Mumbai: Former batsman and captain Sourav Ganguly was one of India’s most finest cricketers of all time. In an era that also featured legends like Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid, all-rounder Ganguly continued to shine through with tremendous performances with the bat and the ball.
Some of Ganguly's key batting performances were game-changing for India in important games.
Here are his top five batting memories-
5. 141 vs Pakistan, Adelaide, 2000
Amidst the fiery rivalry of an India-Pakistan game, part of a tri series with Australia, then captain Sourav Ganguly chose to bat first. Along with Sachin Tendulkar, the opening partnership went to 88 runs before the first wicket fell. When Abdul Razzaq dismissed Sachin for 41, Ganguly played on, going to score 141 in 144 balls at a strike rate of 97.92, including 12 fours and a six.
Chasing India’s total of 268, the Pakistan batsmen were all dismissed for 219, and India won by 48 runs. Ganguly was presented with the Man of the Match award for his batting performance.
4. 141* vs South Africa, Nairobi, 2000
In the same year, India were up against South Africa in the ICC Knock out cup 2000 semi-final game. Yet again Ganguly chose to bat first. This time the opening duo lasted 66 runs before Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed. Ganguly made important partnerships with Rahul Dravid and Yuvraj Singh to take India to 295/6 at 50 overs.
He scored 141, off 142 balls, including 11 fours and 6 sixes, and remained not out. South Africa were dismissed for just 200 in their chase and India won. Ganguly was crowned Man of the Match again, and India moved to the finals.
3. 144 vs Zimbabwe, Ahmedabad, 2000
In a 5-match ODI series, India had beaten Zimbabwe in the first match, but lost to them in the second. When India won the toss and chose to bat first in the third match, opener Sachin Tendulkar was dismissed at just 8 runs. Sourav Ganguly however, went on to score a big knock of 144 off 152 balls. India’s total was 306/5 at the end of the innings.
Zimbabwe lost key wickets quickly in their chase. They did last the 50 overs but managed to score just 245 at the loss of eight wickets. India won and Ganguly got the Man of the Match again. Winning the remaining games as well, Ganguly won the Player of the Series award as India won the series 4-1.
2. 153 vs New Zealand, Gwalior, 1999
New Zealand toured India for a five-match series in 1999. Two matches into the series, both teams had registered one win. When India chose to bat in the third game, Sachin was dismissed for just 1 run off 23 balls, following which, India went on to lose many wickets quickly.
However, Ganguly kept scoring on the other end and scored 153 in 150 balls including 18 fours and three sixes, taking India to 261/5. India beat a chasing New Zealand who fell short of 14 runs. Ganguly got the Man of the Match for his quick 153.
1. 183 vs Sri Lanka, Taunton, 1999
India had already faced losses against Zimbabwe and South Africa. The Men in Blue defeated Kenya in a match featuring centuries by both Dravid and Sachin. In the fourth game, opponents Sri Lanka chose to bowl first, and Sachin was dismissed early with the board at 6/1. Ganguly then partnered with number 3 Dravid to make a huge 318 run partnership. Dravid made 145 runs off 129 balls while Ganguly himself posted 183 off 158 balls. India scored a humongous 373 in the innings.
All Sri Lanka batsmen were dismissed for just 216 runs and India won the game. Sourav Ganguly won Man of the Match for the highest score by an Indian in the World Cup. The record remains unbeaten till date....