It was Ganguly's WC too

Written by: Mamatha Maben
Published: Wednesday, March 26, 2003, 18:43 [IST]
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Bangalore: India's performance at the 2003 World Cup, for most, part was 'magical'. That it came a cropper in what was billed to be the 'clash of the giants' was a major dampener.

Having said that, this Indian team warmed many a heart with the way it rose from the grave to wipe away major contenders.

Sachin may have been the instigator & the cornerstone of this great Indian dominance, however it was very much Ganguly's World Cup too.

Ganguly may not have impressed with the bat against Test playing nations but there is no doubting that he has done his job. Captaincy is a job in itself and it is evident he has brought about a remarkable change in the approach & outlook of this Indian team.

He may not have graduated into the 'perfect' zone but definitely is thereabouts. Ganguly the captain has come a long way since he was first on display. He has grown wiser with experience and seems to be gauging the situation and weighing his options to a greater degree of precision.

He seems to have streamlined a few things and instilled the touch of professionalism into the Indian the set up.

In short, he has pruned & dressed this Indian outfit to work with efficiency & valour and although the Indians have a long way to go to sit atop the summit, there is little doubt that they are well on their way.

If Ganguly can build on from here, India will definitely be a force to reckon with in the near future.

However, Ganguly will have to sort out his batting woes. Although a century is a century, centuries against lesser nations don't weigh much; how much ever one would like to argue against it.

In my book, Ganguly is a good One-day batsman. So it is not a matter of grave concern. For as long as he can take India higher up the rung his contributions with the bat may not come in for scrutiny.

Though I still have reservations regarding the way the 'Maharaja' conducts himself, it is nice to see that he is learning and improving with each day.

I had always maintained that I will take my hat off only when they (Indian team) register wins against formidable opposition in their homelands. Until then I will give them due credit but not go over the roof.

However, this Indian performance at the 2003 World Cup - albeit a runner-up show, is worth a plenty and I for one doff my hat to this Indian team for its stupendous display match after match during the entire course of the showpiece.


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