Sourav Ganguly, known affectionately as Dada, Prince of Kolkata, Bengal Tiger and Maharaja, retired from cricket after the recent test series against Australia. He has been credited with bringing in young talent into the team like Yuvraj Singh, Md Kaif, Mahendra Singh Dhoni, Zaheer Khan and Irfan Pathan.
Ganguly was the most successful Indian captain in both tests and ODIs. He captained 49 test matches and won 21 of them. He won 3 Man of the Series in tests and 7 in ODIs. He was Man of the match in 6 tests and 31 ODIs. Ganguly was awarded the Padma Shri in 2004.
The youngest son of Chandidas and Nirupa Ganguly, Ganguly was born on 8 July 1972 in Kolkata. His father ran a flourishing print business and was one of the richest men in Kolkata. He had a luxurious childhood and was nicknamed the Maharaja. He was inspired to play cricket by his brother Snehasish Ganguly, an accomplished left-handed batsman for Bengal. After he scored a century against the Orissa U-15 side, he was made captain of St Xavier’s School’s cricket team.
Following a prolific Ranji season in 1990-91, Ganguly made his One Day International debut for India against West Indies in 1992, and scored three runs but he was dropped immediately.
Following an innings of 171 in the 1995-96 Duleep Trophy, Ganguly was recalled to the national side for the tour of England in 1996. He played in one ODI, but was omitted from the team for the first Test. However, after Navjot Sidhu left the touring team, he made his Test debut at Lord’s alongside Rahul Dravid. He scored a century, becoming only the third cricketer to score a century on debut at Lord’s. In the next Test match at Trent Bridge he made 136, thus becoming only the 3rd batsman to make a century in each of his first two innings.
In 1997 Ganguly scored his maiden ODI century (113), in his side’s 238, against Sri Lanka. Later that year he won four consecutive man of the match awards in the Sahara Cup with Pakistan, the second of these was won after he took 5/16 off 10 overs, his best bowling in an ODI.
In January 1998, in the final of the Independence Cup at Dhaka, against Pakistan, he scored 124 as India successfully chased down 315 off 48 overs, winning the Man of the match award.
In the 1999 World Cup Ganguly scored 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton, Somerset in England. The innings took 158 balls and included 17 fours and 7 sixes. It is the second highest in World Cup history and the highest by an Indian in the tournament. His partnership of 318 with Rahul Dravid is the highest ever in the World Cup and is the second highest in all ODI cricket
In 2000, Ganguly was named the captain of the India team. In the Champions Trophy of that year he scored 2 centuries but his second in the final was in vain as New Zealand won by four wickets. In 2003 under his captaincy India reached the World Cup Final, where they lost to the Australians.
In his tenure between 2000 and 2005, Ganguly became India’s most successful Test captain. He led his team to victory on 21 occasions – 7 more times than Mohammad Azharuddin with the second most wins – and led them for a record 49 matches – twice more than both Azharuddin and Sunil Gavaskar. In ODIs, he captained India in146 matches, emerging victorious on 76 occasions, second only to Azhuraddin in both number of wins and number of matches as captain.
Matches: 113 311
Runs scored: 7,127 11,363
Batting average: 42.17 41.02
100s/50s 16/34 22/72
Top score 239 183
Balls bowled 3,117 4,561
Wickets 32 100
Bowling average 52.53 38.49
5 wickets in innings 0 2
10 wickets in match 0 0
Best bowling 3/28 5/16
Catches 71 100