Thursday, October 2, 2008
There has been yet another twist in the tale of the Tiger. Sourav Ganguly lives to fight another day. An engrossing career stretches further. The new selection panel, headed by Krishnamachari Srikkanth, has handed Ganguly a lifeline. The speculations doing the rounds after Dada’s omission from the Rest of India squad for the Irani Cup match pointed to a possible end of his international journey. In all fairness to Ganguly, he played a series-levelling knock, a priceless 87, on a turning track at Kanpur against the South Africans this year. That, incidentally, was India’s last home Test.
Subsequently, he failed against a potent spin combination in Sri Lanka. So did the others. There was a distinct belief that Ganguly was being singled out. Reflexes don’t dull overnight.
In a startling piece of statistics, Ganguly has scored more runs than any other Indian batsman since his famous comeback at the Wanderers against South Africa in the 2006-07 season.
During the period, Ganguly has made 1667 runs in 21 Tests at 45.05. The next highest is Sachin Tendulkar with 1408 runs. Ganguly has scored runs at home, coped well with the bounce and seam movement in South Africa, and the swing in England. He was comparatively less successful in Australia, yet there were combative half-centuries from his blade in Sydney and Melbourne.
Apart from his ability in the middle-order as a strokeful left-handed batsman who can disrupt the rhythm of an attack, Ganguly brings with him aggression and combative instinct. The Aussies know him well. He has worked on his stance that is more upright and balanced and has, consequently, tightened his game against the pacemen.