I am writing a blog after a long time as I have taken a break from watching films and there is not much happening in the tech space either barring launch of I phone 6s &6s Plus. What did interest me was the ongoing India South Africa freedom series. I being a diehard fan of Indian Cricket could not help noticing the current form of our team. Yes there are some players who are performing but they are defiantly not clicking as a team. For a game like Cricket it is the team effort that matters and not individuals. Also with the retirement of Sehwag from cricket marked the end of a golden era for Indian cricket. I consider myself fortunate to have lived in the era of the fantastic five. Five men who in many ways defined how the game should be played. Five men who will be remembered as legends of the game. Many will argue with me but in my personal opinion the team under Sourav Ganguly was the best team to have ever play for India. We never have had a great bowling side but when it came to batting these five people can stand neck to neck with the greats of yesteryear West Indies & Australian team, teams led by Clive Lloyd and Steve Waugh. I will not speak about their statistic but try to summaries in brief what they did to Indian Cricket with their game and the legacy they leave behind.
Let’s start with the King first (Maharaja/ Prince of Kolkata/ Dada). The captain for the side. Sourav Ganguly to me was the best captain India ever played under. Many may argue it is M S Dhoni but to me a good captain is not always defined by the trophy’s his team has won. It is the effect he or she had on the team and the game as a whole. It is the legacy which he or she leaves behind. Before I saw Ganguly the batsman I use to consider David Gower of England to be the best left-handed batsman to have ever played the game. Ganguly’s Legend can be well gauged by the reception he got the day he retired. He was fierce and aggressive as a captain and played with an attitude which now flows in the teams DNA. The Indian team you see now is a different one as it carries forward the attitude of Ganguly from the day he waved his shirt from the balcony of Loads.
Arguably the best batsman ever to play this game. Though I would put him par with two West Indies legends Sir Vivian Richards and Brian Lara (I have not seen Sir Donald Bradman play so can’t comment). He to me had the longest career and the most consistent one. I would rate his one day innings in the Australiasia Cup Sharjah against Australia as his best. We can easily see two Tendulkar in his career one before his injury and one after. Both had contrasting styles but whenever he played and wherever he played to his potential India benefited. His opening pair with Ganguly is considered the best opening pairs of one day internationals. With the highest runs in test and one days and 100 centuries his record will stand for a long time to come.
Considered the wall of Indian batting line up seldom a ball use to hit his stumps. He to me was the best technical batsmen to have played test cricket. One day though was a different story as for a long time he was only considered in the team as a wicket keeper batsman. His innings with VVS Laxman against Australia at Eden Gardens Kolkata and at Adelaide were the two to remember for a long time. Unlike test cricket he was never considered a match winner in one day format and was always over shadowed by the likes of Tendulkar and Ganguly.
For me he was the most destructive batsman India has ever produced. I am quite sure bowler across the world would say they had shivers down in their spine when they use to ball to him. He had all the shots in the book in the most uncomplicated and un-textbook manner. He was effective because he was unpredictable. Forget the double and triple centuries even his forty’s and fifties were so entertaining and that precisely what you watch any sport for right? What he did with Pakistan in Pakistan changed the way India plays Pakistan today. Very few in the game can boast of a test average close to fifty after playing more than 100 test with a strike rate of 80 plus.
He was my right-handed David Gower with a dash of Gundappa Viswanath (taller version) and that’s the best compliment I can give him. He batted like he was playing a musical instrument. He had so much time that when in form he use to play the fastest bowler in the world as a spinner. One day cricket was not his forte and was on and off the playing twelve. His 281 against Australia will be considered as one of the greatest innings of test cricket.