‘Sourav Ganguly knew amazing things can happen’: When Dada backed a young batsman who became a match-winner for India
In a recent interaction, former India pacer Irfan Pathan was asked to name the “best leader of men in India cricket”. Pathan went with Ganguly as his pick and said that the former India captain knew the right players to back.Updated: Aug 03, 2020 14:38 IST
Former India captain Sourav Ganguly is regarded as one of the most successful players to have led Indian cricket team. In the early 2000s, Ganguly revolutionised Indian cricket as his team developed a new must-win attitude and went on to challenge some of the best oppositions in the world. Ganguly had players like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Javagal Srinath, Anil Kumble in his team. Yet he never shied away from giving youngsters a chance and backing them. Ganguly created future stars like Yuvraj Singh, Virender Sehwag, Harbhajan Singh, Irfan Pathan, MS Dhoni, and many more.
In a recent interaction, former India pacer Irfan Pathan was asked to name the “best leader of men in India cricket”. Without a surprise, Pathan went with Sourav Ganguly and said that the former India captain knew the right players to back.
Pathan recalled how Yuvraj Singh received Ganguly’s support during a tough phase of his career. “Sourav Ganguly wanted to make sure that he built the team. I remember Yuvraj Singh was struggling at the start of his career for quite a few matches. Ganguly backed him,” Pathan told cricket.com.
“He knew that if I back this guy, some amazing things can happen in the future and certainly it did happen,” Pathan further said. Ganguly’s call proved to be true as Yuvraj led Indian team to some of the most memorable wins throughout his career.
In 2002, he played a crucial knock alongside Mohammad Kaif to help India chase down 326 at Lord’s to win the Natwest Trophy final against England. In 2007, Yuvraj was the star player of India’s T20I World Cup winning team, and his innings against England, in which he smashed six sixes in Stuart Broad’s over is still remembered as an iconic moment in cricket history.
Yuvraj also went on to display tremendous all-round show for India at the 2011 World Cup, where he was named the man of the series after India lifted the trophy.
Pathan said that Ganguly built the Indian team when it was in the slump. “Not only Yuvraj, Ganguly also backed youngsters like Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan. He built the team when the India team was in a slump. People did not love cricket because it was a tough time for cricket in India. Making people love the Indian cricket team again, the credit should be given to Sourav Ganguly.
“That is why if we talk about leader, he was the leader of the players. Ganguly had only one agenda. To make sure Indian team grows. Nothing else,” Pathan signed off.