If there one characteristic of Sourav Ganguly that yesteryear cricketers will never forget to enlist out of the veteran’s many, is his unending support he had extended towards his teammates. And on Monday, former Indian cricketer, and presently an analyst, Aakash Chopra recalled how Ganuly’s this very characteristic had helped Virender Sehwag bounce back from his ‘big dry patch’.
The phase that Chopra has been referring to was ahead of the second Test against New Zealand in Mohali in October 2003.
Sehwag had made a phenomenal start to his Test career scoring three centuries and four half-centuries in his first 14 matches. However, since his 61 in Chennai against West Indies in October 2002, Sehwag did not score another half-century hence leaving Ganguly on the brink of a tough choice. But decided to take one last chance and had a word with Sehwag.
Chopra, who had made his debut only in the previous Test in Ahmedabad against the Blackcaps, revealed that Sehwag responded brilliantly to Ganguly’s ultimatum as he bounced back from the lean patch.
“Viru, after scoring lot of runs initially, had a big dry patch very early in his career. Sourav Ganguly had gone to Viru and told him to make runs that day else he would not be able to play him again. Fortunately, he scored a century in that game. Sourav Ganguly backed a lot,” Chopra said during the Cric Cast show on YouTube.
Sehwag scored 130 off 225 deliveries in the Mohali Test against New Zealand, his first century in the format in 11 innings.
Chopra then talked about his own Test journey that lasted only for only 10 appearances. Chopra managed 437 runs in 19 innings with only two half-centuries.
“It was my mistake that when I was making 40’s-50’s, I should have been making hundreds, no one had held my bat. Although the team had given me a role to play in a particular manner, I took that role to heart. So I modified my game, that whatever task I have been given I need to perform that because that is what all players should do,” he said.