Bangalore: “I have an announcement to make,” he said at the end of a typically lively press conference here on Tuesday. He then added, “This will be my last series.”
Sourav Ganguly will bid adieu to international cricket after the four-Test series against Australia beginning at the Chinnaswamy Stadium here on Thursday.
The series will bring to an end a distinguished career of several peaks, some lows, and a few stirring comebacks. “Honestly, I did not expect to be picked for this series, but I kept myself fit practising with the Bengal boys,” he said.
For most part of his interaction with the media, Ganguly denied speculations that senior Indian cricketers were under pressure from the Board to end their international careers. “I don’t think you can do this in sports. You cannot do it to players like Sachin (Tendulkar), Rahul (Dravid), V.V.S. (Laxman), Anil (Kumble) and I. Men for big occasions
“Okay we failed in one series but we have done so well over a number of years. When their time comes, they will go out on their own terms. They are the men for the big occasions. When you play for so long, speculations do not bother you.”
He revealed, “no senior player has been asked about retirement plans by the Board.”
India’s most successful left-hander, the 36-year-old Ganguly has 6888 runs in 109 Tests at 41.74 with 15 hundreds. In the ODIs, he excelled in the top-order role with 11,363 runs in 311 matches at 41.02. Handy seam bowling
Known for his timing and glorious stroke-play on the off-side, he conjured several crucial innings, home and away. His handy seam bowling has broken partnerships in both forms of the games; he has 100 scalps in ODIs.
Ganguly’s most significant contribution came as a tough talking and strong minded skipper who could inspire.
He is India’s most successful Test captain with 21 wins in 49 matches, apart from leading India to the World Cup final in 2003. He looked adversity in the eye and refused to be intimidated. It sent a strong message to his men.
“There is always pressure from the others during your career.
Five years back it was Dinesh Mongia and Hemang Badani, now it is Rohit Sharma. This is nothing new,” said Ganguly.
He noted it was not a question of a single good innings but sustained performances over the years that spoke about a cricketer.A formidable side
Turning his attention to the forthcoming series, Ganguly said it would be wrong to count the Australians out after their ordinary performance in the tour game.
“They are still a formidable side. Tour games do not indicate the true strength of a side. Weak in spin
“You try out so many things in a tour game. You are more focussed and put in a greater effort in a Test. They are weak in spin but still have a very good pace attack. And they have some fine batsmen.”
About his own prospects, Ganguly said, “It would be nice to go out with a winning knock.”
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