Tendulkar's poison is nectar for Ganguly

Published: Monday, March 27, 2000, 23:53 [IST]
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It was a close contest for the man of the series between the two contenders Saurav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar.

During the series, everybody has been paying attention to two things: Ganguly's captaincy which has drawn praise, and Tendulkar's form, which people say has returned because he stepped down from captaincy.

Ganguly's performances have always been overshadowed by the heroics of the batting maestro. That is nothing new.

For example, everybody spoke about Sachin's dismal performance in Australia, but conveniently overlooked Ganguly's contributions, which were by far the best from among the Indian batsmen on the tour.

You cannot take the credit away from the little master. He stepped down from captaincy and promptly bagged the Man of the Series award in the following tournament.

India winning the one-day series 3-2 had a lot to it apart from Sachin. The skipper's move of bowling Sachin and Dravid for longer spells did show his innovative instincts. But then above all, let's accept the fact that in all the flying starts that we got off to, it was the Prince of Calcutta who made his presence felt more than any other batsman around.

Well, now how is it that things were so obvious this time that Saurav was not lagging behind Sachin? Did captaincy have something to do with it? That is for the cricket fans to decide.

It has really been a long time since India won a series this emphatically, not leaving it till the final match. The skipper definitely had more than a little to do with it.

Probably that's the way it had to be. Sachin didn't want anything else on his shoulders apart from batting so as to perform at his best, and Saurav needed the responsibility to perform at his best.

Good enough. For the Indian fans, it has been a great time seeing their country perform this well.

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