For those who don’t know Sourav Ganguly, he was the one who took on the responsibility to lead the team after the infamous match-fixing scandal in 1999-2000. He was the one who took the Indian cricket team to new heights and developed a fearless approach and match-winning attitude in the Indian cricket circuit.
Sourav Ganguly was truly a gem of a captain for India. Unfortunately, he doesn’t have an ICC WC trophy to show in his cabinet, but he is responsible to provide India with the match winners who would go on and win some ICC trophies. Here, we present you the top 5 cricketers who owe their careers to Dada aka Sourav Ganguly.
1) MS Dhoni
Probably there’s no introduction needed here so as to brief you about Dhoni’s achievements and Dada’s role in building a career for MS. Mahi made a debut for India in December 2004 and established his place in the side in early 2005.
During his early stages, Dada sacrificed his No.3 spot to give MS an opportunity at the position. The plan behind the move was to send a pinch hitter at No.3 if an early wicket falls. Dhoni did not disappoint and made a mark early in his career. He went on to win all three prestigious ICC trophies for India.
2) Virender Sehwag
Sehwag, as we all know, was an explosive opening batsman for India. He scored thousands of runs for India and won India a lot of matches. But Sehwag did not make his debut as an opener.
He made his ODI debut under Ajay Jadeja’s captaincy and used to bat at No.6. He first opened in 2002 on the England tour under Sourav’s captaincy. From there on, he never looked back and went on to become one of the greatest openers in cricket.
3) Harbhajan Singh
Harbhajan Singh was one of the most successful Indian spinners, who played over 100 test matches and accumulated over 400 test wickets. He certainly owes his career to Ganguly as it was Ganguly who convinced the selectors to pick Singh for the home series against Australia in 2001.
Harbhajan, as he says, was in his lowest phase and was about to leave cricket and settle in Canada after he was rejected from the team and the NCA as well. But due to Sourav’s impeccable support, he flourished in international cricket. In the 2001 home series against Australia, he became the first Indian to take a hat-trick in test cricket.
4) Yuvraj Singh
Yuvraj Singh was merely 18 when he made his debut for India in October 2000. Sourav Ganguly certainly has got a role in building his career, as he showed great faith in the youngster throughout his initial phase. Yuvi received major backing from Ganguly and did not disappoint his captain as he gave many memorable performances in his career.
He is regarded as one of the greatest all-rounders India has ever had. From his performance in the 2002 Natwest final at Lord’s to his heroics in the 2011 World Cup, Yuvraj has given everything he could to Indian cricket.
5) Ashok Dinda
He may not be regarded as one of the best bowlers. He may not have played a lot of cricket for India, but he was precious in his own ways. He had the ability to produce great bounce and swing and had great stamina as a fast bowler.
His unique style used to trouble a lot of quality batsmen. Overall, he took 420 first-class wickets. Ashok credits his state-mate Sourav Ganguly for working with him on fine adjustments from gripping the ball to his wrist position and a lot of other minor adjustments which helped the pacer excel in his career.
In a nutshell, Sourav Ganguly not only was a great batsman but a great leader and a true sportsman who worked to take the game forward. He worked for the Cricket Association of Bengal for a lot of years before his passion for the game achieved him the position of BCCI President.