Watch video and more... Relive Sourav Ganguly's historic debut at Lord's

Jul 08, 2016, 08:38 IST | mid-day online correspondent

It's Sourav Ganguly's birthday today. Since Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid made their Test debuts together in 1996. Let's relive the duo's debut match, and read some interesting trivia them, their greatest Test innings & more...

Way back in June 20, 1996, two of India's bigget names in cricket made their Test debuts. Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid started their international cricketing journey together at the hallowed Lord’s ground. Ganguly went on to make 131 in his first knock for India and Dravid made 95.


Rahul Dravid made his Test debut for Indian vs England at Lord's on June 20, 1996 in the Second Test of the series at the expense of injured senior batsman Sanjay Manjrekar. Ten minutes before the toss, then Indian coach Sandeep Patil went up to Dravid and informed him that he was going to make his debut. Coming in to bat at no 7, he forged important partnerships with the other debutant Sourav Ganguly and his Karnataka team mates Anil Kumble and Javagal Srinath securing a vital first innings lead for his team. Batting for more than 6 hours, he scored 95 runs before getting out to the bowling of Chris Lewis. Dravid was just 5 runs away from a landmark debut hundred when he nicked a Lewis delivery to the keeper and walked even before umpire's decision. When asked about the walk, he quipped, "Everybody at the ground had heard the nick".

While Dravid failed to reach the landmark 100 on debut, Ganguly was luckier and achieved that unique feat.

Ganguly got his Test debut after teammate Navjot Singh Sidhu left the tour, citing ill-treatment by then captain
Mohammad Azharuddin.

Ganguly first made an impact in the match as a bowler. He removed the in-form Nasser Hussian for 36 and then getting rid of Graeme Hick for 1.

Ganguly's century on debut made him only the third cricketer to achieve such a feat on debut at Lord's, after Harry Graham and John Hampshire. Andrew Strauss and Matt Prior have since accomplished this feat, but Ganguly's 131 still remains the highest by any batsman on his debut at the ground.

India didn't bat in the second innings and the match ended in a draw. In the next Test match at Trent Bridge he made 136, thus becoming only the third batsman to make a century in each of his first two innings (after Lawrence Rowe and Alvin Kallicharran). He shared a 255 run stand with Sachin Tendulkar, which became at that time the highest partnership for India against any country for any wicket outside India.

Some of Sourav Ganguly's best Test innings

144 vs Australia at Brisbane, 2003

This was Ganguly maiden Test century in Australia and helped India get a lead vs Australia. India scored 409 in the innings and the match was drawn. This innings is important as it was the one that instilled fighting spirit in the Indian batsmen.


51 not out vs South Africa at Johannesburg, 2006

Ganguly was returning after his exile from the international game, the wicket was difficult, but these are the situations that get Ganguly going. Ganguly braved chin music and more as he batted with tail to help India score a fighting 249 in the first innings. He was the only Indian to go past fifty. Sreesath’s fifer then helped India pull-off a memorable win.


239 vs Pakistan at Bangalore, 2007

This was Dada's first double century. India were tottering at 61 for 4 in the 23rd over, Ganguly along with Yuvraj
Singh started the repair job. India ended Day One on 365 for five with Ganguly still unbeaten on 125. Ganguly
continued the next day and stitched a 178-run partnership with Irfan Pathan to bring up his maiden Test double
century. He batted for 518 minutes and 361 balls


75 not out vs West Indies at Port of Spain, 2002

This was the second Test of the series and India were leading by 94 runs at the end of first innings. But the top
four batsmen were dismissed for just 56 runs and India were under pressure. Skipper Ganguly along with Laxman steadied the ship. Their 149-run stand for the 5th wicket rescued the team before anothe r collapse saw India all out for 218 runs. Ganguly remained not out on 75 runs off 227 balls. But that innings helped India win this thriller .


128 vs England at Leeds, 2002

The wicket was a seamer’s paradise, but Ganguly decided to bat first. The platform was set by the Dravid-Bangar
partnership, and Ganguly took full advantage to launch an onslaught. On 99, eyeing his hundred, Ganguly thrased Ashley Giles for 4, 6, 6 and 4. His 128 was instrumentatl in India inflicting an innings defeat on England.


98 not out vs Sri Lanka at Kandy, 2001

Ganguly was in terrible form ahead of the Test and under the scanner. It didn't help that India had lost the first
Test. India needed to score 264 to win the second Test, but they were without some of their regular players. Sri
Lanka’s Dilhara Fernando and Chaminda Vaas were deadly. Muttiah Muralitharan, on his home ground, in the fourth
innings was unplayable. Ganguly and his deputy Dravid defied the odds during their 91-run stand for the third wicket.
Ganguly saw the team over the line with his fighting unbeaten 98.

Some of Dravid's best innings in Tests:

Rahul Dravid

180 vs Australia, Kolkata, 2001

He was one-half of the partnership that inspired India to one of their most memorable and famous Test victories of all time. VVS Laxman's record-breaking 281 at No.3 overshadowed Dravid's contribution. Laxman and Dravid's 376-run stand that helped India bounce back and win - only the third time in 1535 Test matches that a team won a Test after following-on.


