Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid inspired me to play cricket: Jos Buttler
The Somerset-born Buttler was awestruck after seeing the amount of support for the Indian cricketers.
Updated - May 18, 2021 9:30 am
Jos Buttler, the England wicketkeeper, revealed that Sourav Ganguly and Rahul Dravid had a massive impact on him taking up cricket as a profession. Buttler was in awe of the Indian duo when, at the age of nine, he watched them in the 1999 World Cup in England. 21 years down the line, Buttler is regarded as one of the best batters, at least in the one-day and T20 formats.
Going down the memory lane, the 30-year-old Buttler recalled the game between India and Sri Lanka at the County Ground in Taunton. On the back of centuries from Dravid and Ganguly, the Men in Blue beat Arjuna Ranatunga’s Lankans by a mammoth 157 runs.
“Those were my formative years and watching that game with Ganguly and Dravid scoring big hundreds had an incredible impact,” Buttler was quoted as saying to Cricbuzz.
Jos Buttler shares his experience
The Somerset-born Buttler was awestruck after seeing the amount of support for the Indian cricketers. He lauded the Indian fans for supporting their team with every inch of their heart.
“Ind vs SL, Taunton, 1999 World Cup was my first experience of seeing Indian crowds and that ignites the fire of how passionate people are about the game and how cool it would be to play in a World Cup,” he added.
As far as the game was concerned, the only moment when Sri Lanka seemed to have the upper hand was when Chaminda Vaas got rid of opener Sadagopan Ramesh in the very first over. From there on, it was one-way traffic in India’s direction.
Ganguly and Dravid stitched together a massive partnership of 318 runs for the second wicket off 44.5 overs. Their partnership laid the platform for a final flurry. After the stand was broken, India scored 49 runs in the last 26 balls.
Ganguly, opening the batting, notched 183 runs off 158 balls with the help of 17 fours and seven sixes. Dravid, on the other hand, got 145 runs off 129 balls with 17 fours and one six.
India posted 373 on the board after which the Lankans always found themselves behind the eight-ball. For Sri Lanka, Aravinda de Silva scored 56, but his knock wasn’t enough to get his team close.