Sourav Ganguly had to wait 4 years to play his second international match for India. A 4-year-wait in which he doubted himself, battled demons but kept working hard to prove a point to himself more than anyone else.
Sourav Ganguly made his debut for India as a 19-year-old in 1992 against the West Indies at The Gabba, Brisbane. The left-hander from Kolkata had to face the likes of Malcom Marshall and Anderson Cummins in his first international outing. Ganguly managed just 3 runs from 12 balls and did not play a single match on the rest of the tour and for 4 more years.
Sourav Ganguly though got an opportunity to don whites for the first time for India in 1996 during India’s tour of England. After not getting an opportunity to play in Birmingham, Ganguly walked into the playing XI in the absence of Navjot Singh Sindhu at the Lord’s.
Ganguly walked in at No. 3 and India were soon in a spot of bother, having lost both their openers at 59 for 2 after England posted 344 in their first innings.
Ganguly made sure the opportunity that came his way to represent India after 4 years did not go waste. Facing the likes of Chris Lewis, Dominic Cork, Alan Mullally and Peter Martin on his Test debut, Ganguly showed the world what he is capable of.
An array of free-flowing drives, cuts and pulls made sure the Lord’s crowd was at its feet. Fittingly, it was the trademark cover drive that brought Ganguly his maiden Test hundred, a 3-figure score on debut.
Resuming on an overnight score of 26, Ganguly batted with unmatched flamboyance to get the historic hundred. Ganguly became the 10th batsman to score a Test hundred on debut and the first Indian to do so at the Lord’s.
At the Mecca of Cricket, Ganguly marked his arrival in the international scene.
Ganguly hit 20 boundaries during his stroke-filled 131. A 94-run stand for the 6th wicket with fellow debutant Rahul Dravid who went on to make 95 made sure India took a first-innings lead and went on to draw the match.
There was no stopping Sourav Ganguily from then on. Ganguly followed up his debut hundred with another dominant hundred — 136 in the 3rd Test in Nottingham. India lost the series 1-0 but found future heroes in Ganguly and Dravid.
“Life’s best moment,” Ganguly had described his maiden Test match on social media on June 20.
— Sourav Ganguly (@SGanguly99) June 19, 2020
Ganguly went on to become one of the finest batsmen of the modern-era. He led India to become one of the most successful skippers in the country and finished his career with 7212 Test and 11,363 ODI runs.