Having been in the thick of things for the better part of his career, Sourav Ganguly was languishing at deep mid-wicket and waiting for the final moment on Monday. It came at 2.10 pm, when the last Australian wicket fell and India's most successful skipper became a former player.
He joined the celebrations before being chaired out quite fittingly by Harbhajan Singh and V.V.S. Laxman with Ishant Sharma lending support. Ganguly showed no emotions at his final media conference in India colours, although he sounded somewhat low on energy. Maybe he was making too strong an effort to stay normal. The following are excerpts of what he said.
On going out on a winning note
To win the series 2-0 against the best side in the world is very satisfying. After the first Test in Bangalore, we dominated all three Tests. We are the only side to have competed against them well. It holds good for the future. At the same time, it just shows the seniors are good enough. My time is up, but Sachin, Rahul, Laxman are still fantastic.
On whether he could carry on
I have had my time. I am happy with the way things have gone. I had a good series, we have beaten the best team in the world. There were lots of doubts after we came back from Sri Lanka. But the way this series has finished, I am ready to sacrifice a year of cricket for that. No question of reconsideration. I may play Ranji Trophy, but need a break before deciding anything.
On what helped him overcome the odds
I think toughness. It was more than what many people thought I had. I have had questions asked right through my career. I am happy that I have overcome all of them and am here today because of my ability and toughness.
On his style of captaincy
I just did what I believed was right. I would never believe a lot on the drawing board. It was a phase where we needed to take Indian cricket forward, especially overseas. I was lucky to have Sachin, Rahul, Laxman, Sehwag and Harbhajan probably playing their best cricket at that stage between 2000 and 2005. And you have seen the results overseas. We have always been a strong team home. So the overseas results I will always cherish.