Tuesday, January 23, 2007

The Stuff Dreams Are Made Of

A year ago, one might have forgiven somebody for thinking that Sourav Ganguly was down and out. For one, the verbose coach was against him. For seconds, the chief selector had stated equivocally that Ganguly would no longer be in contention for selection. And to add injury to insult, the best cricketing website of the country seemed to be in cahoot with the new captain and coach. And to absolutely rub salt into raw wounds, players were reprimanded if and when they spoke out in support of the ex-captain. To say the least, this was not the best way to treat one of the greats of the game. To stage a comeback, then, in the face of such opposition, and under such immense pressure, speaks volumes about the man's fortitude and mental toughness.

This time, the man has been diplomacy personified, and has let his bat do all the talking (though I'm sure he must have enjoyed it just a little bit when Chappell got slapped). In the past month, he's outscored all his teammates and ensured himself a berth in the One Day team, and that too in the opener's position that he used to bat best at. His 98 in the previous one-day match must definitely be, to borrow a phrase, the best 100 that never was.

With this comeback, the Prince of Kolkata graduates from being a mere great to a true legend of the game. And, if I may say so, in the current squad he's the only member who is playing like a legend.