Sourav Ganguly had a chequered career for Bengal and India. From hitting century on Test debut, to leading the Indian team in the finals of 2003 World Cup; Ganguly took an Indian team, that was down on morale after the match fixing scandal and made them into world beaters.
Cricbuzz.com interviewed Sourav Ganguly as his autobiography ‘A Century is Not Enough’ is enthralling the fans and critics alike. Here are the excerpts from the interview.
Ganguly described his international career as, “It was like a roller-coaster ride with many highs and lows. When you are young, it is tough to face rejection and failure. But deep down I knew I had the ability to succeed.”
Talking about losing his captaincy, Ganguly said, “That was the darkest phase. It was so unfair. Not just captaincy, I lost my place thrice during this period. I was being picked only to be dropped. It seemed I was on trial every time I went out to bat. It was my self-belief that kept me going. Every time I was dropped, I went back and worked harder in the nets and scored runs in domestic cricket.”
Talking about the point when Indian cricket team turned a new leaf, Ganguly pointed out the historical Eden Gardens Test of 2001 Border-Gavaskar series against Australia.
He said, “If players are too worried about keeping their place in the side, they are likely to play it safe. Players should focus entirely on winning matches and never think negatively. Once I spotted potential in a player, I picked him and backed him to succeed. More often than not, they did.”
Talking about his decision to retire, Ganguly explained, “For three years -- between 2005 and 2008 -- I fought a lonely battle. I scored runs everywhere. Moreover, I was batting better than ever in my career. In spite of that, I seemed to be on trial. When the situation did not change even in 2008, under a new captain and a new selection panel, I felt enough was enough.”
Talking about captaining India, Ganguly said,” It is a great honour to lead your country, but it is also a high-pressure job. There are scores of instances where players have given up the hot seat because of the pressures involved. It intrudes on your personal space. I enjoyed my stint at the helm and we had a string of impressive results.”
He further said, “If you look back, you will see that some of the best things in Indian cricket have happened by accident. Had Sachin Tendulkar not chosen to give up the job, I would have had to wait. The Indian captaincy, however, came to me at a very challenging time. The cricket world was reeling under the match-fixing saga. Also, we had lost a number of senior players and as a captain I had to rebuild the team.”
Talking about how he groomed Sehwag, Yuvraj and Zaheer Khan, Ganguly explained, “If players are too worried about keeping their place in the side, they are likely to play it safe. Players should focus entirely on winning matches and never think negatively. Once I spotted potential in a player, I picked him and backed him to succeed. More often than not, they did.”