Posts Tagged ‘Sourav Ganguly’

The return of Sourav Ganguly to the IPL …

Let me tell you one thing…

Sourav Ganguly is the KING of comebacks!

You have someone like Ajit Agarkar, who has made so many damn comebacks to competitive cricket that everyone keeps calling him the King of comebacks.

But this guy, Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, when he makes a comeback, he makes it count! (go back to December 2006 and IPL 2010)

His recall in December 2006 to international cricket coincided with one of India’s greatest moments in test cricket (India winning their first ever test match in South Africa) and his recall as captain of Kolkata in IPL 2010 saw him become the 4th highest run-scorer with 493 runs in 14 matches and saw the team missing qualification to the semi-finals due to net-run rate.

However, his reputation was tarnished big-time earlier this year when he went unselected in the auction (despite fellow old-timers like Dravid, Gilchrist and Laxman being selected). To rub salt into his wounds, this was after he had jacked up his starting price to $400,000 (from $200,000) after having been promised by a certain franchise owner that he would be picked up by them.

It all descended into a farce when someone wanted his name to be put up for a second round of auctions but no-one bid for him then as well. Subsequent attempts by Kochi to rope him in was also dashed by the other franchises.

However, he’s now back in the IPL, albeit with the man that ‘disgraced’ him, Subrata Roy. Funnily enough, as one article on Yahoo! Cricket mentioned, he’s back in the team which is being captained by a player who was brought into the Indian team by him!

Bengal’s love for Ganguly

I had the good fortune of working with a person from Kolkata on a project. When I asked him whether the public disappointment and outrage over Sourav Ganguly’s non-selection by any franchises was real or whether it was just over-hyped by the Indian news-channels.

He said that it was very real and that there were actually protests against Ganguly’s non-selection by the franchises.

He then told me of a match he had attended in the currently ongoing IPL. When I asked him whether it was easy to get tickets, he said that it wasn’t a problem at all. I was surprised at this. He then mentioned a line which showed how much Bengalis really loved him.

For every empty seat at Eden Gardens, there is a Ganguly fan out there who can’t accept a Kolkata team without Ganguly.

I had the good fortune, today, to catch the discussion before the match between Sri Lanka and Canada on Star Cricket. The host was the ever-smiling Harsha Bhogle, and with him were an interesting set of characters.

One was Navjot Sidhu. I don’t think I have to tell anyone as to who he is. I don’t know much about Sidhu the player, but Sidhu the pundit I know plenty. He loves to deal in……how do I say it? Let me give an example. One of the panelists had said that Canada might prove to be a slippery customer. To that, Sidhu added “As slippery as an eel”. You get it, right?

However, despite all the jokes and the merriness, Sidhu does have some strong opinions, which many people might find it hard to take seriously largely because you don’t really know whether he’s joking or serious when he’s talking!

The second was Tony Greig, another who is famous for his trademark commentary lines, such as “the little Sri Lankans” and “it’s all happening here at the *insert stadium name*”.

Last, but not least, was Sourav Ganguly. Now, it’s because of this man that this post is coming up.

The pre-match discussion program had featured a segment where Dermot Reeve, former English cricketer, explained the decision review system.

After that, Harsha then threw out the question “Why is India fighting tooth-and-nail against the UDRS?” into the open.

Tony said that it was important because he wouldn’t want to see a situation where, say, Tendulkar or Sehwag got out to a bad decision and it changed the outcome of their campaign. Sidhu strongly voiced his approval.

However, the actual reason for this finally came out into the open when Sourav Ganguly put forth his views. Now, IMHO, Sourav was the perfect person to answer this question as he was part of the only series when India used the UDRS (in the away test series against Sri Lanka in 2008, where India got only one review in their favour, as opposed to the 10-20 decisions that SL got in their favour).

He gave what I felt was a funny reason. He said that, apparently, the Indian players were doubtful that the angle of the cameras being used for Hotspot were correct.

However, Tony intervened. He was, FYI, part of the commentary team for Ten Sports for that series. Tony said that India didn’t use the UDRS well but Sri Lanka had used it perfectly.

They didn’t talk anything else interesting, just a whole load of giggling after that.

However, now we know the reason why India have always opposed the UDRS. It isn’t really about the “100% accuracy” that MS Dhoni and co. keep talking about. It’s about the ANGLES, apparently.

Is anyone capable of shedding some light on what Sourav actually meant by this? I’d be more than glad to incorporate it in the post (with due credit) if someone can give me a good explanation! J

 

This is what the best spinner ever, Shane Warne, said recently. I picked it off Cricinfo.

It just goes on to show that mind games really do work if they are done in the correct way.

To be quite frank, I don’t have a lot of memories of watching Warney bowl as I only got cable in 2007, but I do get to watch a lot of his archives on Star Cricket as well as his IPL performances, but I do love him because of what I have seen of him, he must be the greatest fucking bowler (if not player) out there in the world.

I mean, can you believe it that he had 8 (maybe more, maybe less) names for the straighter ball? You must be a clever bastard to actually get away with that.

I still can’t forget the mind games that he used to play on the opposition…the most memorable one being the nickname ‘Shermanator’ given to Ian Bell during the test in Adelaide in 2006. He says that he and Michael Clarke were watching American Pie the day before and, when they saw the actual ‘Shermanator’, they were apparently reminded of Ian Bell! 😀

Staying on the topic of mind games, can’t forget what McGrath used to do to opposition batting. Just before every test series, he always named a batsman that he planned to target during the series. The batsman generally tended to be the best or, at least, the second best batsman in the side.

The whole logic behind this is amazing. I’m sure that the targeted batsman might get into a frenzy when he’s named as the target and would engage in a lot of batting practice and watch a lot of videos to get a hang of McGrath.

However, all this is generally in vain as he always manages to get the target out at least 3 times during the series. This has a profound effect on the rest of the batting as, if McGrath is able to get a batsman out after having announced him as a target a long time ago, just imagine what he would be able to do with the others?

However, mind games only work if you target them to the right person. I’m sure plenty of viewers have noticed that the likes of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar were rarely sledged at. This is because they know that these guys don’t give a rat’s ass about what they say and, if they did sledge them, it would just ensure that both of them would concentrate harder on their game, making it even difficult to dislodge them.

However, there were people like Sourav Ganguly who would easily get riled up with the taunts. Apparently, during a test match in India, there was a big crowd @ the stadium. Ganguly seemed intent on blocking every ball while Tendulkar was at the other end.

Warne decided to weave his ‘magic’ on Ganguly by telling him ‘Hey mate, the crowd’s come to watch the other bloke bat, not to watch you defend’. This got Ganguly all wound up and he launched at the next delivery from Warne and got stumped! 🙂

However, once in a while, even the Aussies got it wrong. A memorable conversation between the former Zimbabwean bulky fast bowler Eddo Brandes (while he was batting) and McGrath went like this:

McGrath – How come you’re so fat?

Brandes – It’s because your wife gave me a cookie every time I fucked her!

Classic, ‘innit?