Sourav Ganguly has had a wide variety of iconic nicknames during his long career. From the popular Dada to the ‘Prince of Calcutta’, the former Indian skipper is known by a lot of names. However, out of all the nicknames showered upon Sourav Ganguly, none of them is arguably more famous than “The God of the Offside”. The answer to why Sourav Ganguly is called the God of Offside in cricket involves the large variety of shots on the offside Sourav Ganguly used to play. In fact, Sourav Ganguly’s offside shots have a fan following of their own, with fans and former cricketers in awe of the ability of the player to play such shots. His offside shots have their own highlight reel on the internet, with the player’s square-cuts, square drives and cover drives finding the gap even in the tightest of field settings. Ganguly was renowned for making a lot of room after going outside leg-stump to hit the ball over the 30-yard circle on the offside if the ball had been bowled on the leg or middle stump.
Very many cricket analysts have analysed Sourav Ganguly’s impeccable style of batting when it comes to playing shots on the offside when trying to answer the question of why Sourav Ganguly was called the God of the Offside. The tendency of the batter to step on the front foot when facing deliveries, while at the same time bending his back leg, opened up a lot of opportunities for him to play shots on the offside. Another reason why Sourav Ganguly played offside shots so commonly was that he was known to play the ball late, giving him time to cut on the offside.
Sourav Ganguly is also admired for his offside play because of how he used to play spin bowlers. One of the most iconic shots played by Ganguly involved him playing the shot inside out, lifting the ball high over the inner circle. The fact that he used to prefer taking a leg stump stance also helped him in freeing up his offside, hence allowing him to play the majority of his offside shots quite easily.
While the former Indian skipper was indeed an exquisite player of the offside shots, the unique nickname was actually given to the player by a fellow teammate. This teammate was none other than Rahul Dravid. Dravid is once reported to have claimed that on the offside, first there is God and then there is Sourav Ganguly. This was what popularised his nickname, the God of the Offside, and it continues to hold true. He was an exceptional cricketer, pulling his team through the toughest times in Indian Cricket.
Indian cricketers always enjoy the love and respect of every citizen in India. Here are some of the cricketers who enjoy millions of followers on Instagram.
Virat Kohli – 94.6 Million Followers
Virat Kohli, who is the current skipper for the Indian cricket team, is regarded as one of the best batsmen in the world. He has also been the skipper of the Royal Challengers Bangalore in the Indian Premier League since 2013.
MS Dhoni – 30.2 Million Followers
Mahendra Singh Dhoni was the captain for the Indian national cricket team in limited-overs cricket from 2007 to 2016 as well as Test cricket from 2008 to 2014. He is the only captain in cricket history to win all ICC trophies.
Sachin Tendulkar – 27.7 Million Followers
Sachin Tendulkar is called the God of cricket because of his exceptional performance in the game. He also used to be a former captain of the Indian national team. He is the highest run-scorer of all time in International cricket, and the only person to hit 100 centuries in the game.
Rohit Sharma – 17.3 Million Followers
Vice-captain of the Indian team in limited-overs formats, Rohit Sharma is also the captain of the Indian Premier League team Mumbai Indians. He is a right-handed batsman and a part-time right-arm off-break bowler.
Hardik Pandya – 15.9 Million Followers
An all-rounder batting right-handed and bowling right-arm medium pace, Hardik Pandya is an exceptional cricketer who plays for Mumbai Indians in the Indian Premier League and is the younger brother of Krunal Pandya.
Suresh Raina – 14.7 Million Followers
Suresh Raina is a fan favourite left-handed middle-order batsman and is an occasional off-break bowler. He is regarded as one of the best fielders in world cricket and is also known as Mr IPL for his performance in the Indian Premier League.
Yuvraj Singh – 10.5 Million Followers
Yuvraj Singh is a retired Indian cricketer who used to play internationally in all formats. He is an all-rounder batting left-handed in the middle order and bowling left-arm off-break, Yuvraj is the son of former Indian fast bowler Yograj Singh. He is also the only Indian cricketer to hit six sixes in an over.
Virender Sehwag – 6 Million Followers
Widely acclaimed as one of the most destructive batsmen of all time, Sehwag played as an aggressive right-handed opening batsman. He is also known to bowl part-time right-arm off-break. He played his first ODI in 1999 and joined the Test team in 2001.
