The so-called ‘disagreements’ between Sourav Ganguly and Ravi Shastri have become as enjoyable to the media as ‘chat’ or ‘velpuri’, said Ravi Shastri. Sourav Ganguly is undoubtedly one of the most influential cricketers of all time. Not only in India, but also at the international level. Sourav was selected as the capta
in of the Indian team at a very difficult time, following the unveiling of the unpleasant match-fixing scandal in 2000.
Indian cricket was in a state of chaos at the time. Supporters are disoriented, angry, and upset. The name of the game has been tarnished by the names that came up during interrogation and various cases across the country.
When Sourav Ganguly became captain
Sourav was still young. Debuted exactly four years ago. At the time, the BCCI’s decision to make Sourav captain did not seem very prudent to many. Some of Sourav’s co-players felt the same way.
I remember when Sourav was chosen to lead the team, there was a lot of whispering among the players about this decision. What was the cause of concern around Sourav? Until then, Sourav had little experience as a captain.
Most importantly, at that time Sourav was emerging as an important batsman. There were fears that imposing captaincy during such a crisis in Indian cricket could affect Sourav’s batting. It is a great responsibility to be the captain of the Indian team. The situation at that time was different.
Who could be the captain other than Ganguly
Among the senior players in the team, Sachin Tendulkar has just retired from captaincy. Almost ten years have passed between Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath. But selectors around the world have shown indifference in choosing frontline bowlers as captains.
There could be only one captain, Rahul Dravid. Dravid and Saurabh – these two are the final choice. Sourav was elected and this nomination changed the course of Indian cricket.
Despite being so young and inexperienced, Sourav performed this task with unimaginable straightforwardness. When the environment is tough, some players just get out of their way. Sourav is an energetic captain. Managed the team with extreme confidence, imagination, and tact.
Team India under Sourav Ganguly, beginning days
The first Test series in which Sourav led the team was the 2001 Test series against Australia. At that time Australia was indomitable, irresistible. He has won 16 consecutive Tests. But their triumph stopped when they faced Saurabh’s team.
India were cornered after losing the Mumbai Test. The Kolkata Test took an exciting turn. Chennai’s win not only solidified the team’s foundation but also breathed new life into Indian cricket.
Let’s go back to the past. Sourav and Shastri were together on the 1991-92 Australia tour. A decade has passed since then in international cricket. Sourav, on the other hand, was a promising young player at the time, with many praising him.
Unfortunately, Sourav did not get a chance to play in any of the five Tests that tour. He was quite shy and introverted then. Live like yourself. Or, spending time with Sachin.
All rounder Sourav
The strokes he took while playing on the net showed how strong he was. He was always eager to shake and shake. There was an insistence to show something. But the tour selection committee failed to catch the eye of the established batsmen. In addition to excellent batting, Sourav was a skilled medium pacer.
He could swing, he could cut the ball. This caught my attention. I was representing Tata in country club cricket then. We were looking for an all-rounder like Sourav. I tell the Tata cricket team authorities about Sourav.
Within a few days, the club took him to the team. But despite being so promising, Sourav moved away from national cricket for a few years. The fact that there was no harm in it, however, was shown by Saurabh when it came to the notice of the national level selectors again. Rather, this time he became more efficient, sharper, more mature.
Sourav Ganguly as Captain
Sourav’s influence as a captain is huge, omnipresent. Not only sound education but his alertness and dedication too are most required. The team had deep trust and confidence in the young players.
A bunch of players who have shown unique achievements in playing for India – Biru (Virender Sehwag), Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan – they started the game and were able to win the match under the leadership of Sourav.
Captaincy depends not only on strategy but also on the talent of the co-players. Shastri’s relationship with Sourav has always been under fire.
The so-called ‘disagreements’ have become as enjoyable to the media as ‘chat’ or ‘velpuri’. The media got excited with the slightest hint of conflict. In particular, there was a lot of speculation about the differences in the selection of the head coach in 2016 and 2017. Two people see the same situation in two ways – nothing more.
From the ‘Master and Commander’ chapter of Rabi Shastri’s book ‘Stargazing: The Players in My Eye’.