Sourav Ganguly was the captain the Indian team needed in the early 2000s. A team beleaguered by match-fixing and a nation with their head bowed required a strong leader to take control and instil the much-needed confidence. The Prince of Kolkata immediately revamped the entire team and restored pride in them, making the people fall in love with the sport again.
The current BCCI president relentlessly backed the likes of Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Zaheer Khan, Yuvraj Singh, and a handful of others to create a solid core group. Gradually, he transformed them from highly talented individuals to genuine match-winners by encouraging them to play fearlessly. The credit for the Indian team’s present dominance undoubtedly began under the auspices of Sourav Ganguly.
We take a look at the five best captaincy decisions taken by Sourav Ganguly:
The decision to bat first under cloudy conditions in Headingley:
Headingley contested the third Test between England and India, with the conditions tailormade for bowling due to the grey skies. The toss fell in Sourav Ganguly’s favour and to everyone’s surprise, he decided to bat first. The reason behind the call was Ganguly’s desire to exploit the turning pitch on the final two days as the tourists opted for Harbhajan Singh and Anil Kumble.
It proved to be a masterstroke as India declared at 628-8, backed by centuries from Rahul Dravid, Sourav Ganguly, and Sachin Tendulkar. Sourav Ganguly enforced the follow-on after England managed only 273 in the first innings. England captain Nasser Hussain’s hundred was not enough as they crashed to an innings and a 46-run loss.