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Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly: Once in a lifetime partnership

Aditya Jha
ANALYST
Feature
7.87K   //    16 May 2014, 18:44 IST
Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly

Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly

The forcefulness and dominance of a cricketing team in any era, particularly in ODIs,  has largely been dependent upon the opening pair of that team. Be it the Gordon Greenidge and Desmond Haynes for the West Indies, Gilchrist and Hayden for the Aussies and Tendulkar and Ganguly for India.

Sure, a solid opening pair in bowling is equally important but I’m focusing on the batting aspects of the game here so no credit taken away from the bowlers here.

The role of an opening pair is inclined towards being the ‘backbone’ of a team, being strong regardless of the toughness of the match/series.

For bowlers I believe it’s easier to fightback, as compared to batsmen – opening batsmen at that. For instance, let’s recall the recent Ashes series, after following Australia 3-0 in the series, the next 2 Test matches were critical and all about ‘respect’ and ‘pride’. The key responsibility to get the team off to a good start was on the shoulders of Cook and Carberry.

In such a scenario, it’s easy to understand the mental toughness that a opening pair requires. Even though Cook and Carberry couldn’t put forward the performance that one expected from them, it’s without a doubt commendable for these 2 batsmen to show the courage that they showed in the ‘crisis’ situation for England.

The Gem For India

This article emphasizes on 2 great opening partners of India i.e. Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly.

One made his debut at the tender age of 16 and the other at the age of 18. One continued to be a part of the line-up without any worries and the other, was dropped after his very first series (Ganguly). But, as they say ‘destiny had some other plans’. Ganguly made his ’1st’ comeback to the team, in the 1996 tour vs England and quickly came into the limelight with a thunderous century – those cracking and crispy off drives are incomparable and still very much joyed in my memories.

Picture perfect off-drive from the ‘prince of Calcutta’

Health Streak, the former Zimbabwe bowler sums up Ganguly’s dominance on the off-side perfectly: “His offside has become so strong that unless he commits a mistake on his own, it is absolutely impossible to get him out in that region. A world class batsman, indeed.”

Tendulkar and Ganguly had the ability to take the game into their hands, at any time, any situation. If there’s one match I particular recall, it’s vs England in the 2007 Natwest Series, in which India were trailing England 3-2. In this match and in one of the earlier matches of the series, Ganguly and Tendulkar completely demolished the England bowling which had likes of Andrew Flintoff, James Anderson, Stuart Broad and Jon Lewis.

It was not the demolition that one enjoyed and recalls, it was the art of playing ‘proper’ cricketing strokes and getting the runs via the way of ‘demolition’, an art which the so called ‘T20 specialists’ lack. It’s not about blind-eye hitting, it’s about the quality of the strokes that matters.

Tendulkar and Ganguly complimented each other’s game and if there’s one aspect where they both were North and South, it’d have to be running. Tendulkar was always someone who looked for the quick singles and Ganguly on the contrary, liked to take the ‘easy singles’ and settle for singles instead of doubles but it was the solid understanding between these 2 players which overpowered their shortcomings.

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Aditya Jha
ANALYST
My name is Aditya Jha, I’m 17 years old and was born in the steel city of India i.e. Bokaro, Jharkhand. I’ve been brought up in New Delhi NCR and currently residing in Gurgaon. I had a passion for writing since a very young age and have followed the politics of India very closely since the last 5 years. I’ve won several awards for my writing both on the internet and off it too. I’ve also had the privilege of interviewing eminent personalities like Ravi Shastri, Simon Doull, Rocky & Mayur and Christine Ha among others. I’m a passionate debater and take pride in debating issues of social and political significance. Alongside this, I’m a student and reading is a habit that has helped me to better understand the current state of our country and broaden my horizon. I make it an abiding fact to read the newspaper daily and ensure to note down the key headlines. Further, I’m also a Rotarian and have been involved with doing social work for the organization since the last 4 years. I’ve taken several initiatives towards battling with the social issues – be it raising awareness against the use of plastic bags to the polio camps, I’m a proud social worker and intent to continue serving the society in my fullest of the capability.
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