Posts Tagged Sourav Ganguly

A MEMORABLE YEAR FOR TEAM INDIA

2008 was a spectacular for the Indian team. We are now approaching the end of the year and India is ranked no 2 in Tests and 3 in ODI’s, being only marginally behind the 2nd placed South Africans. This thread will consider those individuals who made this possible for India, and also those who were not that impressive.

ODI’s

Raina established himself as a formidable middle order batsmen in 2008

Raina established himself as a formidable middle order batsman in 2008

In ODI’s, the three best batsmen of India were the openers Sehwag, Gambhir and Dhoni, averaging 50, 47 and 58 respectively. However special mention must also be made of Suresh Raina who clobbered 680 runs in 19 matches at a striking average of 45. In fact, it won’t be wrong to say from the ODI batting point of view, this year belonged to the left handers Gambhir and Raina who were not as impressive before this year. From the batting point of view the two disappointments have to be Rohit Sharma and Robin Uthappa. Waqar Younas famously said, “This Robin, he is a good Batman” but that was not the case in 2008 because Robin only averaged 20 from 13 matches.

Dhoni was imperious this year, averaging 58 in ODI's and developing as a captain

Dhoni was imperious this year, averaging 58 in ODI's and developing as a captain

Sharma was touted as the next big thing of the Indian batting line-up, but he could only muster an average of 25 in 28 matches.

Zaheer had a special 2008, and rose in world rankings

Zaheer had a special 2008, and rose in world rankings

On the bowling front, Zaheer Khan was the key bowler taking 17 wickers at an average of 20 and strike rate of 30 balls per wicket. However Ishant Sharma was the pleasant revelation for India, being the leading wicket taker with 27 wickets from 19 matches at a wicket per every 33 balls.

The bowling pair of Ishant and Zaheer has emerged as one of the more successful ones for India

The bowling pair of Ishant and Zaheer has emerged as one of the more successful ones for India

Praveen Kumar also deserves mention for his 21 wickets in 14 games.

TESTS

In Tests, India’s most successful batsmen were again unsurprisingly, Gambhir and Sehwag.

Easily the best opening pair of 2008 in any form of cricket

Easily the best opening pair of 2008 in any form of cricket

Gambhir averaged 71, which has to be one of the highest averages of all time in a calender year. Gambhir has provided some sense and stability to the Indian top order which India had been looking for some time. His consistency this year was unbelievable and he smashed 3 hundreds and 6 50’s. The best aspect of Gambhir’s technique is the way he can switch very easily between attack and defence. Sehwag averaged 56 in 2008.

Tendulkar was the 3rd most successful batsman of the Indian line-up, showing some consistency this year and fans will be hoping this consistency remains. He averaged 48 with 4 hundreds and 3 50’s.

Rahul Dravid was a disappointment this year, with many

Suffered many failures this year, one which he will want to forget

Suffered many failures this year, one which he will want to forget

people including Sunil Gavaskar calling for his retirement. Dravid averages 31 this year but more than figures, what was saddening to see was his slow reflexes and vulnerable defence. He did strike a century in India’s last Test of the year, but it remains to be seen whether that will save his place in the team.

Ganguly was also not brilliant this year but he has retired from international cricket as one of the best batsmen to ever play for India and the best captain India produced.

India bowled very well in Test cricket this year and all the leading bowlers have negligible difference in stats. India’s leading bowlers were Harbhajan,

Mishra had a dream debut and outshone Kumble and Harbhajan

Mishra had a dream debut and outshone Kumble and Harbhajan

Ishant, Kumble, Mishra and Zaheer. From this list, Mishra should be considered in some detail because he made his debut this year. Mishra bowled in the right places, applied pressure and took wickets when they mattered. India did not miss the legspin of Anil Kumble because the new kid on the block, Amit Mishra, is very good and he left everyone behind.

Speaking of Kumble, 2008 also saw this legend’s exit from the game. Kumble was India’s greatest match winner, and the travesty is that he never got appreciated for it. Appreciation or no appreciation, his name was always be mentioned amongst the legends of Indian cricket.

No bowler playing a reasonable number of matches disappointed for India in Tests, and perhaps this is one of the reasons why India is placed at no 2 in the world today.

So many names to mention and so many astounding performances; this was an amazing year for the Indian cricket team. The world order in international cricket definitely seems to be changing and it seems soon there will be 3 top sides in the world as opposed to just 1. India is quite busy in 2009 and the way things are going at the moment, it is very likely we will sing the same praises for the Indian team this time next year.

, , , ,

67 Comments

A DECADE OF DADA-GIRI

Ganguly The Champion

Ganguly The Champion

It would be impossible to list Sourav Ganguly’s achievements and his contributions towards the Indian Cricket Team during his 18 years of international career. But, one must admit this man’s courage, creativity and his craftiness in playing a pivotal role in reviving the lost confidence among the players with his astute leadership qualities. In my opinion his overall or all-round capabilities as a batsman, a bowler and a very good captain makes him stand head and shoulders above the rest of the great players that India has produced.

Tendulkar and Ganguly

Tendulkar and Ganguly

Where Tendulkar excelled as a batsman, Ganguly was not behind him, when Tendulkar struck the opposition with his bowling, Ganguly was not behind him. When Tendulkar failed as a captain, Ganguly stood ahead of him and showed his class, that is why I rate him better than Tendulkar in his over all contributions to the game of cricket in India.

