Indian Cricket fans often fight among themselves over the discussion of a certain issue which revolves around the discussion of the best captain to lead team India. Some fans say that it is undoubtedly MS Dhoni who is India’s best captain. They say that it was under his captaincy that India won two World Cups including the 2011 World Cup. People endorsing MS Dhoni also say that India got to the number one ranking in test cricket under the Jharkhand lad. To end their debate, MS Dhoni fans also brag about the 2013 Champions Trophy victory.
But, the people countering MS Dhoni fans are correct as well, as they endorse Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, as India’s best captain. Ganguly was India’s most aggressive skippers by a mile. He took some outstanding decisions and led his side with complete pride. As a skipper, statistically, MS Dhoni might be ahead of Sourav Ganguly, but that does not depict the entire story. Ganguly’s contribution to Indian cricket without second thoughts was beyond numbers and statistics. Indian fans often say that MS Dhoni is the captain of the Best Indian cricket team; while Ganguly was the Best captain of the Indian cricket team.
In this article, we try to support the people who say that Sourav Ganguly was the best Indian captain ever, and how are they justified in taking that stance.
1. Fought for his players:
A great captain is the one, who fights for his players like a belligerent warrior. Ganguly was famous, for backing his players and backing them with positivity. Legend has it that due to being constantly ignored by the selectors, Harbhajan Singh was all set to leave India, and go to the USA for another profession option. But it was Ganguly, who fought with the selectors for Harbhajan.
In turn, the Turbanator did not disappoint one bit and played an instrumental part in taking Indian cricket to great heights. Backing players motivates them big time and it makes them aware about the trust which them captain has in them. As a consequence the player gives his best shot in repaying that faith and plays like a champion. That’s what Harbhajan Singh exactly did!
2. Regrouped the team after the fixing episode:
The fixing episode of 2000 was surely the lowest point in Indian cricket. With high profile names being a part of the fixing gate, the Indian cricket as a whole was at an all time low. The fans had lost faith in them. Not just that, the viewers had began scrutinizing the performance of every Indian player.
Under this enormous dark cloud, Sourav Ganguly took reigns of the team. He started it with an unreservedly bold press conference. He took on the grilling questions of the media head on and answered like a lion. He vowed to take Indian cricket back to where it belonged.
And then, he started the journey of regrouping. In the next few years, under his inspiring leadership, the Indian side achieved success and won everyone’s hearts. The faith of the fans was rejuvenated and their love for Indian cricket resumed. Sometimes, getting a nation engaged in the game is far more important than just winning.
3. Groomed future superstars:
Under Ganguly’s leadership, several Indian greats commenced their careers. The likes of Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Zaheer Khan and Harbhajan Singh all started their careers under Ganguly. It was Ganguly, who gave them the true break after their debuts. Even Ajit Agarkar and Ashish Nehra, who won memorable games for India, played under Ganguly.
The trio of Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Zaheer were instrumental in winning the 2011 World Cup for India. It can be clearly said, that under Ganguly’s leadership, they got the perfect break for their careers. Ganguly showed great faith in them and motivated them to a great extent. It was the courtesy of Ganguly’s captaincy that these players were educated well, to win games for India. And that’s what they exactly did!
4. Played an aggressive brand of cricket:
Dada, as called affectionately by everyone keenly believed in playing a super aggressive brand of cricket and getting on top of the opposition. This method is adopted by every successful side in cricket. Great captains often have the knack of going for the kill once they sense their prey in danger. The southpaw from Kolkata did exactly that and won several games for India under his captaincy stint.
Ganguly was often seen in giving his lads the license to sledge the opposition players. More often than not, the sledging of the opposition players was done in their own backyard. The most iconic example is the sledging of Andrew Flintoff and Alec Stewart, which Ganguly and his boys did during the glorious 2002 English summer. Ganguly even went on to give the likes of Steve Waugh and co. some serious tough time. This aggressive brand of cricket often does the job for the side, and keeps the team in the loop throughout the game.
5. Won Overseas:
Winning test matches overseas is the most difficult thing for an Indian captain to accomplish. That is what the Prince of Kolkata exactly did. Ever since Ganguly was named the skipper of the Indian side, the Indians played like a different force altogether overseas.
Their love for overseas test victories began at the lovely Leeds. India was taking England in its own backyard and was 0-1 down in a 4 match series. In the third test at Headingley, the Indians under the leadership of Ganguly played an inspiring of cricket. The Indians won that game by an innings.
The win against Australia at Adelaide was the most special one though. The Aussies were simply formidable at home, and Ganguly took them on. The Indians drew that series 1-1. It could easily have been 2-1 to India, but a defiant knock by Steve Waugh in his last test and saved face for Australia.
But drawing the series in Australia was no less than a great feat. The Prince of Kolkata inspired his side to such an extent that the Indians went on to beat Pakistan in Pakistan in 2004. Winning overseas is something really special, as it undoubtedly involves players going under tremendous physical as well as mental pressure.
These were the factors, which make people feel that Ganguly was indeed the best Indian captain. Many players might come and go, but no one can replace the enigma of a man called SOURAV GANGULY.