The Reason Behind Why Sachin Tendulkar Suggested Sourav Ganguly for Vice-Captaincy in 1999
Over the course of three and a half decades, Sachin Tendulkar has witnessed Sourav Ganguly in a number of capacities, including precocious adolescent, talented India contender, fashionable batter, leader, and active administrator. However, for India’s greatest batsman in history, their friendship—which continues even though they both have left international cricket—is what has stood the test of time.
The “opening partner” of the BCCI president, who will turn 50 on Friday, opened up to PTI in a candid interview, sharing a number of insights about their friendship and how he thought Ganguly had the makings of a future captain when the latter was the skipper of India.
Tendulkar was prepared to take over in case Tendulkar decided to resign as captain before the 1999 tour of Australia, which was his second-to-last series, according to the master blaster.
During India’s tour of Australia while he was captain, Tendulkar remarked in a PTI interview, “Before stepping down, I had asked Sourav to be made the vice-captain of the side.
“I knew he had what it would take to progress Indian cricket because I had played cricket with him and had seen him up close. He has management skills. As a result, I suggested his name.
When asked about the amount of leeway Ganguly gave his squad during his nearly five-year tenure as captain, Tendulkar was effusive in his praise of him.
Sourav was a fantastic captain. According to Tendulkar, he knew how to find a balance between giving the players freedom and giving them defined responsibilities.
Tendulkar stated: “Sourav never looked back and what he has achieved for India is out there for all of us to see. He had also in later years suggested Mahendra Singh Dhoni’s name as a potential leader.
There has never been a better white-ball cricket tandem for India, which may be explained by their closeness off the field. Twenty-one of the pair’s 26 century stands—26 in total—came after they began batting.
“Sourav and I labored arduously. We wanted to win games for India and do whatever we could to help the team succeed.
But we didn’t think about anything else. “We are appreciative to the public for considering us a magnificent opening pair and for acknowledging what we were able to do for India,” said Tendulkar, who has consistently exemplified modesty.
The 1991 debut tour and the spectacular comeback in 1996
The two kept in touch even during those early years when landline telephones were the sole form of communication when Ganguly first represented India in 1992 and lasted in the wilderness till 1996.
During the 1991 tour, Sourav and I shared a room. We had fun together during our time together. We had a great friendship because we had been colleagues when we were under the age of 15.
“But I believe that at the Under-15 camp in Indore, we spent the most time together and got to know one another. It marked the beginning of our amazing friendship, which has since blossomed. In his well-remembered account of the incident, Tendulkar said that he, Kedar Godbole, and Jatin Paranjape—also a former India player and later a national selector—physically “flooded” Ganguly’s room. They poured buckets of water into the space when he was fast asleep.
I remember Sourav falling asleep one afternoon. I, along with Jatin Paranjpe and Kedar Godbole, poured water all over his room. He naturally had no idea what was happening or why his suitcases were floating when he woke up. So he finally realized that Kedar, Jatin, and I were accountable.
He laughed, “Friends always play practical jokes on each other, and that was certainly true when we were kids.
It was even funnier and occasionally more exciting the first time they went to the UK with the Star Cricket Club.
“We stayed at schools that looked a bit like old castles, which naturally made them appear a little unsettling. The situation would only become worse as friends would get together and make plots to frighten the others even more. These are the instances that forged friendships, and they still make me smile years later.