Bengal Tiger Back
Since he burst on the world cricket scene by scoring a century in his first Test match in 1996 (and at Lord's to boot) there has always been a little of the improbably theatrical about this accomplished cricketer. Ganguly's position re-established with styleWhilst you might not have gambled your life savings on it, it was always a fair bet that if Ganguly ever regained his place in the Indian One Day side he would do it with style. It had been a long wait - since September 2005 in fact - and over those sixteen months, a period during which Indian cricket politics has resembled the Roman Empire at the time of Caligula, Ganguly has been a not always innocent victim of this political turmoil. It seemed at times likely that Ganguly would join the other bodies floating along the Tiber/Ganges (metaphorically, of course) but somehow, despite his long association with fellow Calcutta-ite the fallen BCCI President Jagmohan Dalmiya, Ganguly has survived the mayhem and returned to the international team. Solid performances in the Test series against South Africa showed that at the age of 34, and despite the long lay-off from the game, Ganguly had lost none of his batting skills. What he may have acquired to go with them is a soupçon of humility and pragmatism - he was diplomacy personified with the media and the traveling fans in South Africa. And whilst many of his fellow Bengalis may now call for Ganguly's complete rehabilitation and reinstatement as Captain, you haven't heard the man himself suggesting it - well not yet!
Until Sourav Ganguly was dropped to be replaced by Dravid as captain the two players had seemed to complement one another in the Indian side ever since their Test debut together at that Lord's match in 1996. True there were occasional signs of competing egos, but their contrasting styles and personalities were such that together they could be a formidable force. Factor in Sachin Tendulkar with his 375 One Day Internationals, ang Chappell with his acute cricket brain and you have a potentially impressive combination of cricketing talents. But success breeds success, and failure I'm afraid breeds failure (look at England in the last few months). There is little time for politics and lengthy debate until the World Cup and if India is to have a chance they need to work in harmony.