Indian cricketing icon Sachin Tendulkar lauded his former teammate Sourav Ganguly and his time as India captain. He said that Ganguly knew how to maintain the balance between giving the players freedom and giving them certain responsibilities. The current chief of the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI), Ganguly, captained India from 2000 to 2005. Tendulkar called Ganguly a great captain, who took over when Indian cricket was in a transition phase and provided the support that the next bunch of players needed at the start of their careers. Ganguly took over the India captaincy after Tendulkar stepped down from the role in 2000.
“Sourav was a great captain. He knew how to maintain a balance – between giving freedom to the players and giving them certain responsibilities,” Tendulkar said. “When he took over, Indian cricket was in a transition phase. We needed the next bunch of players who could set a platform for propelling India forward,” said the legendary former Indian batter “At that time, we found top-class players – Virender Sehwag, Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Harbhajan Singh, Ashish Nehra to name a few.” The above-mentioned players later also played together in the 2003 World Cup under Ganguly and made the final of the tournament, in which India lost against Australia. “They were gifted players, but even gifted players need support at the start of their careers, which Sourav provided.
While their roles were defined in the team, they also got the freedom required to express themselves,” added the 49-year-old. Under Ganguly’s captaincy, India qualified for the final ICC KnockOut Trophy in 2000 and World Cup in 2003, won the NatWest Series in 2002, and became joint-winners of the ICC Champions Trophy in 2002. In 2001, India won the home Test series against Steve Waugh’s Australia, during which India broke the Aussies’ 16-match winning streak. Ganguly made his India debut in 1992 and appeared in 113 Test matches and 311 ODIs, scoring 18,575 runs across the two formats with an average of 41.59, and picking up 132 wickets. He last played for India in 2008 in a Test match against Australia. He celebrated his 50th birthday on July 8, Friday.