Brad Hogg spoke at length on former India captain and BCCI chief Sourav Ganguly, crediting him for the entire transformation of the India-Australia cricketing rivalry.
It wasn’t that India didn’t win anything before the famous Sourav Ganguly-era. Kapil Dev-led India won the 1983 World Cup, followed by the Benson Hedges World Championship of Cricket in 1985, under Sunil Gavaskar. Even under Mohammad Azharuddin, India came close to winning the 1996 World Cup, reaching the semi-finals.
Brad Hogg: Sourav Ganguly Really Tested Australia And Before Him, India Was Intimated By Australia
However, Sourav Ganguly-era saw India embark upon a new journey, where they were much more competitive, expressive, and much more in-your-face with the opposition, who didn’t back out from a fight on the field. India not only started winning their home games regularly but also became competitive abroad; with some sparkling performances in England, Australia, and Pakistan.
Under Sourav Ganguly, India had a pool of youngsters, who mixed up really well with the talented senior cricketers and made India move past the shambolic match-fixing scandal of 2000. Thus, Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy era remains a talking point to date. Recently, former Aussie spinner Brad Hogg spoke highly of the former Indian captain and credited him for transforming the India-Australia rivalry.
“The one thing that Ganguly did was really test Australia. If you remember that Test match where he made Steve Waugh wait – I think he did not come with his blazer for the toss – he just knew what would rub Australia up the wrong way in that sense,” Hogg told former England, bowler, Steve Harmison on his YouTube Show ‘The Test of Time’.
He further opined, “I think during that particular time, when we went over there, before that, India were intimidated by us, and it wasn’t until Ganguly came in and started to stand up and fight back and give us the verbal, sort of upset us and get under our skin that things really turned around.”
Besides the 2001 Test series win, India registered a few more emphatic performances against Australia, such as eliminating them from the 2000 Champions Trophy and drawing the 2003/04 Border-Gavaskar Trophy Down Under. Sourav Ganguly would not let any opportunity slip to get under Australia’s skin – the famous incident of him making Steve Waugh wait at the toss is a testament to it.
Brad Hogg: Sourav Ganguly Turned India-Australia Matches Around
Brad Hogg, who had the wood over Sourav Ganguly in India’s 2007 tour of Australia where he dismissed the former batsman four times in the Test series, pointed out how Sourav Ganguly’s arrival as captain added more excitement and competitiveness to India-Australia matches.
“The contests between India and Australia started to be like England and Australia. There was a lot of noise, passion, and Ganguly was the one who turned it around and created that atmosphere and created that strength and different brand of cricket that India are playing now,” the former spinner explained.
Many experts and former cricketers also compare Sourav Ganguly and current Indian captain Virat Kohli as leaders, who are both expressive and in-the-opposition’s-face at all times.
Virat Kohli will be eager to break India’s 8-year-long ICC drought in the next edition of the T20 World Cup, to be held in the UAE from mid-October. Despite some major success, Sourav Ganguly-led India couldn’t win an ODI or T20I World Cup. Hence, Virat Kohli will wish to not repeat the same with his current Indian team.