Sourav Ganguly

Sourav Ganguly: The Visionary Who Transformed the Youthful Indian Cricket Team, Dada Turns 51

Former captain of Kolkata and the Indian cricket team, Sourav Ganguly, has turned 51 today. Regarded as the ‘God of Offside’, Ganguly has scored over 18,500 runs in more than 424 matches for India, playing a crucial role in shaping a young Indian team. Throughout his career, he served as a batsman, a captain, the President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), and currently works as the Director of Cricket for the Delhi Capitals.

It is often said that you either love or hate Dada for his explosive batting style, but there is nothing in between.

Sourav Ganguly, who represented India in 424 matches and scored a total of 18,575 runs, is easily one of the greatest players in Indian cricket.

Kolkata’s prince has turned 51 today, and the nation cannot forget the major achievements of his career. When Indian cricket was engulfed in match-fixing allegations, Ganguly is credited with shaping a young team and leading it. He ushered in a new era in Indian cricket with young players like Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan Singh, and MS Dhoni.

There has hardly been a batsman who played such clean shots in the offside as Dada used to. The God of Offside, as contemporaries like Rahul Dravid acknowledge, has mesmerized fans with his batting style, chosen by the fraternity.

In his illustrious career spanning two decades, Sourav Ganguly has served as a batsman, captain, and President of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) – and his contribution continues to be significant. He will remain associated with the IPL as the Director of Cricket for the Delhi Capitals.

With the bat in his left hand, Ganguly made his Test debut against England in 1996, where he scored a century at Lord’s.

Unforgettable Moment: Sourav Ganguly’s Shirt Unleashed on the Lord’s Balcony

Dada continued to make headlines and soon became the third batsman in history to score a century in both innings of his first Test match. He accumulated 7,212 runs with an average of 42.17, including 16 centuries and 35 half-centuries in 113 Test matches.

Afterward, Ganguly made his debut in 50-over cricket in 1997 and solidified his place in the Indian team by winning the Player of the Match award in four consecutive matches against Pakistan. The Kolkata Prince scored 22 centuries and 72 half-centuries.

Although he wore the Indian jersey for 311 One Day Internationals, his T20 contributions were limited as he captained and led the Kolkata Knight Riders in the IPL in 2008.

After captaining the Indian Test team in 49 matches and leading the team in 147 ODIs, Dada became one of the most successful captains with win percentages of 42.85 and 51.70, respectively.

Ganguly has given fans many memories. One of them is when he took off his shirt on the balcony of Lord’s after India defeated England in the Natwest Series final in 2003.

This thrilling celebration happened nearly 20 years ago, but ask any fan of Dada, and they will remember it.

Although he won only one ICC title as a responsible successor to MS Dhoni, his impact in instilling the desire to win among the youth is commendable. Ganguly truly had control over ICC tournaments. He played 34 ICC tournament matches, including 21 Cricket World Cup matches and 13 Champions Trophy matches. With the highest score of 183 in ICC tournaments, the experienced batsman has scored over 1,600 runs.

Ganguly’s love affair with knockout matches or World Cups was not limited to one or two. In 1998, when India reached the semifinals of the ICC Knockout and succeeded, Ganguly scored 84 runs with an average of 47.00 in two innings.

Later, in the 1999 World Cup, the former captain emerged as the third-highest run-scorer for India with 379 runs in just seven matches.

With two centuries and one half-century, Dada became the leading run-scorer in the ICC Knockout in 2000.

When the ICC Knockout was renamed the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002, Ganguly performed well by scoring 143 runs in three matches, leading India to the final. However, rain disrupted the final, resulting in India sharing the trophy with Sri Lanka.

In the 2003 World Cup, when India reached the final but lost to the Australian team, Ganguly was at his peak as a batsman and scored 465 runs in 11 matches.

However, in the 2004 and 2007 tournaments, namely the Champions Trophy and the World Cup, India did not achieve the desired results. Nevertheless, Ganguly scored 90 runs and 162 runs in both tournaments, respectively.

Overall, the left-handed batsman has an average of 82.85 in knockout stage matches, which is higher than any other great Indian batsman, including Dravid, Tendulkar, and Kohli.

Dada has provided Indian fans with many unforgettable performances that are still remembered by fans. His valor cannot be summed up in one go. But here’s wishing the great Sourav Ganguly a happy birthday.

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