Tuesday, October 7, 2008
One Warrior Departs :(
I dont know how to put the Ganguly retirement across in exact words but I have just written what I feel in this blog entry... It is like you have lived your entire life seeing these players play and now when its time to depart , even one leaves and u feel its a part of your soul ripped away. im telling this cos ever since i started watching cricket in 1992, kapil dev retired first, then came the era of azhar jadeja robin javagal venkatesh manoj manjrekar and the like., and then when the heat was on and i got into cricket and started playing it on the roads came the likes of tendulkar-, then dravid and ganguly burst onto the stage with dominating fashion- indian cricket seemed in good hands., .. there came the era of change-- cricket went from being a test sport to a one day sport majorly- we played more one days than tests.. precisely i must say it was the 1997-1998-1999 period when this change came into effect. the likes of agarkar and mohanty came onto the scene... but none seemed effective enough to support the batting weight of the team. by this time sachin and ganguly had formed a formidable opening pair - which later on went on to become the best in one day history by a large margin. match after match, day in day out, these guys slogged in the middle to get the runs and pile up the hundreds. our middle order stood tall in the presence of rahul dravid, azharuddin, nayan mongia, navjot singh sidhu, with the bowling still having problems apart from javagal srinath and anil kumble. prasad was beginning to become repetitive. and then laxman came to the fore in a rare find for indian cricket. he filled the void of a patient strokemaker who was willing to bat with the top order as well as the bottom order. under this influence, we marched ahead with a few losses and fewer wins. we lost azhar and jadeja and a few others to the match fixing scandal that rocked indian cricket- when all thought it was curtains for indian cricket, dada scripted a captaincy spectacle in the australia series of 2001. (notable is the way tendulkar smashed the aussies to smithereens in the 1998 home series also!)
He started what i will call the renaissance of indian cricket - where we went from being just a team to a force, a power in the cricketing world none can avoid. Thanks to the media and more than that, the performances of the four people who were now the crux of the indian batting lineup - laxman, sachin, dravid, and ganguly- they came to be known as the Fab 4. As they reached their peak together , other teams buckled under the constant pressure of their batting prowess. Ganguly grew from being a player to a captain nonpareil- tendulkar a master from being a stroke of genius- dravid from the master of dot balls to an all season player- laxman from a young irresponsible chap to a big innings player. Time and again, australia was the target they aimed at. Now, as they reach the end of what i will call the best ever era of indian batting, one warrior needs to depart. A god in his own terms as everyone else in the fab 4 is, he was what one can describe as the best enigma. noone could understand him, but he made sure he could understand everyone and make them gel as a unit. Only after he called quits did I realise the magnitude of the decision. one person i had grown up seeing him play, would no more be on tv smashing those bowlers for towering sixes and those gentle pushes on the offside. The fab 4 would no more be the fab 4.- they would soon be three., and two and eventually fade away. Time is the cruellest thing I would say- despite feeling really sad and down for the past few hours about this announcement, i should say ganguly did the best he can to indian cricket, as everyone else in the fab 4 did. he is a genius who lost his way somehow in the between and became a leader instead of the way tendulkar went. in my terms , losing his way meant his path to unending fame and glory as the best captain india had ever had. He would be remembered by one and all as a player who never said quits. As his swansong begins, let us all cheer him every moment in this series. He deserves more than just a tear from our eye.