Back in 1972 on this very day, Sourav Ganguly was born in Kolkata. His parents back then probably didn’t know that he would go on to become one of India’s greatest captains ever. ‘Dada’ as he’s affectionately referred to by his fans across the globe, took the mantle of captaincy during a phase where Indian cricket was perhaps at its weakest, and his accomplishments will always remain in the hearts and minds of Indian cricket fans. He taught Team India to keep fighting till the very end, and showed everyone that they too could win in overseas conditions. He also brought in talents such as Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, Mohammad Kaif and Suresh Raina into the side and built a team for the future.
On his birthday, we take a look back at some of Dada’s best performances through his career:
183 vs Sri Lanka (Taunton)
An innings of great value in terms of the stage on which it was played – the Cricket World Cup. Dada along with Rahul Dravid put on a 318 run partnership for the second wicket in the 1999 World Cup encounter versus Sri Lanka that propelled India to a score of 373. Ganguly’s knock of 183 came in just 158 deliveries and for that he was declared the man of the match as India won by a massive 157 run margin.
141 vs Pakistan (Adelaide)
An India – Pakistan cricket match is enough to bring both nations to a complete standstill and one can only imagine the pressure a cricketer competing in that match must go through. India choosing to bat first were able to put on a 268 run target for Pakistan courtesy a fantastic innings from opening batsman Sourav Ganguly. In the tri-nation series encounter, Ganguly facing up to Wasim Akram and Shoaib Akhtar played a sensible innings which had a mix of aggression and sensible rotation of strike. With the rest of the batting line up not contributing much after his opening partner Sachin Tendulkar fell on 41, Ganguly single-handedly took India to 267.
141 runs and 1 wicket vs South Africa (Nairobi)
Dada always loved the big stage and that’s why he seemed much more in control of games during big multi-nation tournaments.In the semi-final of the ICC Knockout tournament in 2000, Sourav Ganguly looked in murderous form smashing 6 sixes and 11 boundaries to score 141 and take India to 295. He was also the captain of India in this tournament and the confidence that he emulated was electric. He also bowled 1 over in which he picked up the wicket of Mark Boucher.
239 vs Pakistan (Bangalore)
The 2007 test series between India and Pakistan absolutely belonged to one man – Sourav Ganguly. He scored over 500 runs in the three test match series and even bowled in crucial situations to break partnerships. In the 3rd test at the M.Chinnaswamy stadium, Dada scored 239 runs in the first innings, followed by 91 in the second innings and the match resulted in a draw as India took the series 1-0.
131 vs England (Lord’s)
Last but certainly not the least – the innings that made the world sit up and take notice of a 24 year old making his debut at Lord’s versus England. Sourav scored 131 in the first innings as his co-debutant Rahul Dravid scored 95 and the two debutants together steadied India’s ship to ensure a draw. Ganguly also picked up 3 wickets in the same test match including that of Nasser Hussain and Graeme Hick.
You can also check out Ganguly’s top wins as Test captain HERE!