INDIA DOMINATES –

October 18, 2008

INDIA

DOMINATES -

GANGULY HITS

A CENTURY

It was the second day of the second test of the Border Gavaskar Trophy at Mohali. India had won the toss and decided to bat first. The first day had India dominating two out of three sessions.

The highlights of the first day was Sachin’s innings. He took 88 from 111. But more important than that, he overtook Brian Lara and become the highest run scorer in Test matches. Also he became the only one to cross 12,000 run. India had been waiting for that for long. The fireworks after that was a proof for that. Gambhir and Ganguly too scored a half century. Ganguly and Sachin together had a 140 runs partnership tearing the Aussie bowling attck. At the end of the day Ganguly and Ishant Sharma remained not out at the crease, the former with a half century under his belt. It was Ganguly’s 35th half century and the 7th against the Australians. In that Innings, Dada, who will be retiring after this series, became the 4th Indian to score 7000 or more test runs.

If the first day belonged to Sachin and Ganguly, the second day was that of Ganguly and Dhoni. Ganguly continued his firm stand on the crease in the second innings too. He took singles, ran fast between the wickets and gave strike to Dhoni. Dhoni was delivering a all together different kind of innings, like that of an ODI. He attacked all the balls he could reach too. Only the bowls too wide for his reach were spared. He scored a half century at a strike rate around 100. Meanwhile Ganguly made his century, the first against Australia in India. Soon after his century he got out trying to hit a wide bowl out of the ground. Indian batting didn’t last long after that. Dhoni got out after making a 91 at a good rate. India made 469.

The Indian bowlers utilized the most of the momentum given to them by the batsmen. Zaheer Khan took Hayden’s wicket in the first over. And Ishant Sharma took Ricky Ponding’s wicket when the total Australian score was 17. Though they bowled superbly, the pick of the bowlers turned out to be Mishra the debutant spinner. He took two wickets leaving the australians stuttering at 102/4 at the end of Day 2.

The test match is beautifully poised for an exciting finish, but as of now, India has the upper hand in the test match and looks all set for a victory against the world champions.


SOURAV GANGULY RETIRES

October 8, 2008

SOURAV

GANGULY

DADA

RETIRES

For the last innings

For the last innings

It was just a few days before that I wrote about the KING returning to his playground. Never in my worst dreams would I have thought that soon I will have to write a farewell letter to him. Alas! That’s the way life goes.

He came, he saw and he conquered. Now he retire. He say he is retiring because it’s time. He say there is no external pressure. If he says, we will have to believe it.

But the “dark hands” (if they exist) you got to be reminded of something. He won’t be under the control of BCCI for long. After he retires, he is a free man. He might come out and speak the truth that happened. Why he decided to quit. And if those truths in someway lead back to your hands , consider yourself unfortunate. Not because it’s going to hurt your image, but because what you are going to experience then will be such that will make you wish you were never born.

Let me stop this kind of speech. There is a time for this later. My heart is now greaved. I can’t bear to think of his last innings. I can’t see him returning to the pavilion with a silent message that he won’t come back again. He was the most important part of cricket for me for long. And when he goes, cricket no longer exists.

I wish to talk of the career of Ganguly. Why it’s the most talked of career? Why is it going to be the part of cricketing history? Why is it called the golden period of Indian cricket?

Ganguly peaked his career during 1996-2000 before he was made the captain. He was the best batsman of the Indian team then. He came into the team in a test hundred in the debut. He became the faster indian to score 3000,4000,……,9000. A series worth remembering is one against Pakisthan which India 4-1. It was won single handedly by Ganguly. He took around 300 runs and 15 wickets and topped batting and bowling charts. He was the man of the match in all four games india won consecutively. He even now holds the record of most number of consecutive man of the matches. It’s just an example. There are many others too. The highest runs scored in a world cup match is his forte. Sri Lankans were the guys who had to withstand that slaughter. He scored 183 which helped India score a 371 which again helped India get the required run rate for entering the Super Six round.

Victory is always for the KING

Victory is always for the KING

With captaincy his batting performance declined. But considering other players, his batting was still world class. It just declined when compared to his own previous records. Many still think of what Ganguly’s batting scorecard would have been had he not been the captain. But my interest were never on this. It was Ganguly as a captain that astonished me. After the 1999 world Cup Australia went on a win-only-series-of-series. They won each and every test they played. The teams who played against them were afraid.Australians were considered as the ultimate and undefeatable team. It’s in this spirit that Aussies came to India. They expected a similar tense Indian team. But Ganguly proved to be just the opposite. He made Steve Waugh feel some pressure. He never believed Aussies are undefeatable and took special care not to let Aussies feel any kind of superiority. This was a new experience for the Aussies and they succumbed to it, loosing the series 1-2. Ganguly also led India to a World Cup Final, himself scoring a century in the semi final. He took Indian team to Australia. India was stuttering after 3 early wickets with a huge score to overtake. Ganguly came to the middle and scored 144 which is considered as his best Test Innings. He finished only when India were with a comfortable lead. He is also the first Indian to score a century in Australia against Australia.

