Touted as one of the most successful captains of India, Saurav Ganguli’s cricket career is nothing short of legendary. One who almost won his country the World Cup 2003, Ganguli has an endless number of accolades to his name.
Apart from his captaincy skills, Saurav Ganguli was unarguably one of the greatest one-day batsmen of all time. The left-handed batsman had amassed 11,363 runs in 311 matches in his career. His career average of 42 and 40 in Tests and One-day Internationals respectively is a testament to his character and shows why he is considered to be India’s all-time greats.
However, according to the former captain, none of that would have been possible had Laxman not scored 281 in the second test against Australia in 2001, who shared a 376-run fifth-wicket partnership with Rahul Dravid to win the test for India.
After losing the first test, Ganguli’ captaincy career would have come to a halt had India lost the second test at Eden Gardens. After trailing 1-0 in the series, India were asked to follow-on in the second test and had almost lost the second test, however, Laxman’s 281 and Rahul Dravid’s 180 in a 376-run fifth-wicket partnership helped India register an epic 171-run win in the end.
Saurav Ganguli has perhaps told Laxman to change his autobiography’s name from ‘281 and beyond’ to ‘281 and beyond and that saved Sourav Ganguly’s career’.
I also texted him a month back but he didn’t reply,” Ganguly said at the Kolkata leg of the book launch.
“I told him it was not the apt title... It should have been ‘281 and beyond and that saved Sourav Ganguly’s career’,” the former India captain said.
“I strongly opposed the title because if he had not scored 281, we would have lost the Test and I would not have been captain again,” a modest Ganguly said.