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“You never get a champion player by holding him back,” — Sourav Ganguly.

WHEN IT COMES to cricket, Sourav Ganguly was one of the finest captains of the Indian Cricket Team because of his sheer aggression, passion, and intensity. Ganguly holds several records in the world of cricket. The man who changed the face of Indian cricket forever is remembered for his batting style, his on-field persona, and his bowling tactics. He has inspired players from across the world.

Ganguly took over as the captain of India in the year 2000. This was the time when the world had a bitter outlook on India post a series of match-fixing scandals. Ganguly was the vice-captain and took over as the captain, once Sachin stepped down from his captaincy. Thus the golden era of the Indian Cricket begun.

Immediately after being in charge of the team, India achieved various unique feats and scaled new heights in cricket under his leadership. Soon India became a force to reckon with and team India climbed to number 2 position, from number 8 when he left his captaincy.

Ganguly had the eye to spot raw talent. He was in favour of giving young budding players an opportunity to perform. Several players like L. Balaji, Gautam Gambhir, MS Dhoni, Irfan Pathan, Zaheer Khan, Dinesh Karthik and several others made their debut under his captaincy, who had later gone on to bring laurels for the country and become champions of the game. Had it not been for Sourav, these players might not have become the legends that they are today. Under his captaincy, team India conquer the undefeated streak of Australia, that is considered to be one of the greatest achievements till date. Australia won 16 consecutive Tests on the trot and was scheduled to face India next in a three-match series. India under Sourav Ganguly’s captaincy won the Test series 2-1 and thus showed to the world that even Australia can be conquered.

Ganguly backed his players when they needed him the most. From promoting a hesitant Virender Sehwag to open the innings for the team to fighting his way out to get Anil Kumble included in the team during the 2003-04 Australian tour for the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. Sehwag became one of the greatest opening batsmen ever in the game of cricket and Kumble picked the maximum number of wickets in the series against Australia and had an outstanding calendar year. Thanks to Sourav Ganguly and the trust he reposed upon his players.

Ganguly’s attitude was second to none. In 2003, he refused to resort to the tactic of preparing dustbowls for a home series vs New Zealand even though the Kiwis had presented India with excessively green tracks when they hosted the Indian side. This showed that Ganguly confidence on not relying on conditions for success and he boldly declared that his team could beat New Zealand on good pitches.

Ganguly was a champion in managing his bunch of players and bringing the best out of them. Ganguly provided Harbhajan Singh with the necessary support that led to his great performances. He made sure that he dealt with different players according to their temperament and was able to bring the best out of them. The flourishing of young players like Yuvraj, Harbhajan and Sehwag while the prospering of seniors like Kumble and Laxman are prime examples of that.

Ganguly was also brave in his decisions like promoting Laxman to No. 3 in the famous Kolkata Test of 2001 was based on proper analysis. He had later explained his logic while commentating in recent cricket matches. He was a sharp analyser of the game with a great tactical and strategic mind.

Ganguly was not only known for his gusty drives on the off-side and lofted sixes but also for his aggression as a captain that changed the face of Indian cricket.

His unparalleled leadership, talent and hunger for victory earned him several titles like the ‘Dada’, ‘God of Offside Cricket’, ‘The Bengal Tiger’ and the ‘Prince of Kolkata’. Here’s the compilation of the 16 best quotes on Sourav Ganguly that show he is the Dada of cricket.

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