Harbhajan Singh – 4.3 Million Followers
Harbhajan Singh, often known by his nickname Bhajji, is a specialist Indian off-break bowler who has played all forms of cricket. He holds the title of taking the second-highest number of Test wickets by an off-spinner, the top place being given to Sri Lanka’s Muttiah Muralitharan.
Bhuvneshwar Kumar – 2.9 Million Followers
Bhuvneshwar Kumar, affectionately called Bhuvi, is an Indian international cricketer who has played all formats of the game. He currently plays for Sunrisers Hyderabad in the Indian Premier League.
Amidst the talks of equal pay, Cricket Australia is the only Board that ensures there is no disparity in pay for international cricketers. However, the BCCI, the richest cricket board in the world, is yet to bridge the gap between the earnings by men and women cricketers. Here is a sneak peek into the top five earning India women’s cricketers:
The Indian ODI and Test team skipper is the highest-earning woman cricketer in India. The right-hand batter has almost 7,000 runs in ODI cricket with an average of 50.64 in 189 innings. She has scored 53 half-centuries and seven centuries in her long career spanning over 20 years. The 37-year old has featured in 10 Tests and scored 663 runs in 16 innings, making an average of 51. She has a grade-B contract from BCCI hence earning Rs 30 lakh per year. Off the field, she also endorses big brands like Allen Solley, NextGen Fitness Studio, Royal Challenge and American Tourister.
The 31-year old from Moga, Punjab, became the first woman cricketer to lead an Indian side to the Women’s World T20 finals. The T20 skipper is also a recognized talent outside India since she played for Sydney Thunder in the Women’s Big Bash League hosted by Australia and in Lancashire Thunder in Kia Super League hosted in England. Harmanpreet has a grade-A contract from BCCI and earns Rs 50 lakhs. CEAT is her bat sponsor while Natural-B fruit juice of ITC has Kaur as its brand ambassador.
Smriti is one of the most popular cricketers in India. She grabbed the limelight in 2017 with her incredible performance in the ICC Women’s World Cup. The opening bat 23-year old has played 2 Tests, 51 ODIs and 75 T20Is. She has a modest average of over 43 in ODIs and has over 1700 runs to her name in 73 T20I innings. Also the T20 vice-captain, she has been a part of the Women’s Big Bash League and IPL Women’s Challenge tournaments. She has a grade-A contract with BCCI earning Rs 50 lakhs per annum. Hero MotoCorp sponsors her bat while also having a tie-up with energy drink company Red Bull.
28-year-old leggie from Uttar Pradesh, Poonam Yadav played a vital role in India’s journey to its first World T20 final ever. She picked up ten wickets in the series and was the second-highest wicket-taker after Megan Schutt of Australia. She has 170 wickets in ODIs and T20s which has pushed BCCI to provide her with a Grade A contract, meaning that she earns 50 lakhs per annum.
The Indian pacer from Bengal has been one of the best bowlers among women in the world. The 37-year old retired from the T20 but continues to play ODIs. Goswami has featured in 182 ODIs, 68 T20Is and 10 Tests for the Women in Blue and has picked up a total of 321 wickets in all formats, out of which 225 are in ODIs. She has a grade B contract, earning her an annual income of Rs. 30 lakhs.
Women’s cricket is gaining a lot of momentum in the country right now, and efforts are being made to bring as much mainstream attention to women’s cricket as men’s cricket. That being said, here are some of the best players from the Indian cricket team over the years.
Mithali Raj is widely considered the best batter among women ever. With over 8000 International runs and still running, Mithali is a batting maestro from India. Right from her debut in 1999 scoring an extraordinary century, Mithali hasn’t left any stone unturned in her attempts to greatness, inspiring an entire generation of women with her batting heroics. Just when she was 19, Mithali broke the then world record in her third Test match by scoring 214 runs against England. Mithali captained the group to the World Cup Final in 2005 and played a vital role in achieving the Finals once more in 2017. She was awarded the prestigious Arjuna Award in 2003.
Shikha Pandey was an engineer before she began playing cricket genuinely. Living in Goa growing up, Pandey used to play cricket with young men in her state and longed to play for India one day. As it may, in her second year of engineering, Pandey began playing at the Goa Cricket Association. Before finishing her degree, she jumped into the world of cricket. Turning into a cricketer did not mean that Pandey was abandoning her plans of joining the Indian Air Force. Hence, the 28-year-old currently handles two professions: one as a fast-pace bowler for the Indian cricket team and the other as an air traffic controller for the IAF. She is a real inspiration for the future generation of women.
