Sourav Chandidas Ganguly (সৌরভ গাঙ্গুলী) (born 8 July 1972) is an Indian cricketer, and former former captain of the Indian national team. He is India's most successful test captain to date, winning 21 his 49 test as skipper and leading India into the 2003 World Cup finals. An aggressive captain, Ganguly is credited with having nurtured the careers of many young players who played under him/
The left-handed Ganguly is a prolific One Day International batsman, with over 11,000 ODI runs to his credit. Despite ODI success, his test place was often lost to younger players towards the later stages of his career. On October 7 2008, Ganguly announced that the test series against Australia starting that month would be his last.
In January 1998, he had one of his most memorable performances in the final of the Independence Cup at Dhaka against Pakistan he scored 124 as India successfully chased down 315 off 48 overs, winning the Man of the match award. In March 1998 he was part of the India team that beat Australia his biggest impact came in Calcutta as he took three wickets having opened the bowling with his medium pace.
In the 1999 World Cup Ganguly smashed 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton, the innings took 158 balls and included 17 fours and 7 sixes. It is the second highest in World Cup history and the highest by an Indian in the tournament. His partnership of 318 with Rahul Dravid is the highest ever in the World Cup and is the second highest in all ODI cricket.
In 1999/00 India lost series to both Australia and South Africa in the five Tests Ganguly struggled scoring 224 runs at 22.40. However his ODI form was impressive with five centuries over the season taking him to the top of PwC One Day Ratings for batsmen.
In 2003 under his captaincy India reached the World Cup Final, where they lost to the Australians.
While he has achieved significant success as captain, his individual performance deteriorated during his captaincy, especially after successes in the World Cup, the tour of Australia in 2003 and the Pakistan series in 2004. Following indifferent form in 2004 and poor form in 2005, he was dropped from the team in October 2005. He remained active on the first-class cricket scene in hopes of a recall, but his performance was a mixed bag - he hit a couple of centuries in domestic cricket, but his English county stint in 2005 and subsequent appearances in the Challenger Trophy were failures.
In 2004, he was awarded the Padma Shri.
Ganguly's international cricket career could be bisected into 2 halves, the pre and the post Y2K eras. The significance of the year 2000 lies not only in the fact that he became the captain of the Indian team but also in the fact that the International Cricket Council introduced the one bouncer per over rule in ODIs starting from that year. This introduction of the rule by the ICC had a negative impact on Sourav Ganguly's batting average, which plunged from a high 45.5 before the year 2000 to a low 34.9 between the 5 year period of 2001-2005. Also, against Test playing nations (which included Zimbabwe and Bangladesh), his overall average plunged further down to 30.66, as did his 'away' average which fell to 29. He managed to score only (6) centuries between 2001-2005, of which 3 centuries were against Kenya & 1 was against Namibia. This sudden drop in his batting average against Test playing nations after 2001 was clearly a result of the short pitched bowling he had to encounter from opposition bowlers. As S.Rajesh, the assistant editor of Cricinfo analyzes, Ganguly has been dismissed numerous times fending off the short ball.
Also, Ganguly's Test career had been riddled with lean patches, the first of which stretched for 3 years from December 1999 to December 2002, during which his batting average fell to 31.77 in 36 consecutive Test matches over 60 innings. The next biggest lean patch of his career occurred after the 2003 World Cup, when his ODI average fell to 28 and this was when his place in the team was questioned by numerous Indian cricket fans. He averaged 24.95 in 25 ODI matches between August 2004 and September 2005, before being finally dropped from the ODI side.
It was, however, as captain of the Indian team that Ganguly's biggest achievements occurred. He led India in 49 Test Matches, winning 21 of those, including 12 of them outside India. All three figures are records for Indian Test captains. He also led India to their first series wins in both Tests and ODIs in Pakistan, a feat that had eluded India for over 50 years. Ganguly also led India to more Test wins (12) outside India between 2000 and 2005 than all Indian captains had done between 1980 and 2000. He led India to victory over Steve Waugh's Australia in the 2001 Border-Gavaskar trophy which is considered one of the greatest in Indian cricket history.
Rahul Dravid once commented, "On the off-side, first there is God, then there is Ganguly”.
After his successful Test comeback he was recalled for the ODI team, as India played host to West Indies and Sri Lanka in back to back ODI tournaments. In his first ODI innings in almost 2 years, he scored a matchwinning 98. He performed creditably in both series, averaging almost 70 and won the Man of the Series Award against Sri Lanka.
