSide...

Saurav Chandi Ganguly made his debut in 1992 vs West-Indies. It was a news in the grapevines that he got this ODI birth due to his father's stature in Bengal.He made only 3 runs and was dropped immediately. Some said its because of his snobbish behavior as he refused to carry drinks on the field. Indian cricket has seen so many forgotten faces were just lucky enough to get the Indian Cap for 1 or 2 matches. Everybody thought he was just another failed "Experiment". in the history of Indian cricket, But Ganguly thought otherwise. followed by an impressive record in domestic circle he got a chance again in mecca of cricket. He scored a maiden century in his debut test 131 that is the highest by any cricketer in his debut match. A star was born. His batting was a shear pleasure to watch. The amazing eye-hand coordination made him a run machine overnight. The Indian team was struggling for a long time to find a quality opener .Ganguly was promoted to open the innings with Sachin Tendulkar and together made a lethal combination and murdered the bowling attacks from all over the world. They have the records for most successful partnerships of all times.
His love for Off side started in his childhood days when he used to play cricket in his backyard with friend Donna ( his future wife). The makeshift ground has only open spaces on the off side and Saurav loved hitting the ball so he mastered this side.
His magnificant Off-drive is a treat to watch, the ball hits the sweet of the bat and races to the boundry line before the fielder could move a muscle and spectators could blink, and then Sushil Doshi shouting "Ball par to jaise 4 run ki mohar lagi huyee thi...." . But his best shot is a sixer on Long-on. thats more of a pre-meditated shot he gallops on the pitch picks up the ball and BAM !!!! the ball travels miles beyond stadium walls. his style is pure elegance combined with fierce attitude.
In 2000 when the Indian team was at all time low amidst the Match fixing controversies the captaincy was handed over to Ganguly. And boy what a job he has done. The batting line up which was described as "The Best" on paper was in 6-7 th place in real rankings.He command of those individual talented players, and transformed "Indian Team" to "Team India". He is most successful test captain in Indian cricket history. In ODIs The Team India almost won the 2003 world cup.
He had his lean patches too when his batting was criticized. in 2000 when one ball over the shoulders was permitted his avg dipped sharply. Bowlers exploited his weakness for short deliveries. His lack of footwork was the highlight of expert opinions on all those cricket shows. He was alleged with an "ATTITUDE" problem in the dressing room, And following the dispute with an Australian Bigmouth he was condemned in 2005. Everyone thought that it was the end of the road for Ganguly, A magnificent career ended on such a wrong note. But he is no ordinary man. The "Bengal Tiger" can not be tamed by an Australian, The "Prince of Kolkata" did not require the mercy of inexperienced cricketers turned selectors. Only "Dada" can decide when he wants to Go and How. He came back in the team India and In His own style, He was the highest run getter in that South Africa tour. With various records to his name he isn't stopping soon.
He may have 1000 faults as a batsman but his attitude makes him the best. As some poet famously said
ragon mein daudte firne ke ham nahin qaayal
jo aankh hi se na tapka to fir lahoo kya hai ......

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