As a batsman he was a tactician and as a bowler he was crafty and as a captain he was shrewed. Whether people remember it or not, whether they acknowledge this fact or not, when the Indian team was jinxed by Javed Miandad’s sixer in Sharjah they kept on losing against Pakistan for a long, long time. But, it was Sourav Ganguly who came to Pakistan in 2004 and won the ODI and the test series against Pakistan.

In Rome do as the "Romanians" do

In Rome do as the Romans do

Ganguly’s outbursts on and off the field reflects his passion and his emotions for the game of cricket. His batting achievements are not near to Tendulkar’s but they are not mean by any standards. His 11000 plus runs in ODI are third highest. On his test debut he scored a hundred at Lords and not just that he was also known as the spice boy or the hot guy who took off his shirt as a retort to Andrew Flintoff’s earlier stint. Although some of the Indian critics did not appreciate it, but I see there is nothing wrong in giving him a tit for tat.

A partnership breaker

A partnership breaker

Like I said, it would be hard, rather impossible to pen down every single detail about Ganguly’s contribution that is why we have dedicated this special thread DADA KAY NAAM – EK PAIGHAM. Now, its for you to write your feelings and observations about him and it is up to you to rate him above or equal to Tendulkar. Be fair and be generous to give him the due that he deserves.

Cool behind those glasses?

Cool behind those glasses?

Despite being victimized by Greg Chappell and the trivial politics that he played to ouster Ganguly, he came back with an even strong grit and determination to prove his worth as a player. In my opinion he is the most successful and accomplished player India has ever produced.

,

105 Comments

INDIA REGISTER RECORD VICTORY VS AUSTRALIA

Khansahab analyses India’s record victory against the Aussies…..

————————————————————————————–

Did we see it coming? Many would say, not. Yet India did seemed to do the unthinkable by beating the Aussies by a margin of 320 runs, which is India’s biggest ever margin of victory in terms of runs.

The noticable aspect of this victory was that we saw a rare team effort from India which completely demoralised the Australian pscyhe. Dhoni’s captaincy deserves special mention, but not for the first time.

Dhoni....the swashbuckling batsman, the brilliant strategist, the consistent performer.....India's shining knight

Dhoni....the swashbuckling batsman, the brilliant strategist, the consistent performer.....India's shining knight

Mahinder SIngh Dhoni has provided India with a fresh and delicious change which Indian cricket had been finding for more than a decade. Dhoni’s calmness, commitment, professionalism and above all, motivational skills took India to victory against the strongest team in the world. One had to observe and almost celebrate the look of resignation and submission on the face of Ricky Ponting, whose visage was nothing like the usual confidence and brashness it usually exudes.

Never in the past two decades has this question been more appropriately asked- “Is this the end of Australian domination in world cricket?” And never have we felt so compelled to answer in the affirmative.

Amit Mishra exceeded all expectations and bamboozled the Aussies. Mishra seemed to be the essential replacement for Anil Kumble, whose captaincy has come under the scanner and whose bowling seems to have lost its potency. There have been subdued calls for Kumble to quit for over a year, but now it would be the right time for the spinning legend to call it a day.

Kumble needs some serious thinking to do about his future

Kumble needs to do some serious thinking about his future

Mishra has a long way to go for India

Mishra has a long way to go for India

In fact, Mishra is not the only competitor for Kumble. Ojha is another spinner who has been knocking the doors of selection for some time and has lost out due to Kumble’s presence. India’s recent successes have been most attributable to the injection of youth; why should the spin department be bereft of talented youngsters? There are already calls to keep Dhoni as captain for the remainder of the series and Kumble is definitely feeling the heat.

Gambhir was effective and showed his good form with a commanding century in the 2nd innings. However, Sachin Tendulkar’s 88 was very special, not because it helped set the momentum of the Indian innings and was scored at an impressive strike rate of almost 80, but because he broke Lara’s record and became the leading run scorer in Tests. Tendulkar’s record breaking seemed to convey a mystical effect to the Indian pysche- it was a feeling of domination, a feeling of conviction and a feeling of genius almost, which actually has epitomised Tendulkar’s batting over the years, but much more so when he was at his enviable peak.

Sachin Tendulkar- a triumph of innate talent, belief, and pure genius

Sachin Tendulkar- a triumph of innate talent, belief, and pure genius

No batsman has played Australia better than Tendulkar has and even though Tendulkar is often criticised for lacking pressure handling skills, it takes a lot of guts and determination to raise your game level against the best in the business. Tendulkar has verily been Australia’s nemesis. For various reasons, Tendulkar is commonly perceived to be the most accomplished batsman in the history of cricket and this fact in itself has helped the Indian team to raise their confidence and feel pride in themselves.

Other than Tendulkar, Ganguly’s superb century also deserves to be applauded. Mishra has already been praised but Harbhajan also deserves mention for his 5 wickets in the test. Indian commentators have always spoken about the need for the whole team to contribute, and this test is a testament to that suggestion. There are many positives to take from this test- where does one begin? The opening was solid, the middle order of Tendulkar, Ganguly and Dhoni clicked and the bowling was penetrative and consistent. It goes without saying that the pair of Zaheer and Ishant complement each other very well and both have a lot of firepower within them, able to rattle any batting line up.

Australia got thumped......

Australia got thumped......

To conclude, this was a memorable test in many respects, not least because of Tendulkar reaching a milestone and the margin of victory. The cricket world is coming to terms with India’s resurgence and Australia’s vulnerability. Every tide has an ebb, and this is surely Australia’s ebb. Australia has been pushed to the ground, but because of the aggressive nature of the Australian psyche and mental strength, the remaining two tests are likely to be competitive.

, , , , , ,

40 Comments