Saurav Ganguly – Man who created history
Few cricketers evoke as much emotion as Sourav Ganguly who was the most successful Indian captain before Mahendra Singh Dhoni emerged on the scene. Ganguly was dropped from the side after the 1991-92 tour of Australia in which he played only one ODI against the West Indies at the Gabba in Brisbane. Ganguly shot to fame in international cricket by hitting a century on his Test debut at Lord’s in 1996 and followed it up with another century at Nottingham and with the retirement of Sanjay Manjrekar and Navjot Singh Sidhu, became an integral part of the Indian team. With Sachin Tendulkar, Ganguly formed one of the most destructive opening pairs in ODI cricket history and became the second Indian to cross the 10000-run mark in ODIs. Though there were question marks raised over his ability to play the bouncers, Ganguly was famously described by Rahul Dravid as “next to God on the off-side”. Ganguly was made the Indian captain in 2000 after cricket was rocked by the match-fixing scandal and under him India started to win Tests abroad and under him India reached the final of the 2003 World Cup. Ganguly’s rift with Greg Chappell and loss of form resulted in his removal from captaincy but he scored his one and only double century in December 2007 against Pakistan and in the following year, he retired from international cricket. In 2008, Ganguly was named the icon player of the IPL side Kolkata Knight Riders, but his side faired poorly in the first edition of the T20 tournament. Ganguly was removed from KKR captaincy in the second edition and the side finished last. Ganguly captained KKR again in the third edition but the side could not even reach even the semifinals. Ganguly remained unsold in the players’ auction for IPL 4, as KKR named Gautam Gambhir as their captain. After more than half of IPL 4 got over, Ganguly was signed by the Pune Warriors India, replacing an injured Ashish Nehra, but he failed to revive the fortunes of the side.