Sourav Ganguly is perhaps the greatest left-handed batsman India has ever produced. During his career, Ganguly could play all the shots and give India a blitz start. He wasn’t initially the opener of the India ODI side and batted at 5 early on in his career. In a recent interview, former India coach Madan Lal revealed how his advised Sourav Ganguly to open the innings that changed his career.
Sourav Ganguly went on to share legendary opening partnerships with Sachin Tendulkar and Virender Sehwag respectively. Madal Lal said that he wanted to utilise full potential of Ganguly and the only way he could do it was making him open the innings. In the middle order, Ganguly was scoring runs but he wasn’t producing match-winning performances.
You should open – Madan Lal to Sourav Ganguly
The Indian coach wanted the elegant left-hander to make an impact on the Indian side. Madal Lal admitted that Ganguly possessed all the talent and he was sure he will become a successful opener for team India. Once he started batting at the top in ODI cricket and never looked back he amassed more than 11,000 ODI runs in his career.
“We wanted to utilise Dada. I don’t know if he remembers or not. I told him ‘Dada, nothing will happen batting at no. 5. You should directly open,” Madan Lal told Sportskeeda in Facebook Live session.
He added, “Every player has his own style. Ganguly had all the strokes. Every batsman needs some time to settle in. If you play out a few overs with just one-two runs because you need to get set to the conditions. Even today, batsmen like Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane take some time.
So, I told him, he was like ‘okay’. And then he never looked back. Sachin and Sourav’s partnership has been really popular for India – the two won a lot of matches for India. I was a coach at the time. I vaguely remember I might have told him this during the Sri Lanka tour,” the former India coach concluded.
Sourav Ganguly overall in his 311 matches in ODI career scored 11,363 runs that included 22 centuries. The southpaw made most of the runs as captain of the side by batting at the top of the order.