There is no doubt that Sourav Ganguly has played the most prominent role in changing India’s global image as under his captaincy India began drawing the challenging overseas Test series and winning the tournament finals in the limited-overs setup. The year 2002, in fact, witnessed the domination that India had started to build.
In that calendar year, India had experienced a successful tour of England, where they drew the Test series followed by their epic Natwest Trophy triumph. Apart from the English summer heroics, Indians were also the joint-winners of the Champions Trophy in Sri Lanka.
In the same year, India also had a trip to the Caribbean island, where they played five Tests and as many ODIs against West Indies. The Ganguly-led side did win the second Test after the first game met the fate of draw. But even after the 1-0 lead, the visitors lost the 5-match series with 2-1 as the hosts gained victory in the third and fifth Tests.
During that tour, India’s biggest headache was left-handed genius batsman Brian Lara. Along with the likes of Sachin Tendulkar and Ricky Ponting, Lara too was growing higher and higher in the early 2000s. Reminiscing the series, former India wicket-keeper Deep Dasgupta in a chat with sports presenter Gaurav Kapur has revealed India’s plan against Lara.
Deep said that India had planned to bore Lara by not involving in any kind of communication while he was batting in the middle. Deep stated that such a plan was made in the team meeting before the first Test match at Guyana.
“One of the funniest things that ever happened was when we were playing against the West Indies in 2002. It was the first Test in Guayana and in the team meeting we were talking about how to handle Brian Lara. Some of the things that were said in that meeting were ‘don’t talk to him’. I was like, what are you saying? They said ‘he would get bored and get out,” said Deep in ’22 Yarns’ show.
Deep further disclosed that Lara wanted to talk to him and Rahul Dravid, but they used to turn their backs and look in different directions.
“Whenever a spinner would bowl, I was behind the wicket, and Rahul was there in the slips, Brian would play a ball, he would turn around wanting to talk to Rahul or me and we would turn our backs and look the other way. He would want to start a conversation, and we would be like, no, nothing happening,” added Deep.
Deep said that Lara loved chatting as this was his style to stay in the rhythm, but India didn’t give him any chance.
“He just wanted to chat, that’s the kind of batsman he was. He would love to talk about his batting, he would want to talk about everything,” Deep added further.