Victory is for the Roaring Tiger

Victory is for the Roaring Tiger

The rest of the story is about ups and downs, of misfortunes and comebacks. This is a story every single child in India and in all cricketing nation knows. So I am not going into that.

For India, Ganguly was the FORCE. The FORCE that united them, that made them strong, that made them realise their own strength, and that led from front. YES, GANGULY IS RIGHTLY CALLED THE BEST CAPTAIN.

HATS OFF TO YOU, Oh! GOD OF OFF SIDE.

IN YOU WE FOUND A NEW SPIRIT, AN URGE TO CONQUER, A ROAR TO DEFEAT. HOPE YOU CAN CONTINUE TO TO SHOWER IT AROUND TILL THE END. WAITING FOR BENGAL TIGER TO ROAR IN ALL THE REMAINING MATCHES.

A Loyal Fan inspired by your Attitude.


Sourav Ganguly – The Comeback King!!!

October 4, 2008

SOURAV

GANGULY

THE COMEBACK

KING

THE PRINCE OF KOLKATA RETURNS! Some years back Ganguly was dropped from the Indian Cricket team, after he had some disagreements with the then coach Mr. Chappel. Televisions, Newspapers, Magazines and Blogs shouted of the end of Sourav’s illustrious career. Many of his well wishers expressed their views on how Dada should have been given a more glorious retirement.

Natwest series victory!!!

Natwest series victory!!!

But Dada remained strong. He continued practicing for coming back to the team. And soon, when India was humiliated by a 4-0 whitewash from South Africa in the ODI series, the selectors resorted to their last Hope, The Prince Of Kolkatta was called back to the test team.

He came, he saw, he conquered. He was the Indian top scorer in the test series. In his first ODI match after comeback, he scored 98 against West Indies, leading India to vicotry. Later he carried the same form to England, where he did well with the bat and also with the bowl. His first 23 matches after comeback contained 12 half centuries. Ganguly was now called the come back king. Then came the Pakistan test series, in which Ganguly scored a 100 and 200 in consecutive games.

This is why they call him Dada!!

This is why they call him Dada!!

But there were always some hands who desperately wanted Ganguly out of the team. The Australia series came helpful to them. In the test series, Ganguly failed to deliver. Umpiring mistakes cost Ganguly his wicket in 3 innings. But even that series, Ganguly had 2 half centuries. And unsurprisingly it was not enough to save the series. The dark hands who wanted Ganguly out of the team conspired and threw him out of the ODI team for reason that he had low strike rate.

India now looked up to their Young team to deliver and win in the tri-series in Australia. But needless to say, the young players failed completely. And it took a single handed performance by Tendulkar in the 2 final matches to win the series for India. That victory sort of closed the doors in ODI for Ganguly, atleast for the time being.

South Africa series came again to save Ganguly. He was the man of the series. His 87 in a turning and broken track was applauded by all. Even Dada himself rated it as his best performance ever.

But huge peaks and sudden hills have always been part of his career. IPL backfired against him. Though he played well, his team failed to enter the semi’s. There was a game left which was against Mohali. Though there was no chance for entering the semi’s, Kolkatta Knight Riders captained by Ganguly wanted to prove a point. And Ganguly himself led from the front to ensure the victory for his team. His innings was the best innings of IPL. In the last over 15 runs was needed for victory. Ganguly scored it easily with a sixer each on the first two balls. But this performance was not enough to get him a place in the ODI team. And Ganguly-less Indian batting line-up was tormented by the Sri Lankan bowler Mendis.

The test series against Sri Lanka proved disastrous for Dada. He could just score around 98 runs in 3 test matches. Most of the seniors players failed to deliver and India failed the test series. Even Tendulkar scored less than Ganguly in the series. But it was Ganguly who was singled out as responsible for the loss. He was avoided from the Irani Trophy. It was again known as the end of his career.

Comeback was by now Ganguly’s forte. The new selection committee took Ganguly in the Test team against Australia. Waiting for another superb comeback by him.

A loyal Fan.


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