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I have no regrets, says Ganguly

Our Correspondent | October 18, 2008 19:58 IST

Sourav Ganguly's [Images] decision to announce his retirement just before the start of the ongoing Border-Gavaskar Trophy led to contrasting opinions.

While some felt it was time for him to go, others believed he still had some cricket left in him and the decision was an outcome of the pressure exerted on him from various quarters.

The 36-year-old, meanwhile, let the people do the talking and prepared for his farewell series. The result, decent scores of 47 and 26 not out in the opening Test against Australia [Images] at Bangalore, which played a major role in helping India escape with a draw. And that was followed by a majestic 102 in the first innings on day two of the second Test in Mohali on Saturday to give India the upperhand.

It was only his second century against the Australian -- after an equally well-made 144 at Gabba in 2003 -- and immediately led to yet another debate if he had hurried a bit in announcing his decision. When the question was popped at him, Ganguly replied: "No, not all."

The left-hander denied that it was made under pressure, adding: "I think it is the right decision, and a personal one."

"I have no regrets and to be honest, I don't want to play anymore. I feel the time has come for me to go."

But since this is his final series Ganguly said he wants to go out and enjoy every bit of it.

"What I try to do is before a game starts, I prepare myself mentally and enjoy every single day," he explained. "More so now because I know every single day is going to be one of my last days."

Ganguly also clarified that this century was not one of his most memorable ones even though it has come at the fag end of his career.

"Not the most memorable but definitely something that I cherish," corrected Ganguly. "Any hundred against the Australians is good and satisfying, especially considering the fact that they have a good set of fast bowlers.

"Also we were 168 for four when I came and to help get the team to 469 was a great effort."

Contrary to his usually aggressive self this innings was perseverance personified, better explained by the fact that he had only eight boundaries. However, if Ganguly is to be believed it was more to do with Australia's field placements than anything else.

"That is because of the way they set their field, blocking the scoring positions," explained the former Indian captain. "There were not enough gaps. So, I tried to be patient since it looked like a good batting wicket. I would say it was a more patient hundred."

The former India captain also denied that with this innings he was answering to his critics.

"I think besides the away series in Sri Lanka [Images], I have been playing pretty well in the last two years," he reasoned.

With him having announced his retirement, the focus has shifted to the other three of the so called "Fab Four" but Ganguly said it's best left to the individuals to make their own decisions.

"It is eventually going to be an individual decision for everyone. And in this case, age is no bar," replied Ganguly, in a rather diplomatic tone. "Sachin [Tendulkar], Rahul [Dravid] and [VVS] Laxman have all been scoring runs and should be judged solely on the basis of their performance."

Whether that happens or not remains to be seen. What is clear, however, is the fact that, with this century, Ganguly has ensured that his farewell series turns out to be a memorable one.

Complete coverage: Australia in India 2008

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