What is the fuss about Ganguly?
Are we debating that the tiger’s skin should is not to be sold? Or are we bargaining for the price of the tiger skin?
Will Ganguly lead his coming days as a pride of Bengal only? I hope not. There has been a lot that has been said, wrote, posted, commented, flogged, degraded, justified. These are some facts that, better be accepted in the light as bright as seen in sunny summer afternoons.
Truth alone is majority.
He has been India’s most successful captain. India has won many matches and series overseas regularly in exchange lost a few at home. The term overseas not only includes places in the Indian sub-continent but also overseas as in places like England, Australia, West Indies and Zimbabwe. I am confused over Zimbabwe because playing them is not the tough task for most Test playing teams.
The present team has been Ganguly’s brainchild no doubt in this fact. He has given chances to people like Sehwag, Yuvraj, Kaif, Zaheer, Harbhajan and others to prove their worth. They are slowly maturing into fighting cricketers. Ganguly has been a terrific one-day player and plundered runs home and away against all kind of opposition. His numbers in one days command respect with awe.
That is his “record”. But has Ganguly been a performing asset of the team over the last two years?
Well check out Wisden and the numbers in the last two year in test and one-day forms of the game fail to impress. Let alone people like us who are number freaks. I agree that scoring runs is not easy, but hey, that is what he is being paid for.
Let me compare him to Rahul Dravid in the capacity of a player alone. I want to compare Dravid and Ganguly because both started their Test career together on the same fateful day. Ganguly went on to write history with a century on debut at the home of cricket Lords and Dravid a not so memorable 95. There one day careers also took off at the same period. They both have the same age and have been playing together since their junior cricketing days. David’s one-day record is decent and everyone is ga-ga over his test record. While Ganguly’s one day career skyrocketed and Test average took to blacksmiths hammer and for two years has been awry to say the least.
Dravid on the other hand tagged himself to be a Test technician took time to come to terms with the one-day format of the game. The last two years for Dravid have been to a contrast to that of Ganguly. David’s performances have been commendable. His has scored runs home and away and scored big. He is one cricketer in modern era to score hundreds against all oppositions away from home.
If you compare international careers of both, the total number runs would be nearly same and number of centuries would be same. David’s has played a vital role via his performances overseas to ensure that Ganguly be the most successful Indian captain in the history of the game until date.
Ganguly on the other hand has not troubled the scorers much. His last century came against Zimbabwe and one before that was in last tour of India to Australia. There is another thing to compare, match fitness. Does Ganguly physically as fit as Dravid? I do not think so. At least he does not show that. Ganguly in Test matches assures the opposition that India plays with at most nine batsmen only. No team will mind Ganguly wicket in exchange of couple of scintillating boundaries. He has his problems with shot pitch stuff but so did Steve Waugh, but Steve Waugh use to fight it out. Ganguly surrenders.
I don’t think he has been a performing asset of the India cricket team at least not to the level of expectation especially in last two years.
People may say it may be due to captaincy. If it so he should have given up captaincy right then. Is the captaincy more important than scoring runs? A non-playing captain has little value to the team. Was he there in the team to-just lead the team?
To be fare to Ganguly he wasn’t given the best of treatment. But he himself did not offer much. There is no doubt that he was well supported by B.C.C.I. ex chief Jagmohan Dalmiya who came to open support of Ganguly through mean times.
When Dravid was made the captain of the national side Ganguly resigned from the captaincy of the Bengal Ranji team and said “I am ready to play under anybody.” Shouldn’t he came out and said that “I am stepping down as captain of the national Indian cricket team and would fully support Dravid in all his endeavours as a future captain? I think it would have done India a world of good. The time for Ganguly to resign was ripe before the Sri Lanka series at the start of the season (before the Zimbabwe) it would have saved the teams of many shameful blues. He held the captaincy too tight for too long for his own discomfort. At some point of time everybody has to let go off things.
The whole fiasco has been a case of trying to make two wrongs a right.
My point of view is Ganguly should let go of thoughts of captaincy. He should resurrect his Test record pile up huge scores and entertain the crowds in one day format with thrilling display of attacking and run making batsmanship or else bow down the spot light and leave the stage.
The ball is in Ganguly’s court.
I happen to come across this article on Indiatimes about Ganguly.Are my words about him too different?