144 not out vs West Indies at Georgetown, 2002

West Indies had scored 501. In reply, India were in early trouble. Dravid walked in at No.5, with India on 99 for 3.
Dravid's unbeaten 144 helped India draw the match and break the trend of defeats in the first Test of overseas series. They won the next Test in Port of Spain -- their first in the West Indies since 1976. Dravid's century came in testing circumstances - he was struck hard by a Mervyn Dillon bouncer on his helmet and was given a couple of pain-killing tablets. But he didn't let it affect him. He batted for more than seven hours.


148 vs England at Headingley, 2002

His innings helped India win their first Test in England in 16 years and level the series. Dravid's 148 set the
foundation for a 600-plus score. His 170-run partnership with Sanjay Bangar provided the base for Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly to dominate the bowling. India, who played two spinners, won by an innings and Dravid deservedly won the Man-of-the-Match award for his 307-ball knock.


233 and 72* vs Australia at Adelaide, 2003

Dravid's 233 and 72 not out was the backbone of India's first Test win in Australia since 1980-81. It was the famous
pair of Dravid and Laxman who once again tormented the Aussies. They put up 303-run stand. Dravid's 2nd innings score of 72 took him four hours. India beat Australia for their first time Down Under in 23


270 vs Pakistan at Rawalpindi, 2004

This was the first time India had toured Pakistan in 15 years. India had never won a Test series in Pakistan before
and pressure was imense. Dravid batted for 12 hours at Rawalpindi for his double-century. India then bowled out
Pakistan to clinch a brilliant win.


117 vs England at Nottingham, 2011

Dravid was not batting at his usual No. 3 spot, but forced to open. He thwarted the efforts of James Anderson, Stuart
Broad and Tim Bresnan to score his 34th hundred. Unfortnately, his innings didn't inspire India as they lost the match
and series.



Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid

Dravid is known as 'The Wall' or 'Mr. Dependable' and Sourav as 'The Prince of Calcutta' and 'God of Cricket'.

Known as 'Dada', Sourav Ganguly was affectionately called 'Dadi' by his team-mates.

Sourav Ganguly's middle name is Chandidas.

Sourav Ganguly played in 113 Tests for India.

Ganguly's farewell Test happened to be the 100th test for VVS Laxman.

Sourav Ganguly scored a first-ball duck in his last Test innings. The great Don Bradman also has the same score in hislast Test innings.

In September 1997, Sourav Ganguly clinched 4 consecutive Man-of-the-Match titles, thereby becoming the only player in the history to achieve the feat.

Ganguly never averaged below 40 during his entire career.

Dravid was bestowed with the nickname Jammy by his classmates at St. Joseph's Boys' High School because his father worked for Kissan, a company best known for producing jam.

Dravid made his Ranji Trophy debut in 1991 against Maharashtra in Pune scoring 82 after batting in the No. 7 position, the same position at which he would bat on his Test debut.

Dravid has been involved in the two highest partnerships in ODIs - 331 runs with Sachin Tendulkar and 318 with Sourav Ganguly at Hyderabad and Taunton respectively, both for the 2nd wicket and both in 1999.

Dravid's maiden Test century came in his ninth Test, against South Africa in Johannesburg in 1996-97, when he top scored in each innings with 148 and 81. It was also his maiden Man of the Match award.

Dravid's only Test wicket was that of Ridley Jacobs in the fourth Test against the West Indies during the 2001–2002

Dravid became the third Indian batsman after Vijay Hazare and Sunil Gavaskar to score a century in each innings of a Test when he made 190 and 103 not out against New Zealand at Hamilton in 1998-99.



Brian Lara: "If I have to put anyone to bat for my life, it'll be Kallis or Dravid."

Glenn McGrath: "If there was one Indian player who could get a direct entry into the famous Australian team of the late 90s, it would be Rahul Dravid."

Matthew Hayden: "All this going around is not aggression. If you want to see aggression on cricket field, look into
Rahul Dravid’s eyes."

Brett Lee: "If you can’t get along with Dravid, you’re struggling in life."

Sachin Tendulkar: "He (Dravid) is a perfect role model for youngsters. He has set a great example for all of us to
follow. We are all trying to follow that path."

Chris Gayle: "Dravid could play attacking cricket like me but I could never play like him."

Christopher Martin-Jenkins: "If a martian were to land on earth now and be told that the best batsman in the world was playing in this match, he would think it was Rahul Dravid and not Sachin Tendulkar."


Shaun Pollock: "His biggest asset is his freakish sense of timing. When playing his big shots, he could be very dangerous." 

Ian Healy: "Sourav Ganguly is the new Steve Waugh of mind games."

Javagal Srinath: "Sourav’s best quality is that he has the ability to remain unperturbed even when he faces severe criticism."

Navjot Singh Sidhu: "The Bengal tiger always has his tail up, ready to devour the opposition."

Rahul Dravid: "On the offside, first there is God, then Sourav Ganguly."

Geoffrey Boycott: "The Prince of Calcutta. Two of his special qualities are his intelligence and articulation, both of which have helped him immensely in the world of contemporary cricket." 



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