Ganguly leaves lasting legacy

Published: Tuesday, November 11, 2008, 11:05 [IST]
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Nagpur: Ganguly, who has retired from Test cricket after India thrashed Australia by 172 runs in the fourth Test to win the series 2-0, said he would like to be remembered for his mental toughness.

''Many people questioned my abilities when I made my debut.

Time and again people have questioned my abilities, but I am happy that I came through it all,'' he told a packed media conference here after the match.

Ganguly further said the change of the image of Indian cricket between 2000 and 2005 would be the legacy he hopes to have left behind.

''I mean, it's not just me, but as a unit, we became a better team outside India. We were always a strong team at home, but during this period, we won in Australia, Pakistan, West Indies, England,'' he said.

Ganguly also felt that he was feeling sad about quitting the game. ''I have had my time. Every cricketer has his time, this is mine. I am happy that India won my last series, the team won 2-0 against the world's number one team. The entire team played well, I played well, I am quite happy with that.'' On his whole journey as an Indian cricketer, Ganguly said it has been quite a satisfying journey. ''I have played for the country, have done well as a player, had the opportunity to lead the team, played my part in building team, building players.

Sourav Ganguly: Career highlights

''If someone would have told me before my debut that this is what I am going to achieve in my career, I wouldn't have believed him,'' he added.

Now that he has retired, the elegant southpaw said, ''I have a couple of years in IPL. I am not sure if I will play in the Ranji Trophy for Bengal this season, may be one game. But I have been playing cricket for so many years, and need a break. There are a lot of things to be done at home also.

''I haven't yet decided on it, but being a commentator means a lot of travelling. I am not ready for it yet, I will take things as and when they come,'' he added.

Speaking about his special knocks and series, Ganguly said, ''I think all the hundreds you score are special. But my first hundred at Lords, then my century at Brisbane (2003) and my hundred at Mohali in this series. These three are very special for me.'' And the most memorable series, Ganguly was quick to reply, ''Without a doubt the 2001 series against Australia at home (which India won 2-1 after trailing 1-0), and then the series in Australia couple of years later. They both were great.''

Ganguly 'dons' Bradman

Ganguly, however, played with a straight bat to a question on the Greg Chappell saga, saying ''Let's not talk about Chappell. Whatever has happened has happened. Let's respect Chappell and move on.'' The former Indian captain also said the last Test has been good.

''There was not much emotion, because we had a very important Test match against Australia, and had a chance to win the series.

I probably don't know yet what not playing cricket means.'' On the Golden duck in the last innings, he said he was not disappointed with a first ball duck.

''I am more disappointed with getting out for 85 in the first innings. I was so close to getting a hundred, but missed it.

Ganguly also painted a very bright future for the Indian team, saying ''It's a good team. There are a lot of talented boys in the team. And the win against Australia has proved that the seniors are still good enough. My time is up but Sachin, Rahul, Laxman are still good enough.'' Ganguly also felt that with Dhoni at the helm, Indian cricket was in for a good time.

''He has achieved a lot already, winning the T20 World Cup, an ODI tri-series in Australia, and now a Test series against Australia. Captaincy is not just about being a player or doing your homework, it's about spark. I always did the things that I felt were right, I never believed in going to drawing board. I see a lot of that in Dhoni. I am sure he has the ability to take Indian cricket forward,'' he added.

Salute to prince of Indian cricket

On the honour given to him to captain the team for a short time on the last day today, Ganguly said ''It woke me up, in first place.

Made me aware of what was going on around, but then they were nine wickets down already. I was given captaincy for five overs, but after three overs, I told Dhoni that it's not my job anymore, it's yours.''


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