On 12 December 2007, Ganguly scored his maiden double century of his career while playing against Pakistan in the first innings of the third and final test match of the series. He was involved in a 300 run partnership for the 5th wicket along with Yuvraj Singh - a much needed partnership that saved India which was struggling at 61 for the fall of four wickets. He later went on to score 239 before being dismissed by Danish Kaneria.
On 18 April 2008, Ganguly led the Kolkata Knight Riders team owned by Shah Rukh Khan in the IPL Twenty20 cricket match to a 140 run victory over Bangalore Royal Challengers led by Rahul Dravid and owned by Vijay Mallya. Ganguly opened the innings with Brendan McCullum and scored 10 runs while his partner Brendan McCullum remained unbeaten blasting his way to a record 158* runs in 73 balls. On 1 May in a game between the Knight Riders and the Rajasthan Royals, Ganguly made his highest score of the season and his second T20 half century, scoring 51 runs off of 39 balls at a strike rate of 130.76. In his innings, Ganguly hit four 4s and two sixes, topping the scorers list for the Knight Riders.
Ganguly has been prolific in both Test and ODI cricket in the year 2007. He scored 1106 Test runs at an average of 61.44 (with three centuries and four fifties) in 2007 to become the second highest rungetter in Test matches of that year after Jacques Kallis. He is the fifth highest rungetter in 2007 in ODIs, where he scored 1240 runs at 44.28.
In One Day Internationals, where he usually opens the innings, he tries to take the advantage of fielding restrictions by advancing down the pitch and hitting pace bowlers over extra cover and mid-off. He is also notorious for attacking left arm spin bowlers. Due to excellent hand-eye coordination, he picks the length of the ball early, comes down the pitch and hits the ball aerially over mid-on or midwicket, often for a six. However, he has a weakness in running between the wickets and judging quick singles. There have been many instances where Ganguly's batting partner has been run out due to Ganguly's calling for a run, and then sending him back while halfway down the pitch.
Ganguly is a right arm medium pace bowler. He can swing and seam the ball both ways and often chips in with useful wickets to break partnerships. Despite not being very athletic as a fielder, Ganguly has taken 100 catches in one-day Internationals.
During the final match of the 2002 Natwest Trophy held in Lords after a stunning performance by team mates Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif, Sourav Ganguly took off his shirt in public and brandished it in the air to celebrate India's winning of the match. He was later strongly condemned for tarnishing the gentleman's game image of cricket and disrespecting Lords protocol. Ganguly said that he was only mimicking an act performed by the English all-rounder Andrew Flintoff during a tour of India.
During the 2003 World Cup final against Australia, Ganguly won the toss and decided to field. This decision raised eyebrows but Sourav remained confident that there would be moisture on the pitch that would help his bowlers, however the bowlers flopped and Sourav performed poorly with the bat. India went on to lose by 125 runs, a staggering defeat.
Ganguly's performance in the last couple of seasons has been really poor. This put his place in the Indian team under pressure. In the tour of Zimbabwe, in which he was newly reinstated as skipper, Ganguly ground out a painfully slow century, against what is regarded as one of the weakest bowling attacks in international cricket. During the match he told reporters that newly-appointed coach Greg Chappell had asked him to stand down as captain - a comment which Chappell later played down. However, forty-eight hours after saying that he respected the Indian captain and looked forward to working with him in the future, Chappell sent an email to the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI). Both Ganguly and Chappell were summoned to a BCCI board meeting in which they agreed to work together for the good of the team. Rahul Dravid was appointed captain for the series against Sri Lanka and South Africa after Ganguly was not selected for the opening games due to injury. When the two series got over, Rahul Dravid was asked to continue as skipper.
On 22 November 2005, Ganguly stepped down as captain of Bengal cricket team after being replaced as captain of the Indian Test team. He played in the first two Test matches in the three-Test series against Sri Lanka. However, on 14 December, he was controversially dropped, for the third Test at Ahmedabad, to make way for Wasim Jaffer, an opening batsman for Mumbai. Jaffer was picked by the selectors as they wished to build up a player selection pool with sufficient experience to succeed at international level.
Despite this, he retained his A-grade contract from the BCCI, in December 2005.
