Saurav Ganguly has scored around 30 runs in this ODI series. His last meaningful contribution with the bat was against the Aussies in Brisbane. He seems to have lost his magnificent timing which had made him one of the greatest batsmen in the world. What do the Indian people think about Dada right now? " He sucks. Get him out of the team." The crowd in the stadiums boo him. They celebrate when he gets out. They are rejoicing right now beacuse he is banned for 6 matches. This situation brings to mind a poem I read in school last year. It was called 'The Patriot' and it was written by Robert Browning. The poem talks about the fickle nature of people. The poem reads like this
It was roses, roses, all the way,
With myrtle mixed in my path like mad:
The house-roofs seemed to heave and sway,
The church-spires flamed, such flags they had,
A year ago on this very day.
The air broke into a mist with bells,
The old walls rocked with the crowd and cries.
Had I said, "Good folk, mere noise repels--
But give me your sun from yonder skies!"
They had answered, "And afterward, what else?" . . . . . . 10
Alack, it was I who leaped at the sun
To give it my loving friends to keep!
Nought man could do, have I left undone:
And you see my harvest, what I reap
This very day, now a year is run.
There's nobody on the house-tops now--Just a palsied few at the windows set;
For the best of the sight is, all allow,
At the Shambles' Gate--
By the very scaffold's foot, I trow. . . . . . . 20
I go in the rain, and, more than needs,
A rope cuts both my wrists behind;
And I think, by the feel, my forehead bleeds,
For they fling, whoever has a mind,
Stones at me for my year's misdeeds.
Thus I entered, and thus I go!
In triumphs, people have dropped down dead.
"Paid by the world, what dost thou owe Me?"
God might question; now instead,'
Tis God shall repay: I am safer so. . . . . . .
Well the poem pretty much sums up Saurav's cricketing career. He entered Test Cricket with a bang. He proved his contradictors that he could survive International Cricket. He has had to prove people wrong in every stage of his career. He came on to captain India in the toughest of scenarios. India was playing very poorly, the match fixing scandal had just broken out and Sachin Tendulkar had just resigned from Captaincy. He was under immense pressure to set things right. He guided India with immense self-confidence. People found him arrogant but he didn't care. India beat Australia and South Africa and reached the final of the ICC knockout tournament in Nairobi in 2000. This was the turning point for the Indian Cricket team. They gained confidence. They began to feel that they could conquer the world stage if they believed in themselves. Ganguly infused a new spirit in them. He was a strong character and he didn't let criticism sway him. He backed young talent. He gave much needed support to Yuvraj Singh, Harbhajan, Kaif and so many others. This was something new to Indian Cricket. Supporting potential talent. Saurav was hard done in 1992 when he played just one match in Australia and was dumped without a fair trial. He did not want what happened to him to ever occur again. He showed that he was not going to be intimidated by Steve Waugh and his sledging colleagues. He showed them that mental disintegration would work only against the weak and not against him. He proved to the world that the Australians could be beaten. He proved people wrong once again. He repeated the same thing in Australia in 2003 and beat Pakistan in their backyard in 2004. He led India to the World Cup finals.
20005 has been unkind to this wonderful cricketer. His form has deserted him and so have his countrymen. I agree that he has to make his bat talk but the punishment meted out to him is hardly fair. He looks tired. Captaincy has taken its toll on him. His countrymen have tormented him. They treat him like a traitor. Yet he is willing to fight. He is not ready to go down easily. That is why he is great man. That is why he is India's greatest captain and that is why he is India's greatest cricketing son . He has done a lot for the sport. So don't boo him. Don't make jokes about him. Show him that you care. Just respect him for we will miss him when he takes his final bow.