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The Rediff Special
Laxman on Sourav's 100th Test
December 24, 2007
If VVS Laxman's batting rocked the Aussies during the famous Final Frontier tour, it was Sourav Ganguly's [Images] take-no-prisoners captaincy that set the aggressive tone for the series and made a landmark win possible. The master batsman salutes an exemplary leader.
"No one can forget the 2001 series between India and Australia. The Aussie team was here with a record breaking consecutive victories in Test cricket. We lost the first match in Mumbai and were asked to follow on in the Kolkata Test. Sourav and [coach] John Wright [Images] showed great faith in me as they asked me to go in at the number 3 position in the second innings. Our backs were against the walls when Rahul [Dravid] came to the crease. Both of us batted for long and things changed. On the last day Sourav took the decision to declare the innings. Harbhajan [Singh] bowled his heart out and we went on to win that match. I think that particular win not only changed the face of our team but changed the course of Indian cricket. We won that series by winning in Chennai too. From that point onwards Sourav and John formed a great pair.
Sourav was always an aggressive captain. He showed a lot of confidence in his team members. Don't forget that he was the one who started giving bold statements about his team. We also played good cricket in Australia on 2003-04 tour. Winning in Pakistan was another feather in our caps. I also admire Sourav's leadership ability to handle and motivate his bowlers. Over the years we have played together and shared some fantastic moments in the Indian dressing room. MCG Boxing Day Test match will be Sourav's 100th Test. All of us are as happy for him as he has showed lot of courage in staging a successful comeback to the Indian team. I remember Dada scoring a magnificent 100 in the first Test during the last tour to Australia. Sourav's knock created good confident atmosphere in the team. I wish this time also Sourav will score a big hundred in his 100th Test which is first Test of the tour."