‘Ganguly went to Australia fully-prepared for the bouncing ball’: David Lloyd on Dada’s impact on Indian team
No one can underestimate the impact of Sourav Ganguly as captain of the Indian team. The former India skipper ushered the team into a new era at the dawn of the century and inculcated a feeling of confidence and self-belief like no one else. Why else do you think his long-time rival captain Nasser Hussain had great things to say about Ganguly despite his claims that the former India captain made him wait multiple times before the toss?
After Hussain called Ganguly a ‘feisty cricketer’, another former English cricketer has revealed his admiration for the current BCCI president. David Lloyd, who played nine Tests and ODIs for England, and is one of the most renowned commentators in the world, called himself a fan of Ganguly and lauded him for effecting a paradigm shift in Indian cricket.
“I’m a massive fan of Ganguly by the way. I think Sourav Ganguly gave the team a real steel that we will not be dictated by quick bowlers because we’re going to find some of our own players,” Lloyd said on the Sony Ten Pit Stop Show.
Before Ganguly took over as captain of the Indian team, India’s overseas record was abysmal, especially in the 1990s. But under Ganguly, India beat Australia and England in Test matches on their soil and led the team to the Natwest Trophy and the ICC Champions Trophy title in 2002. A year later, India reached the final of the 2003 World Cup and registered Test and ODI series wins in Pakistan a year later.
After being annihilated 0-3 against Australia during the 1999-2000 tour, India, under Ganguly, drew the 2003-04 Border Gavaskar Trophy 1-1. India learned to combat the pace and bounce of foreign surfaces and that Lloyd reckons is one of Ganguly’s biggest contributions to the Indian cricket team.
“It was always a suggestion that India, away from home, don’t like the bouncing ball. Ganguly went to Australia fully prepared for the bouncing ball,” he said. “Of course, India in India, it is unbelievably difficult. But you always felt that India away from home that you’ve got every chance. Ganguly was the catalyst. Ganguly, and there was the duo of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.”
Bumble, as Lloyd is fondly called, feels the fact that Ganguly dared to play spinners even on foreign, bouncy pitches was a testament to his character. It was a major factor in Ganguly become the then-most successful Test captain of India, leading the team to 21 wins in 49 matches.
“Now if you’re bringing a quality spinner and you’ve got a couple of pacemen, you’re in business, not only in India, you’re in business worldwide. And I think Ganguly has been a massive influence on Indian cricket. I think he’s been the catalyst for Indian cricket to be a worldwide force,” he said.