Sourav Ganguly is one of the most successful captains in Indian cricket. Ganguly played the off-side so well, that he became known as the ‘God of the Off Side’. He became the captain of the Indian team when Sachin Tendulkar stepped down as captain due to health reasons in the year 2000. Ganguly’s captained the first time in Tests against Bangladesh in a one-off Test when India toured Bangladesh in November 2000.
India won the match by 9 wickets, thanks to MoM Sunil Joshi’s incredible all-round performance. Today we will take a look at the playing XI when Sourav Ganguly captained India for the first time in Tests.
Openers: Shiv Sunder Das and Sadagoppan Ramesh
Shiv Sunder Das and Sadagoppan Ramesh were India’s openers. Shiv Sunder Das scored 29 runs from 67 balls. He hit 4 boundaries in his stay at the crease. He also remained not out on 22 in the second innings. On the other end was Sadagoppan Ramesh, who scored an important half-century. Ramesh scored a well-made 58 from 92 balls.
Interestingly, both of these openers got bowled off Bangladesh’ bowling attack. Das got out to Naimur Rahman and Ramesh got bowled by Ranjan Das. While the first wicket fell early, it wasn’t really a cause of worry as the openers did their job properly. They saw off the new ball and thus gave India a decent platform to build their innings upon.
Middle Order: Murali Kartik, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, Sourav Ganguly (c), and Saba Karim (wk)
India boasted of a formidable middle order in 2000. It consisted of all-time greats like Tendulkar, Dravid and Ganguly. Murali Kartik came to bat at number 3 and made 43 from 119 balls. He hit 5 fours in his innings. Following him came Rahul Dravid at number 4, who made 28 runs from 48 balls. He could not do much as he got caught out by Al Sahariar off Mohammad Rafique.
Sachin Tendulkar made his way to the middle but didn’t do much damage to Bangladesh. He could only score 18 runs from 41 balls. Sourav Ganguly, captaining for the team for the first time in Tests, led by example as he scored 84 runs from 153 balls. Saba Karim, India’s wicket-keeper for the match played at number 7 and failed to do much with the bat.
All-rounder: Sunil Joshi
Sunil Joshi got awarded the Man of the Match in this contest. He did phenomenally with the bat as well as the ball. In the first innings, Joshi scored a valuable 92 runs. His knock of 92 from 180 balls pushed India to 429 runs. Joshi didn’t get a chance to bat in the second innings as India won the match with 9 wickets to spare.
In the bowling department, Joshi took a 5-wicket haul in the first innings, and took 3 wickets in the second innings. His bowling performance stopped Bangladesh from scoring a bigger total in the first innings.
Bowlers: Javagal Srinath, Zaheer Khan, and Ajit Agarkar
Javagal Srinath is one of India’s most iconic fast bowlers. Srinath went wicket-less in the first innings but redeemed himself in the second innings. He took 3 wickets in the match and helped restrict Bangladesh to only 91 in the second innings.
Zaheer Khan took only 3 wickets in the match, but boasted of a great economy. Khan troubled the Bangladesh batsmen, and restricted the flow of runs whenever required.
Ajit Agarkar put in a great all-round performance in this match. He made a valuable 34 runs in the lower order in the first innings and took valuable wickets while bowling. Agarkar took 2 wickets in both innings, especially removing the centurion Aminul Islam in the first innings.