‘Tu time note kar le bas’: Five times Sourav Ganguly gave it back to the opposition as India captain
The success India tasted under Ganguly, wouldn’t have been possible without the fearless attitude he led the team with, and in honour of that same courage, we’ve listed down five instances when the former India captain gave it back to the opposition.Updated: Jun 25, 2020 20:48 IST
Sourav Ganguly was easily one of India’s most quintessential leaders. Under Ganguly, the team started doing the one thing it barely did before his reign as captain: win matches abroad. He ushered India into a new era where the team would no longer be pushovers as the players refused to back down at the face of adversity, with Ganguly leading the way.
Under him, the Indian cricket team won a Test match in Australia after 22 years and registered its maiden Test series win in Pakistan. Ganguly led India in 146 ODIs, winning 76 of them, with a win percentage of 54. Under him, India reached the final of the 2003 World Cup and won the ICC Champions Trophy and the Natwest Tri-Series in England in 2002.
All this wouldn’t have been possible without the fearless attitude Ganguly led the team with, and in honour of that same courage, we’ve listed down five instances when the former India captain gave it back to the opposition.
1. Making Steve Waugh wait
Ganguly infamously made former Australia captain Steve Waugh wait during the ODI leg of the 2001 series at home. In the third ODI in Vizag, Ganguly turned up for the toss late, while Waugh was already out there waiting for the India captain to arrive. Ganguly later revealed that he did it deliberately as part of teaching the Australian team a lesson. As per Ganguly, John Buchanan, Australia’s coach back then, had spoken rudely to Javagal Srinath when during the previous ODI, the former fast bowler was coming on to the field.
The issue, however, did not die down, as Waugh in his autobiography ‘Out of My Comfort Zone’ wrote later that he was “wound up” by Ganguly’s “continued petulance” in being late for the toss, and alleged that the former captain was late for the toss “seven times” during the historic series. Waugh also alleged that Ganguly once tried to wrongly claim he had won the toss before the match referee intervened. Even Ganguly once revealed that during the 2003 series Down Under, Waugh had told him to be on time, to which the former captain replied: “If you behave, I will.”
2. Shunning Pommie Mbangwa away
In 2002, India and Zimbabwe had gotten a five-match series off to a thrilling start. Chasing 275 to win in Faridabad, Zimbabwe’s No. 10 Douglas Marillier played one of the most incredible one-day innings ever seen, to put his team on the brink of victory. The match was down to the wire with five needed off four balls and one wicket in hand, when Pommie Mbangwa rushed to the field with a bottle of water. However, Mbangwa’s intention behind jogging out wasn’t as much to quench the batsmen’s thirst as it was to convey a message, which did not miss Ganguly’s eyes. The instruction came first and then the bottle was handed, to which Ganguly straightaway walked up to the three Zimbabwe players and shunned Mbangwa away.
3. Giving Arnold an earful
During the 2002 Champions Trophy final against Sri Lanka, tempers flared between Ganguly and batsman Russell Arnold. The incident happened when Arnold, after playing a late cut, had taken a couple of strides on the main area of the pitch. Rahul Dravid, who was keeping wicket for India, immediately raised a concern about Arnold’s actions. This infuriated Ganguly, who walked down to the pitch, and gave an earful to the batsman. Arnold did not hold back either and eventually, it required intervention from umpire David Shepherd to get things back in control. Ganguly, however, kept throwing verbal volleys at Arnold from where he was fielding, even though years later, the former Sri Lanka all-rounder dismissed the whole incident as ‘banter’.
4. The iconic Lord’s celebration
The sight of an enthralled Ganguly waving his shirt from the historic Lord’s cricket stadium is the stuff of legends. After India had famously clinched a victory in the final of the Natwest Series final, beating England by two wickets, there was euphoria all around. However, when the cameras panned to the Indian dressing room, off took Ganguly his jersey, and waived it multiple times in the air, making it one of the most iconic moments of Indian cricket.
It’s been nearly two decades since the Natwest final, and Ganguly maintains he wouldn’t have done it. But considering what fuelled the incident, Ganguly cannot be blamed for his over-the-top celebration. Five months ago, Andrew Flintoff had bowled England to a series-levelling win in India in the sixth and final ODI at the Wankhede Stadium and celebrated the occasion by taking off his shirt and running around the stadium. Well, this was Ganguly’s time to retaliate. Ganguly and Flintoff did not share the best of relations either, their coldness dating back to days at the Lancashire County Cricket Club.
5. ‘Note the time, mate’
During his captaincy career, Ganguly was notorious for slow over-rates, and had to pay several fines as penalty for it. So when Pakistan toured India in 2005, and during one of the matches, Mohammad Yousuf halted the match due to a bleeding elbow, Ganguly decided to intervene. Although it was his elbow which was bleeding, Yousuf called for a runner, which added to the stoppage time. Ganguly reminded Yousuf to note down the time taken by him, so that the Indian captain wouldn’t have to pay for it later.
“Main ye nahi keh raha ki tu jaan boojhke kar raha hai. Tereko rest lena hai tu le le, par mujhe fine na kare. Tu time note kar le bas (I’m not saying you’re doing it deliberately. You want to take rest, that’s fine with me, but please note the time, so that I don’t get fined later,” Ganguly told Yousuf while casually resting his arm on MS Dhoni’s shoulders.”