While most players have an elaborate pre-match routine, Sourav Ganguly prefers to keep his simple and uncomplicated. Compared to modern pros who stretch, sprint, loosen up, bowl, aim throws at a plastic stump and take hundred practice catches, Sourav's routine is wonderfully laidback and old world.
Before the start, Dada walked out to the middle, acknowledged loud cheers from the sellout Kotla crowd in a regal manner and got down to business. After a quick look at the track and a brief word with the ground staff, he picked up his bat to knock near the boundary line.
Sourav's choice of bat is equally interesting. My bats have not changed, a shade lighter but bulked up near the toe, he said. I use two grips and ideally the willow should have 7 to 8 grains close to each other. As my bats don't break, I don't need more than two or three in a season —I keep playing with a bat if I am getting runs. To a question of what keeps him going at 40, competing with kids less than half his age, Dada smiled. There is no big secret; it is the same for everyone. I just love playing.
KP is great
Rameez Raja, meanwhile, had a somewhat more complex opinion about what separates the great from the good. KP, he said, is looking not just to contribute but win matches. KP is the closest to Viv Richards in terms of aura and healthy arrogance.
Robin Uthappa, who has changed the ‘look’ of wicketkeepers by wearing protective gear inside the trouser, says, “I wear lightweight shin guards instead of pads because they are lighter, more comfortable and allow me to move quicker.”
Writer is CEO of Delhi Daredevils