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.
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.
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.