3 captaincy decisions taken by Sourav Ganguly that changed Indian cricket
Here in this article, we take a look at the three decisions taken by Ganguly which changed the face of Indian cricket for good.Updated: Mar 24, 2020 12:39 IST
Sourav Ganguly picked up the mantle of the Indian team when the side was rocked with the match-fixing scandal. The team was in tatters, the general public had fallen out of love with the side and the game was limping along. However, this is when the man from Bengal shook the system, put into place his own ethos and stamped his authority all over Indian cricket.
Here in this article, we take a look at the three decisions taken by Ganguly which changed the face of Indian cricket for good:
Rahul Dravid as wicket-keeper in ODIs
India never really had an all-rounder who could bat at number six and bowl his 10 overs. Hence, Ganguly decided to give the wicket-keeping gloves to Rahul Dravid in order to accommodate an extra batsman in the playing XI. With Sachin Tendulkar, Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh and himself being decent bowlers, this also gave him the flexibility to go in with aggressive bowling options.
This move yielded bumper dividends for the side as Dravid did the job seamlessly behind the stumps and India marched into the finals of the 2003 World Cup.
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Virender Sehwag as opener in Tests
Virender Sehwag made his debut as a middle order batsman and smashed a ton in his very first appearance. As per pundits, his game was too risky and flamboyant to be successful in Test cricket, but this is when Ganguly took a punt - he promoted Sehwag to open the innings and in his own carefree and aggressive approach, the right-hander redefined the art of opening the batting in Test cricket.
He slammed two triple centuries and laid the foundation of a number of Test wins for India - both at home and abroad.
Sachin Tendulkar was given the ball in Eden Gardens
In many ways, the India vs Australia match at the Eden Gardens was a watershed moment for Indian cricket. Australia smashed the hosts in the first match in Mumbai and then asked them to follow on in the second match in Kolkata.
However, this is when VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid stepped up and pounded the Steve Waugh-led side. Australia were still in the game and looked good to draw the match on the final day when Sourav Ganguly tossed the ball to Sachin Tendulkar as the Australians were looking comfortable against Venkatpathy Raju.
Sachin picked up the important wicket of Adam Gilchrist and then the all-important scalp of Matthew Hayden. He pitched the ball right up and trapped both the left-handers as they looked to sweep him. He then got another wicket when he sent back Shane Warne.
This change not only changed the course of the match in Kolkata, but it changed Indian cricket as the value of this win in Eden Gardens cannot be stated enough.