How Sourav Ganguly’s mom-in-law predicted India would win iconic Kolkata Test vs Australia

Sourav Ganguly has revealed that his mother-in-law had predicted that the Indian cricket team would win the iconic Test against Australia in Kolkata.

cricket Updated: Mar 01, 2018 14:57 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, New Delhi
Sourav Ganguly,India vs Australia,Indian cricket team
Former Indian cricket team captain Sourav Ganguly has written a memoir, ‘A Century Is Not Enough’.(PTI)

As India openers Shiv Sunder Das and Sadagoppan Ramesh stepped into the Eden Gardens with the hosts asked to follow on, hardly anyone would have predicted that Sourav Ganguly’s boys would go on to win that iconic Test against the world beating Australian cricket team in March 2001.

India won that second Test by 171 runs to become only the third team to win a Test after following on. As the former India skipper correctly believes, that result changed the course of Indian cricket history, for good.

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However, one person had predicted that India would beat the Steve Waugh-captained Australians in Kolkata. No it was no seer, but skipper Sourav Ganguly’s mother-in-law.

“Australia scored 445 runs. In reply, we got 171 all out. I thought ‘gone’. Test match gone. Test series gone. And captaincy gone as well. I remember at the end of Day 3, after Australia had enforced the follow on, my mother-in-law came to the team hotel. She had brought some home food and we were having a chat in the room about everything but cricket, and she suddenly said, “Sourav, you will win this game.” That’s the thing with mothers-in-law — they always say the wrong thing at the wrong time (laughs),” Ganguly tells Open magazine in an interview while promoting his memoir ‘A Century Is Not Enough’.

“Back then, I didn’t see the funny side of it, so immediately after she left, I called my wife and said, “Why does your mother do this all the time?” She calmed me down and asked me to forget the whole incident. Two days later, we had pulled off one of the greatest comebacks in a Test match ever, and of course, my mother-in-law never lets me forget her words.”

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Going into the Eden Test, Australia had won 16 Tests, the first of the series in Mumbai, in a row and were on the verge of winning a series in India, which Waugh famously called the ‘final frontier’.

“After the game, I had invited the team home for dinner. I live in Behala (in Kolkata) and my in-laws’ house is next door — house 16 and house 17, right next to each other. As we entered, she was standing in the balcony with a big smile on her face, telling every player as they passed, “I told Sourav this would happen two days ago.” I honestly don’t know what she was thinking on Day 3, because none of us, apart from VVS Laxman and Rahul Dravid, was thinking that.”

Ganguly also revealed that Dravid was upset when he had to switch places with Laxman in the batting order after the Hyderabad batsman was the only one who scored a half-century in the first innings.

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“Rahul was pretty upset about it. Then he too scored 180 runs, to go with Laxman’s 281, and everything fell into place. Rahul too realised that he wasn’t playing well and that we needed to do something about it. When he got that hundred, you could see the anger and the frustration and what it meant to him,” revealed Ganguly.

“You saw him showing his bat (towards the press box). And I loved it. He became an even better player after that innings. He went on to get 80-plus in Chennai and we won the series. That series changed me as well, both as a person and a captain. I would say it was the point when Indian cricket changed, this time for the better.”

First Published: Mar 01, 2018 14:55 IST