Wednesday, November 12, 2008


I first noticed dada during his first ever test tour to England, where he hit a century on debut(I was in the tenth grade). I was impressed. So impressed that his cutout from The Hindu found a place in my cricket scrapbook(yes I had one). Since then I have been following the career trajectory and personal life of this charming man. His beginnings were humble but he was always style personified!
It was only later that I came to know that he had actually played for India in 1992 against the West Indies and was dropped because "he was perceived to be "arrogant" and his attitude towards the game was openly questioned" (source: Wikipedia.) It was only after he played prolifically in two seasons of domestic cricket that he was picked for the National team. Then after the Sidhu tamasha in England about how he was treated, Sourav got a chance to play.
Slowly he blossomed into a fine batsman and a good motivator and my admiration for him only grew with time. In 1997 he started opening in ODIs with Sachin and they made a great opening pair. He became the captain in 2000 after the match fixing mess and ruled his way to a 2003 world cup final against Australia which we lost.
My admiration for him is for the way he motivated the team both as a team player as well as a campain. He brought home the idea that we have to play hard in order to win. He brought the fighting spirit to the Indian team. Even though he was not very athletic, he motivated everyone to field well, and his field placements were always effective. His fighter spirit slowly permeated to the rest of the team and we saw a side of the Indian team we never do, the fighting side. Instead of the drooping chests and sad demeanor, we saw them pumping fists in the air, doing dances, huddles and also taking their shirts off! Ofcourse dada was not at all noncontroversial. He was critisized for taking his shirt off after India won a nailbiter at Lords in 2002. They said he was disrespecting the gentleman's game(I remember thinking, gentleman;'s game my foot, there are players fixing matches, using swear words and racial slurs, what gentleman's game are you talking about?) He had his differences with Greg Chappel (I have mine with Greg too......he did not understand Indian cricket.) He was always thought of as an arrogant man, although there were players far worse than him in that department, who were never critisized(gori chamdi.) He was known to have Dalmia dancing to his fingertips too.
Irrespective of the controversies his captaincy brought, that was an era of cricket I really loved because the Indian team was finally getting away from its 'paper tiger' image and actually becoming a tiger on the ground and roar! That was an era of cricket when the Indian team actually huddled before a match and motivated itself. That was an era of cricket when we fought till the very end of even a losing match. Dada's contribution to cricket is not just ODI, Test runs, wickets or wins but the attitude of fighting for a game. The game is all the better for him.
We are going to miss you dada!


  1. Gosh this guy attracts a lot of loyal fans! He is going to be missed :(
    I admire Dhoni the same way and I think we still have great times ahead with Dhamakedaar Dhoni :)

  2. Yes he does! It seems like the end of an era to me, what with Sachin getting old and Kumble and Dravid already out.
    Dhoni..ahh...yes, he has that dhamaka in him for sure.


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