Arguably one of the best captains of the Indian national team, Saurav Ganguly is lovingly known as the Prince of Kolkata in his home town. He is also known as the god of offside because of his eye for stroke play through the off side. He is the only captain to have taken a test playing nation up the ICC rankings by 6 places from 8th to 2nd.
He is still known for his aggressive approach to the game and his relentless desire to score runs even in difficult conditions. He was not able to lift the World Cup in his career but gave India a solid platform for years to come. We bring you 5 best innings that ‘Dada’ has played in his career.
141* against South Africa
This innings of 144* by Dada is regarded as the 2nd best inning by an Indian batsman, by the Wisden. It was the semi final of the ICC Knockout Cup in 200. India were facing a well balanced South African team and needed to put runs on the board batting first. Ganguly was in a league of his own as he knit a 145 run partnership with Rahul Dravid and scored a century in just 114 balls with 11 fours and 6 sixes. India posted a comfortable victory after setting a target of 296 in 50 over’s. They went on to win the game with 95 runs.
183 against Sri Lanka
His personal highest, Ganguly was in great form in the 1999 World Cup. India did not start the campaign well having lost to Zimbabwe and South Africa in the previous matches. India were put into bat in this match and lost its opener Ramesh in the first over. But once again, Ganguly and Dravid put on a record 300 run stand and took India to a commendable 373/6 in 50 over’s. Ganguly punished the Sri Lankan bowlers all around the park. His 183 came in just 158 balls as India posted a huge victory by 157 runs.
141 against Pakistan
The Carlton and united series between the arch rivals saw some great competitive cricket played in the 2000. Ganguly and his side chose to bat in this game. Ganguly was the only top order batsman who scored big while the like of Sachin and Dravid had small partnerships with the skipper. He scored a century of just 118 balls and ended his innings on 141 of 144 balls. He hit the Pakistan bowlers to 12 fours and a six as he rendered the bowling attack helpless. India won the game with 46 runs and Ganguly was the man of the match in the game.
60 against England
The Natwest series involving India, England and Sri Lanka was witnessing its final at the Lords. England batted first and put on a mammoth 325 on the board for India to chase for victory in the final. It needed a great start and an equally good finish if India wanted a victory. The start was provided by Sehwag and Ganguly. Ganguly smashed 60 off 43 balls with 10 fours and a 6 and gave India a chance at chasing the target. A young Yuvraj with a matured head helped India achieve the target and give the team a memorable and incredible victory at the Lords.
239 against Pakistan
Another innings against he rivals, Ganguly always fancied teams with great reputations. Pakistan and India faced each other in a test match at Bangalore as India was batting first. India was crumbling at 61/4 by lunch. But Ganguly and Yuvraj had other ideas as they steered the ship from danger. Ganguly who never had a double century before the game scores his maiden double ton in international cricket. He also batted with the likes of Pathan lower down the order and bought up his double ton. He played for 361 balls and was at the crease for 518 minutes. He hit 30 fours and 2 sixes in this innings. Unfortunately the match ended in a draw.
India will not find a player of Ganguly’s caliber and will find it even harder to find a captain like him. He has given Indian cricket some great moments and will be remembered and cherished forever.