That Sourav Ganguly had a big impact on the Indian cricket team is not a secret. And one of his biggest achievements was to take on the Australian team led by Steve Waugh in their pomp.
Former England captain Nasser Hussain has always praised Sourav Ganguly along side taking the occasional jab at him about coming late for the toss.
After Hussain called Ganguly a ‘feisty cricketer’, another former English cricketer has revealed his admiration for the current BCCI president.
David Lloyd, who played nine Tests and ODIs for England, one of the most recognised commentators in the world, said he was a fan of Ganguly and lauded him for effecting a paradigm shift in Indian cricket.
“I’m a massive fan of Ganguly by the way. I think Sourav Ganguly gave the team a real steel that we will not be dictated by quick bowlers because we’re going to find some of our own players,” Lloyd said on the Sony Ten Pit Stop Show.
Before Ganguly took over as captain of the Indian team, India’s overseas record was poor, especially in the 1990s.
But with Ganguly at the helm, India beat Australia and England in Test matches away from home and of course won the Natwest Trophy in style. 2002 also saw them win the ICC Champions Trophy title.
A year later, India reached the final of the 2003 World Cup. Ganguly also led India to Test and ODI wins on the tour of Pakistan.
After being annihilated 0-3 against Australia during the 1999-2000 tour, India, under Ganguly, drew the 2003-04 Border Gavaskar Trophy 1-1. India learned to combat the pace and bounce of foreign surfaces and that Lloyd reckons is one of Ganguly’s biggest contributions to the Indian cricket team.
“It was always a suggestion that India, away from home, don’t like the bouncing ball. Ganguly went to Australia fully prepared for the bouncing ball,” he said. “Of course, India in India, it is unbelievably difficult. But you always felt that India away from home that you’ve got every chance. Ganguly was the catalyst. Ganguly, and there was the duo of Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar.”
Bumble, as Lloyd is fondly called, feels the fact that Ganguly dared to play spinners even on foreign, bouncy pitches was a testament to his character. It was a major factor in Ganguly become the then-most successful Test captain of India, leading the team to 21 wins in 49 matches.
“Now if you’re bringing a quality spinner and you’ve got a couple of pacemen, you’re in business, not only in India, you’re in business worldwide. And I think Ganguly has been a massive influence on Indian cricket. I think he’s been the catalyst for Indian cricket to be a worldwide force,” he said.