Birthday wishes poured in from around the world as former India captain Sourav Ganguly turned 45 on Saturday. Known affectionately as 'Dada', Ganguly is credited with changing the face of Indian cricket. After making a sensational Test debut, where he scored a century, at the famed Lord's in 1996, the left-hander went on to captain Team India in 49 Tests and 147 ODIs. Former cricketers and fans took to Twitter to wish Ganguly on his birthday and acknowledge his immense contribution to Indian cricket.
Ganguly is regarded as one of the most successful captains of India and till recently the stats proved this. However, a certain Mahendra Singh Dhoni has gone onto eclipse some of the records.
Not just captaincy, Ganguly as a batsman made a huge mark and his trademark shots on the off-side and the voice of Geoffrey Boycott crowning him the 'Prince of Kolkata' will forever be etched in the memories of cricketing fans.
Fans and former cricketers poured in with their wishes, making #HappyBirthdayDada one of the top trends on Twitter.
Happy birthday dada! @SGanguly99— Shikhar Dhawan (@SDhawan25) July 8, 2017
To the person who changed the direction of Indian cricket through his captaincy, Many happy returns of the day Dada @SGanguly99— Rohit Sharma (@ImRo45) July 8, 2017
Happy Birthday to one of India's finest cricketers, Sourav Ganguly!— ICC (@ICC) July 8, 2017
What is your favourite memory from his career? pic.twitter.com/ufGXZVl91e
Ganguly made 7,212 runs in 113 Test matches at an average of 42.17. While in ODIs, Ganguly made 11,363 runs in 311 games.
Ganguly took over the captaincy reigns from Mohammad Azharuddin in early 2000. At that time Indian cricket was under turmoil with match-fixing allegations labelled against some of the players and falling fortunes for the team.
Ganguly immediately brought in some fresh faces and quickly changed the way the team thought and played. In came the youthful exuberance and aggressiveness of the likes of Yuvraj Singh, Zaheer Khan, Virender Sehwag and Harbhajan Singh, to mix with the experience of Sachin Tendulkar and Rahul Dravid.
He brought about a certain aggressiveness to the team that Indian cricket had rarely seen before. India had a poor overseas record prior to Ganguly, however, under the Bengal cricketer, Team India won 11 Tests out of the 28 they played abroad.
Ganguly finally called it quits in 2008 after the home series against Australia.