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OTD | Former Indian legendary captain Sourav Ganguly was born in 1972

OTD | Former Indian legendary captain Sourav Ganguly was born in 1972

The man behind India’s aggressive gameplay, Sourav Ganguly, was born on July 8, 1972, in Behala, Kolkata. Fondly known as the “Prince of Calcutta,” Ganguly is celebrated for his amazing spirit and transformative impact on Indian cricket. He led the Indian team through one of its most defining eras.

Ganguly’s rise to prominence coincided with a turbulent period in Indian cricket, following the infamous match-fixing scandal. Appointed as captain in 2000, he brought a fresh, fearless approach that rejuvenated the national team. His leadership fostered a new generation of cricketers, including Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, and MS Dhoni, who would go on to become legends in their own right.

Batting and Captaincy records 

In his long illustrious career, Ganguly amassed 11,363 runs in 311 ODIs at an average of 41.02, and 7,212 runs in 113 Tests at 42.17. His 22 centuries and 72 half-centuries in ODIs are a testament to his consistency and class. Ganguly remains the third-highest run-scorer for India in ODIs and is among the top ten globally.

Ganguly’s partnership with Sachin Tendulkar is the stuff of legend. Together, they accumulated 6,609 runs in 136 innings, forming one of the most formidable opening pairs in ODI history. Their highest partnership of 258 runs remains a benchmark for opening duos worldwide.

One of the most iconic moments of Ganguly’s captaincy was India’s remarkable victory against Australia at Eden Gardens in 2001, a triumph that broke the Aussies’ aura of invincibility. In 2002, his aggressive leadership was on full display when India chased down England’s daunting 325-run target in the NatWest Trophy final at Lord’s.

Under Ganguly’s leadership, India reached the 2003 World Cup final for the first time since 1983. Though they fell short against a dominant Australian side, the journey to the final itself was a testament to Ganguly’s inspirational captaincy.

Also read: New Zealand star batter Devon Conway was born in 1991

Challenges and Greg Chappell era 

Despite all these heroics, Ganguly’s career was not without its challenges. Following a public fallout with then-coach Greg Chappell, he was dropped from the team in 2005. Yet, demonstrating his resilience, Ganguly made a powerful comeback in 2006, silencing critics with his performances. His 98 against the West Indies in Nagpur exemplified his undying spirit and ability to thrive under pressure.

Sourav Ganguly retired from international cricket in 2008, leaving behind a legacy that transcends statistics. His final Test, played under the captaincy of MS Dhoni against Australia in Nagpur, saw him score 85 runs, a fitting farewell for a player who had given his all to Indian cricket.

Today, as we celebrate Ganguly’s 52nd birthday, we remember not just the runs and records, but the legacy of a leader who changed the face of Indian cricket, instilling a fighting spirit that continues to inspire generations.

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