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“An off-side player as good as anyone” – Steve Waugh analyses what made Sourav Ganguly so special 

Sourav Ganguly is 7th on the list of India
Sourav Ganguly is 7th on the list of India's top run-getters in Tests
Wasiq Agha
ANALYST

Steve Waugh opened up about his experience of playing against Sourav Ganguly ahead of the Brisbane Test. The former Australian skipper praised Sourav Ganguly for his proficiency on the off-side as he analysed his batting style.

The duo came across each other several times during their playing careers. The Steve Waugh- Sourav Ganguly battle got particularly interesting during the 2001 Test series when India, under the newly appointed skipper, beat the Australians at home to end the side’s 16 match winning streak in Tests.

Speaking to Cricket Australia, the Australian legend looked back upon what made Sourav Ganguly so damaging with the bat in his hand.

“He was an off-side player as good as anyone. He used to find gaps at will. Good balls on good lengths, he could manipulate through the offside field,” said Steve Waugh.

The former Indian skipper is famously called the “God of the Offside”. Sourav Ganguly got the nickname after several of his shots caught attention. From the classic cover drive to the inside out shot while attacking the spinners, Sourav Ganguly’s off-side stroke play has a fan following of its own. 

Acknowledging Sourav Ganguly’s expertise, Steve Waugh analysed what made the stylish left-hander so strong while playing shots on the off-side.

“He used to sort of give himself room and pierce the field with this amazing cover drive. He was an exquisite timer of the ball, and really the ball flew off the bat a lot quicker than you expected. He certainly had a way of scoring runs quickly, and once he got on top he could dominate an attack,” he explained.

Steve Waugh also praised Sourav Ganguly’s Brisbane ton

India go into the Gabba Test with a torrid record at the venue. The visitors have never won at Brisbane in 6 attempts, with the team’s best result being a draw in 2003.

It is from the same match that Steve Waugh has picked one of Sourav Ganguly’s best innings. The skipper averaged just 29 against the Australians before the knock. But Ganguly rose to the occasion, as he scored a brilliant 144 in the 1st innings of the Test. The former Australian skipper reminisced Sourav Ganguly’s outstanding hundred, as he praised his character.

"People didn’t expect him to score runs and I thought this is going to be hard for India. Bouncy track, a bit of life and traditionally it’s a place we dominate. Yet he came out and against all odds and scored an impressive hundred which showed his character in a really tough situation. He got a lot of backbone and got the players to play in the same way and in that same spirit,” Steve Waugh concluded.
Edited by Parimal Dagdee
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