Friday, November 14, 2008

Ganguly Series V: As an ODI Player

As an ODI Player: As a batter he was almost as good as Sachin in ODIs (barring a below par WC record). I was surprised to see him play longer in tests as opposed to ODI. I had always thought he was a better ODI player than a Test player. He did not start as a quick scorer when asked to open. I remember the rather slow century plus stand he had with Sachin. But he adapted his game and improved his strike rate. His stand back, make room and loft over the point/cover region was a splendid shot to watch. His failure in the 2003 world cup was unforgivable (he did fail against all test teams and scored heavily against minnows). Trying to demote Sachin (it was attempted before 99, 2003 and 2007 world cups) to middle order was a stupid move and when it finally happened under Dravid in 2007 we saw its impact. Choosing to bat second in a World Cup final was the stupidest decision I have ever seen him make. Makes me wish we hadn't won the Natwest Trophy at all (I suspect the NatWest chase prompted him to do this). These negatives aside, I thought he learned the art of making big scores in ODIs. he was quickly able to get to a rhythm where he timed his risky shots period and his high percentage shots period very well.

My favorite ODI innings: 1. Both his 100s in the 99 Australia tour 2. His century against RSA in 2001 (in RSA) 3. Century during Bangladesh's Independence Cup finals.

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