In the early 2000s, Indian cricket was on the high again. The team was in a rebuilding phase after the match-fixing scandal which saw Mohammad Azharuddin getting sacked and Sourav Ganguly taking over the reins. The latter produced immediate results too and India became quite a force to reckon with. In 2001 India won a historic series at home against Australia and the outfit from there on never looked back.
The series was a huge boost to the morale of the side who then believed they could outdo the best. A year later India knocked off England to clinch the Natwest series at Lord’s, where Ganguly took off his t-shirt and waved it around.
In the World Cup of 2003, India were impressive again. The men in blue were in rampant form and beat teams like Pakistan, England, and Sri Lanka en route to the final. In the decider, however, they lost to Australia but the team earned high praises for their efforts.
With Ganguly at the helm, the team went on to achieve other notable victories too after the quadrennial event. But then Greg Chappell happened. In May 2005, the Australian was appointed the coach of the outfit and from there on nothing was the same again. Ganguly and Chappell never got along well and that resulted in the skipper getting sacked.
By the time the 2007 World Cup got over, the BCCI had realised the mistake they had done and Chappell was shown the door. But what would have happened if the Indian board had avoided roping him in the first place? In this article, we look at how things would have been if he was not given the appointment letter in 2005. But Chappell also brought to limelight future Indian stars like Suresh Raina and RP Singh who later helped India win world trophies.
#1 Sourav Ganguly would have skippered India for a few more years
Yes, the iconic left-hander from Bengal was not in the best of form when he was sacked. But then again every cricketer goes through a phase when he is not at the top of his game and Ganguly was no exception. But there was never a doubt over his captaincy.
His courage and never say die attitude had transformed the team into a well-knit unit with both the seniors and juniors backing him.
If the Chappell-Ganguly feud had not arisen, the latter would have surely carried on for a few more years as the board would not have dared to sack a captain as successful as Ganguly. With him being the captain more accolades surely would have come India’s way and probably he would also have led India in the 2007 World Cup where they failed miserably.
Maybe in the West Indies, India could have turned the tides in their favour to emerge as champions, a feat they achieved four years later.