THIS TIME last year, Sourav Ganguly had almost been forgotten. Many had written him off. The former India skipper's phoenix-like rise from the ashes of despair has been a phenomenal story.
Given the way things have gone this winter for him -- he was India's highest run-getter in the South African Tests -- his 98 in India's 14-run win against the West Indies on Sunday was almost inevitable.
After a Test comeback that has been part grit, part gumption and wholly fairy tale, Ganguly could do nothing less than succeed on his return to one-day cricket after 500 days in exile.
His knock drew high praise from both Rahul Dravid and Brian Lara, who called him a player of "high class". "You expect performances like that (from Ganguly)... He is mentally strong and very capable," said Lara.
Cramps forced Ganguly off the field when the Windies chased, so he was not there when India won. But there is no doubt that the win stemmed from his innings of substance. Ironically, as in the Tests, it looks like Dravid will look to the man he dethroned to bring back the magic for India.