Sourav Ganguly recalls how Virender Sehwag taught him a captaincy lesson by defying his instruction during NatWest Trophy 2002 final

Sourav Ganguly recalls how Virender Sehwag taught him a captaincy lesson by defying his instruction during NatWest Trophy 2002 final

The win in the final was one of India's most famous wins under Ganguly's captaincy.

Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly
Virender Sehwag, Sachin Tendulkar and Sourav Ganguly. (Photo source: INDRANIL MUKHERJEE/AFP via Getty Images)

Former India skipper Sourav Ganguly recently recalled the epic 2002 NatWest Trophy final against England. The Men in Blue had famously chased down 326 against the home side at the iconic Lord’s to win the trophy. It was the same game where  Ganguly had famously taken his shirt off while celebrating the thrilling win in the balcony.

Recalling the historic game, Ganguly revealed how his former teammate Virender Sehwag taught him an important captaincy lesson. Ganguly (60) and Sehwag (45) had opened the innings and had given the team a solid start. The duo added 106 runs in less than 15 overs to lay the foundation for the epic chase. They, however, departed in quick succession before India lost three more wickets in quick time to find themselves reeling at 146 for 5.

But Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif scored fighting fifties to take India home. Ganguly recalled how he learned to back players’ natural instincts after an incident that happened between him and Sehwag during the game. The legendary skipper had asked Sehwag to play cautiously only to see the latter defy his orders and play his natural aggressive game.

“We were chasing 325 in that final. When we walked out to open, I was very disappointed and disturbed but Sehwag said we will win. We had a good start (82 in 12 overs) and I told him that since we had seen off the new ball bowlers, he should not lose his wicket and focus on singles,” Ganguly recalled in a YouTube chat.

“But when Ronnie Irani came in to bowl his first over, and Sehwag smashed a four off the first ball. I walked up to him and said we have a boundary, now let us take singles. But he didn’t listen and hit a four off the second ball too. He hit a four off the third ball too. I was very angry. Then he hit one off the fifth ball too. I realized there is no point in stopping him since his natural style of play is aggressive,” he added.

Sourav Ganguly on the poor start to his international career

Sourav Ganguly also spoke about his poor debut in ODI cricket in 1992 when he was out for just three. He was immediately dropped from the team and earned a recall only after four years when he famously scored the century on his Test debut at the Lord’s. Talking about his ODI debut, Ganguly stated that it was not a failure for him as it helped him become better.

“I don’t consider the 1992 series as a failure. I didn’t get much opportunity to play. But it helped me to become a better cricketer. I did training for the next 3-4 years and became mentally and physically strong,” he said.