Sourav Chandidas Ganguly: three Tests, six innings, 106 runs at an average 17.67, a highest score of 48. In sheer numbers, that was his contribution to India’s cause in the 2001 series against Australia. As a batsman, he was struggled badly… the Aussies were at him constantly… ex-cricketers were criticising him… but do we remember any of that?
Instead we remember Dravid-Laxman, Harbhajan and Kolkata; we remember Ganguly not crumbling as Australia put their mental disintegration tactics into play; we remember his unbridled agression; we remember the all-conquering Aussies failing at the final frontier once again. That series was the making of Ganguly as a leader of men… as a leader we still fondly remember and as one his team respected, stood by, and fought like hell for.
It is also the reason why many wish they could be transported back to the time when Ganguly was captain of India. For many, Virat Kohli’s elevation to skipper might just grant that wish. Kohli, in essence, is Ganguly 2.0. Unlike Ganguly, he has no visible flaw in his batting technique (he has 499 runs in the series already), he is ready to take on the opposition and he wants to win while playing aggressive, attractive cricket.