Sourav Ganguly's 10 best knocks in international cricket
Sourav Ganguly’s contributions to Indian cricket do not require a second mention. Arguably the best man to have led the Indian cricket team, in both Tests and One-Day Internationals, Ganguly has created a legacy that would be hard to replicate. Taking over the reigns of the team when the cricketing landscape of the country had taken a massive hit on the chin – read as the spot-fixing saga of 1999-2000 – Ganguly changed the face of Indian cricket within a span of a few years and took India from being an irrelevant Test playing nation away from home, to a side that would challenge even the best in the world be it at home or away.
However, before his captaincy tenure began, Ganguly had established himself as one of the most prolific batsmen that the country had ever seen, and through his consistent performances, had cemented his place in the Indian team in the latter part of the 1990s. Here, in this piece, we take a look at the legendary cricketer’s career and relive 10 of his best knocks international cricket on the occasion of his 44th birthday.
#1 131 vs England, Lord’s, June 20-24 1996
The left-handed batsman from Calcutta (now Kolkata) had made his impressions on the cricketing galleries of Lord’s, one of the world’s most iconic venues, on his Test debut itself, when he registered his maiden Test hundred batting at No. 3 in his first Test innings. The game, which is now famously remembered as the one that saw the inception of the careers of two of India’s best batsmen – Ganguly and Rahul Dravid, who made his Test debut in the same game – saw the elegance of the then 24-year-old, as he carved the English attack comprising of Chris Lewis, Dominic Cork, Allan Mullally, and Peter Martin to all corners of the Lord’s Cricket Ground.
Studded with 20 fours, Ganguly’s knock helped India neutralise England’s score of 344 in the first innings, with a 429 of their own. The match ended up being a draw after England declared their 2nd innings at 278/9, but the first impression of an ambidextrous cricketer, who would later go on to do bigger and better things on the field, were laid. Dravid also had a memorable debut, as he scored 95 runs in his first innings in international cricket, but fell short of a maiden Test hundred on debut by just 5 runs.