November 7, 2008

The most inspirational Indian cricket captain of all time is playing his last test and making a fist of it too as I write my first post in a long time. One thing about great people is their sense of timing and Sourav, the great man that he is has timed his retirement to perfection. His farewell series has been against his favorite opponents (not going by just his batting record against test teams), leading the team against whom he stamped his class as one of the great leaders in modern day cricket.

Like most important things which are taken for granted, his absence will be felt all the more when he is not around and especially so after the stirring comeback that he scripted from near oblivion. For all the talk of him holding up the entry of “promising youngsters” like Yuvraj, there is no one who has even remotely looked like taking his place in the test side. Peter Roebuck’s stirring feature on Sourav in Cricinfo bears testimony to the fact that he was one of the most colorful and feisty characters going around. More importantly what is apparent is the high regard (albeit reluctant) with which he was held by the high priests of the game. Now that he has announced his retirement, this respect is becoming much less muted.

While the grit and determination of Rahul and Anil inspired us to believe that anything is possible if we set our minds to it and the natural talent of Sachin and VVS lulled us into believeing that all we had to do was to identify that one good talent that we are told all of us are endowed with and then just turn up and work up magic, Sourav was the rogue that all of us secretly wanted to be. Born into wealth, allowed to pursue one’s interest, climb the hierarachy and reach the top. Apparently, as easy as one of his silken square drives. To top it all, he marries his childhood sweetheart and during the height of his reign, there were unconfirmed rumors of an affair with a Bollywood starlet. Boy, did he lead his life on his own terms. But the gritty comeback that he scripted showed the steel behind the flair and if at all his legion of fans has multiplied since then.

The post Sourav era in Indian cricket has seen two Indian captains come and go, one who appeared weighed down by the pressures of captaincy and another, who in any case was reaching the end of an embellished career. All this only makes Dada’s stint as the Indian skipper more heroic, which goes well with his aristocratic image I should think.

Thanks Sourav for a glorious first innings and may you perform with the same aplomb in your next as well.


One Response to “Dada”

  1. Bennita Ganesh Says:

    Wonderful swansong!!

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