Dada – I will miss you…
It’s very difficult for me to see somebody I loved most for what he is doing, moving out of it and what is more difficult is to know that I will not see him again doing it at the big stage. Yeah.. I am talking about the retirement of Ganguly. I will not be able to see the gracious and elegant shots through off-side and the towering sixes which he hits after jumping down the ground again. Even though I like all the present day Indian cricketers, I always have a special and soft spot for him. I am a such a fan of Sourav that when Chennai SuperKings and Kolkatta Knightriders played against each other I am wishing Sourav’s team to win it.
Don’t ask me why I started to like him. It will be better to ask me why I like him. After the 1996 world cup Indian team has been transformed as Ganguly and Dravid came into the side and they started to make runs. Ganguly made me and many others to think that there is another batsman who has the capability to win a match on his own other than Sachin. Even though he was a middle order batsman like Sachin in tests, he opened in One-dayers along with him and this pair become the nightmare for the bowlers. But I didn’t thought that he scored runs at a frentic pace but he builded the innings. There’s is a time that he will atleast score a fifty in a match. Such was his form those days that no attack can contain him. If gets on to score the ton means you will be assured to see atleast two towering sixes in that innings.
What I like much in my hero is his never-say-die attitude. He is made as captain of India when the team is at its all time low. Until then if Sachin doesn’t plays the match means Indian captains will say that we are in a difficult position with Sachin not playing. But Sourav was the first captain to say that Sachin’s absence was a loss but my boys will improve their performance to face the challenge. As a captain he built a strong team comprising of the youngsters Yuvraj, Zaheer, Sehwag, Harbhajan and Kaif. He believed in them and these guys are still performing at the highest level. He was also gifted with a dedicated deputy Rahul Dravid under him and also having Laxman, Sachin and Kumble at their peak forms. He never feared of any opposition and has faith within him and his teammates. Some of his greatest achievements as captain are the series win over Australia in India, leading the team to the world cup final, levelling the series against Australia, wins over England, West Indies, Srilanka and the series win against Pakistan in their home. But then his captaincy shown signs of fading as his batting. As a fan, I can’t watch him struggling for runs and criticism which was raising even from someone doesn’t know how to hold a bat, I am just praying that he must be back to his form soon. But he was sacked from captaincy and dropped from the team I was shell shocked and I didn’t thought that he could regain a place in the team. I am not lying here. I also doubted even if he gets a place how will he perform?
But the answer was provided by my hero within a year. “A hero is not the one who falls. He is the one who stands upon his toes again to show the world he was not down yet but went under to sharpen himself.” He has made one of the glorious comebacks that too in a condition unfavourable to him. When I heard that Ganguly has got a place in test team for South Africa I was very happy but also feared that he may fail there due to the seaming and bouncing tracks. But he just played cricket like he never played and I was stunned by the shot where he pulled the Ntini’s express delivery to six. Then he played the last 2 years with composure and dedication.
He was a natural stroke player who like to play his shots and not to just stay at the wicket. I had seen it the Kanpur test where nobody were able to play his shots he went on to make 87 off just 119 balls without giving any chance. I also loved his match winning innings of 86 for Kolkatta Knightriders against Punjab Kings XI. He won that match for his team from nowhere which has got momentum after some great hitting by Umar Gul.
You can see some the famed shots of Sourav here:
You can argue that there are many players who are great than him but you can’t deny the fact that
- He changed the face of Indian cricket by injecting the aggressiveness.
- He is the best left-handed batsman of India ever produced.
- He was a fighter who can’t be write down at any time.
- One of the modern one day greats.
Here are some of the pictures on his remembrance:
1. Leads the team for one last time into the field
2. Carried off by his teammates on his farewell
3. Made a potent combination with Sachin as opening pair in One-dayers
4. After the famous win in the finals of Natwest series
5. Now passing his mantle to MS Dhoni
Some of the quotes I loved on Ganguly:
- In off-side first there is god; then there is Ganguly. – Dravid
- Under him we learned to win matches(overseas). – Kumble
- We are not disappointed with his last innings duck. As our Maharaj will be remebered alongside Bradman for that – A fan of Ganguly in Bengal.
So I am eagerly waiting for my hero to once again padded up to hit the bowlers out of the park in IPL. And I am sure he will do that in style. Dada, you will be always my inspiration. I will miss you much as you are leaving this cricket arena.