Srinagar, July 2: The modern Indian cricket history is seperated into two phases, the pre Sourav Ganguly era and the post Sourav Ganguly era. The current BCCI President is being credited as the man who revolutionised Indian cricket by turning them into World beaters.
While Ganguly had legends like Sachin Tendulkar, Rahul Dravid, VVS Laxman, Anil Kumble stalwarts , the side is always compared with the current Team India side lead by Virat Kohli.
Former Team India cricketer Aakash Chopra, who had played under former India captain Sourav Ganguly, assembled two hypothetical teams for nostalgia to draft into a debate.
“We went to Australia and drew the series there. We went to Pakistan and defeated them. In India, we drew one series and lost one series to Australia. And Sourav Ganguly’s team even drew the series in England. It was a fairly good team, a team which taught us how to win abroad,” Chopra said in a video uploaded on his Youtube channel.
“Virat Kohli’s team has defeated Australia in their home conditions, the only team to have done so in Indian cricket history. But they lost in South Africa and lost quite badly in England. In South Africa, they came close but lost the series 2-1.”
In Sourav Ganguly’s XI, Chopra decided to open with himself and Virender Sehwag, while he picked Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar as his No. 3 and No. 4 respectively. Although he batted majorly at No.6 during his playing days, Chopra named VVS Laxman as the No.5 batsman followed by the captain Sourav Ganguly.
Chopra picked Parthiv Patel as the ‘keeper of the side and went in with Anil Kumble and Harbhajan Singh as his two spinners. Zaheer Khan and Ajit Agarkar were picked as the seamers of the side.
When it came to Virat Kohli’s XI, which is India’s current Test side, Chopra named Rohit Sharma and Mayank Agarwal as the openers followed rock-solid Cheteshwa Pujara at No.3. Captain Virat Kohli took the No.4 spot while his deputy Ajinkya Rahane was slotted in at No.5.
At No.6, Chopra went in with the impressive Hanuma Vihari followed by wicket-keeper Wriddhiman Saha, whom Chopra referred to as one of the best in the world.
R Ashwin and Ravindra Jadeja were preferred as the spinners. Chopra, understandably, had some difficulties in picking the two seamers but went in with Ishant Sharma and anyone between Jasprit Bumrah and Mohammed Shami.
The former India opener after doing a man-to-man comparison finally came to the conclusion that the Ganguly-led team would end up beating Kohli’s side.
Sourav Ganguly’s XI: Virender Sehwag, Aakash Chopra, Rahul Dravid, Sachin Tendulkar, VVS Laxman, Sourav Ganguly, Parthiv Patel, Harbhajan Singh, Anil Kumble, Zaheer Khan, Ajit Agarkar
Virat Kohli’s XI: Rohit Sharma, Mayank Agarwal, Cheteshwar Pujara, Virat Kohli, Ajinkya Rahane, Hanuma Vihari, Wriddhiman Saha, Ravichandran Ashwin, Ravindra Jadeja, Ishant Sharma, Mohammed Shami/Jasprit Bumrah.
( with inputs from Hindustan Times Sports)