Following the drop, fans blocked roads and railway tracks in Kolkata, burning effigies of chief selector Kiran More and Indian coach Chappell, and the urban development minister of West Bengal, Asoke Bhattacharya, said Ganguly was a victim of the internal politics of the BCCI. Cricinfo editor Sambit Bal wrote in a commentary that this was in all probability ... the end of the road for him. However, it was announced on 25 December 2005 that he was selected as part of the Indian team to tour Pakistan. Kiran More cited his experience as the key reason, with Mohammed Kaif being dropped. He was in the playing XI in the Lahore and Karachi Tests, but was dropped for the Faisalabad match. He was unable to play in the England home series and the West Indies tour. He was also not selected for the following Tri-series in Sri Lanka. However, he was chosen amongst 30 probables for the ICC Champions Trophy after being left out in the dark for almost close to a year. Ganguly failed in the Challenger Trophy, however, managing less than 30 runs in two games, and so the chances of recall to the ODI side look bleak.
Ganguly later sent an email hitting out at his one time mentor saying that Jagmohan Dalmiya did not deserve to become CAB president as he had played with his career and that Ganguly was a victim of internal politics within the BCCI. This was in the backdrop of the CAB elections which Jagmohan Dalmiya won.
Ganguly is the fourth player to cross 11,000 ODI runs and third player to cross 10,000 ODI runs and so far the fastest in ODI history, after Sachin Tendulkar. He also reached 6000, 7000, 8000 and 9000 ODI runs milestones in the fewest number of matches. Sourav can bowl medium-pacers as well, but has under-achieved in this aspect in Test matches, taking 31 wickets in 99 matches, at an average of 52.47. 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 3 players in the world to achieve amazing treble of 10,000 runs, 100 wickets and 100 catches in ODI cricket history, the others being Sachin Tendulkar and Sanath Jayasuriya.
|1||India in England Test Series||1996||315 Runs (2 Matches, 3 Innings, 2x100); 37.5-4-125-6|
|2||Sri Lanka in India Test Series||1997/98||392 Runs (3 Matches, 4 Innings, 2x100, 1x50); 7-4-19-0|
|3||Pakistan in India Test Series||2007||534 Runs (3 Matches, 6 Innings, 1x200, 1x50); 37-10-77-4|
|#||Series (Opponents)||Season||Series Performance|
|1||Sahara Friendship Series (Pakistan v/s India in Toronto)||1997||222 Runs (5 Matches & 5 Innings, 2x50); 48.5-8-160-15 (1x5 Wicket); 3 Catches|
|2||Pepsi Cup (Pakistan, Sri Lanka)||1998/99||278 Runs (5 Innings, 1x100, 2x50); 20-0-101-6; 2 Catches|
|3||DMC Cup (West Indies v/s India in Toronto)||1999||89 Runs (3 Innings, 1x50); 10-1-53-3; 1 Catch|
|4||New Zealand in India ODI Tour||1999/00||301 Runs (5 Innings, 1x100, 1x50); 18-3-95-2; 1 Catch|
|5||Zimbabwe in India ODI Tour||2000/01||264 Runs (4 Innings, 1x100, 1x50); 12-1-51-5 (1x5 Wicket)|
|6||India in West Indies ODI Tour||2002||136 Runs (3 Innings, 1x50); 3-0-20-0; 2 Catches|
|7||Sri Lanka in India ODI Tour||2006/07||168 Runs (3 Innings, 2x50); 8-0-43-1; 2 Catches|
|S No||Opponent||Venue||Season||Match Performance|
|1||England||Trent Bridge, Nottingham||1996|| 1st Innings: 136 (17x4, 2x6); 19.5-2.71-3 |
2nd Innings: 48 (8x4)
|2||Sri Lanka||Wankhede, Mumbai||1997/98|| 1st Innings: 173 (25x4, 2x6); 3-0-19-0 |
2nd Innings: 11 (1x4)
|3||Sri Lanka||Asgiriya, Kandy||2001|| 1st Innings: 18 (2x4); 17-5-69-2 |
2nd Innings: 98* (15x4); 10-4-21-0
|4||Australia||Gabba, Brisbane||2003/04||1st Innings: 144 (18x4); 1-0-8-0|
|5||Pakistan||Chinnaswamy, Bengaluru||2007||1st Innings: 239 (30x4); 10-2-20-1 |
2nd Innings: 91 (12x4)
|6||South Africa||Green Park, Kanpur||2008||1st Innings: 87 (9x4) |
2nd Innings: 13* (2x4)