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Skipper Sourav shows courage under fire

The thing Sourav Ganguly hates most is having his credentials as a batsman questioned.

india Updated: Mar 22, 2003 00:46 IST

The thing Sourav Ganguly hates most is having his credentials as a batsman questioned. Unfortunately for him, that happens quite often.

“If I was that bad, how is my average so good? And how did I manage to amass the fastest 8,000 runs in one-day cricket?” he asks in response to the criticism that he fails more often than scores runs.

When this World Cup began, Ganguly’s poor scores in New Zealand and his failure in the first few matches here led critics to question his place in the side. The captain remained calm. “I am not under pressure. The Cup has just begun and people should wait a while before passing judgment on my batting,” he said during the early stages of the Cup.

But he was under pressure. As he himself put it: “Batting failures are always worse when you’re captain. There are a thousand and one things to be seen to and you have very little time for yourself.”

It made coming out of a bad patch that much tougher. That’s why Ganguly should be given credit for effort.

His performance in the Super Sixes and the three hundreds he has hit in this tournament may have forced many to reassess their criticism.

Even though the hundreds have come against Kenya and Namibia, their importance should not be underestimated. His two tons against Kenya, especially the first in the Super Six stage, were made when his team was in danger of losing.

His hundred in the semi-final was studded with every one of those graceful, yet powerful shots which make Ganguly one of the most dangerous of one-day players. It does augur well for India that Ganguly, who also played a brilliant cameo against New Zealand, is back in form.

And if he succeeds in the final, the criticism that he struggles against quality attacks, especially of the fast variety, will probably be silenced forever. But that is a big if.

First Published: Mar 22, 2003 00:46 IST