Former Indian skipper aka prince of Calcutta, Sourav Ganguly considered another former Indian skipper Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi as the bestest captain that Indian cricket team could ever had. What attracts Saurav Ganguly in Pataudi’s characteristics is that he never used helmet when he used to go to the ground with his heavy bat.
Dada said on memorial lecture, “He used to bat without a helmet, we all know his one eye was damaged as well. For me he was the best captain ever.” Pataudi played 46 tests for team India between 1961 and 1975. He started leading the national team at the age of 21 years and 77 days. This was a world record and it remains till 2013. He scored 2793 runs with an average of 34.91, unbeaten 203 was his highest score.
According to Ganguly there are very few people who have had the quality and class in their characteristics which make them live in the hearts of the countrymen as well as outlanders. Now a day, the players keep 10-11 bats in their cricket kit but Pataudi never carried a multiple bats. Ganguly recalled, “When you picked someone else’s bat you must be very confident about that man.” Though he had an eye injury and had to see with one eye, still his hand-eye coordination was noteworthy and brought him an average of 35 runs. At that time period when he used to play, the bowlers were seriously fast, and used to be more fast than today. Imagine a person who was not able to see properly, how he could score so many runs.
Pataudi as a captain always wanted to form a team where performances are the ultimate scale. He once told Ganguly to construct a squad which would confirm their victory without thinking about the other factors and irrespective of the places that the individual player hails from. Think beyond your territory, your province, your city, there is only one thing was important for him, playing for India. “I always remember it during the six years of my captaincy.”
Ganguly wanted to change the cricket culture in India. He was also tried to put the same concept, when Prince of Calcutta was the captain of Indian cricket team. He never used to influence himself with communal selector’s politics, for him, talent and performance were the ultimate words. On his era, we have seen many talented cricketer got chance in national team. Dada still remembers those days when he was young and that time playing county cricket was very prestigious thing just like now days Indian Premier League.