Friday, April 2, 2010

When the Bengal tiger roared again

By: Subhadeep Bhattacharjee

If consistency defines Sachin Tendulkar and patience defines Rahul Dravid, persistence has to be the word for Sourav Ganguly. There is can be no better example of defiance in Indian cricket than that of Prince of Kolkata's or Dada as they fondly call him in his hometown of Kolkata. One thing which Ganguly has come to epitomise is determination to prove his critics wrong. The moment people count him out he produces something to silence all his critics. No cricketer of this stature has perhaps had to prove so much as Sourav Ganuly has.

The swashbuckling 88 that he scored against Deccan Chargers is a fitting reply to all the critics who have put question marks on his skills. The thumping of the chest after he scored his 50 said it all that the Kolkata's favourite son still has the fire in him to keep him going. Those sixes of Pragyan Ojha brought back memories of the vintage Ganguly who used to murder left arm spinners. Ojha can perhaps only blame his luck as he was up against a player who was known to be the killer of his art.

Most critics of Ganguly who were calling for his head have been silenced for now as Dada has let his bat do the talking and proving his point. But does he need to prove his point to anybody anymore? Most of his critics are people who haven't gone beyond playing first class career of have had a guest appearance at the international level. Is Ganguly's class subject to their testimonial? Surely not, as a out of form Ganguly is still better than most of his critics at their peak.

It is perhaps destiny that Sourav Ganguly has had top face critics all throughout his international career since 1992 when he was infamously dropped from the team after just one game and had to wait for another four years to make a comeback. God only knows what his records would have been had Sourav Ganguly not missed those four years. But the never say die attitude is something which has kept him going for so many years in spite of facing hurdles time and again.

Every sportsman is known and respected for some of his skill set. For Sachin Tendulkat it has been his form, fitness and above all ambassadorship of the Gentleman's Game. Brian Lara made cricket look like art while he batted, Rahul Dravid's patience and concentration has no parallels in world cricket. But what Sourav Ganguly will be best remembered for his mental toughness.

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