When the Indian Women’s cricket led by Mithali Raj lost in the finals in 2012 to Australia, it kindled a fire in Veda Krishnamurthy despite the loss. She was really inspired by Mithali Raj’s performance and wanted to meet her, which she eventually got to at the age of 15. She is currently a middle-order batter in the Indian team and is a proficient fielder. She also holds a double black belt in karate.
One of the incredible women in cricket, Anjum Chopra in full swing can remind one of the great David Gower. There is a trace of apathetic class about her as she stands at the crease, and is solid on both the sides of the wicket. She can assist the team with a large portion of her scoring, just like previous New Zealand wicket-manager Adam Parore. Once settled in, Anjum Chopra is simply unstoppable. She is also an incredible fielder, often positioned near the wicket and at the slips. She most commonly opens the innings and has driven the team to victory a couple of times. Anjum was a part of the third straight Asia Cup winning effort and in 2006, was presented with the Arjuna award.
Yuvraj Singh and Mahendra Singh Dhoni are two people who have gone down in history as absolute legends. Their contributions in cricket are extraordinary as they played memorable roles in the 2007 T20 World Cup and the 2011 World Cup. These players have paired up when the team needed them the most, which is what makes them so amazing for India and Indians all over the world. Holding partnerships is not easy, to say the least. Both the players need to give their undivided attention to the game, but at the same time, they also need to keep track of the movements and body language of the other person on the opposite side of the crease. They need to have a good rapport among themselves so that they can work with each other with full efficiency. Here are some of the most memorable partnerships from the iconic finisher duo.
India Vs Zimbabwe, 2005
India was at 91 for 5 when Yuvraj and Dhoni took the crease in the Videocon Triangular Series to chase down 251 runs. The team was crumbling and in need of a desperate partnership. The duo added 158 runs to the scoreboard securing a milestone win for their partnership. This was especially hailed, as this was just their fourth Test together.
India Vs Pakistan, 2006
Team India under Rahul Dravid had already sealed the series with their wins. However, this was an especially important game for Pakistan, as General Parvez Musharraf, former Prime Minister of Pakistan, was present at the Karachi International Stadium to witness the match. The game started off pretty well for India, and the score was 141 for 2 when MS Dhoni stepped into the crease. The target that Pakistan had set was 287 runs, which was a winning total back then. However, the Yuvraj-Dhoni partnership added an unbeaten 146 runs to secure the win. The match ended with Yuvraj scoring 107 runs in 93 balls and MS Dhoni scoring 77 off just 56 balls.
India Vs Australia, 2007
India won their first match in the five-match series against Australia against their arch-nemesis Pakistan by five wickets with three overs remaining back in 2007. The score was 113 for 3 when MS Dhoni stepped in, knocking an unbeaten 63 runs, while Yuvraj on the other end got out for 58, adding a 105 total in their partnership, hence winning the game.
India Vs Australia, 2009
In the third ODI match in the seven-match series against Australia, India was at 37 for no loss but quickly dropped to 53 with three down, losing crucial players. At this stage, Mahendra Singh Dhoni stepped onto the crease and delivered a partnership with Yuvraj scoring 148 runs, securing the win for India. Yuvraj Singh scored 78 runs while MS Dhoni scored 71.
However successful we become, we attribute some amount of it to luck. Success is always a reflection of your hard work and persistence, but luck is also a factor that cannot be ruled out. However, big cricket celebrities may be to the common man; they are also simple human beings at the end of the day. They also have superstitious beliefs that they might think might help them perform better. Here are some of the superstitious beliefs of some famous Indian cricketers.
Sachin Tendulkar Wore His Left Pad Before His Right
The God of Cricket himself, the great Sachin Tendulkar, was a person who believed in superstitions. He thought that wearing his left pad before wearing the right one brought him better luck while playing. The player is no doubt a legend, and there is no correlation between that and his superstitions, but he believes it, and he shows it is worth it too. His wife Anjali also had a superstitious belief. She would sit at the exact same spot while Sachin was at the crease.
Anil Kumble’s 10 Wicket Haul
Anil Kumble, India’s highest wicket-taker, took all ten wickets against Pakistan in 1999 making him the second-ever cricketer to do so. However, the veteran player attributes this luck to something that he did. He believed that he would get a wicket every time he handed over his cap and sweater to Sachin. This trend continued throughout the match, and Kumble thought it too.
Saurav Ganguly And His Guru
Sourav Ganguly is a name that has gone down the history of cricket unfazed. Yet, he was yet another cricketer who had superstitions. He carried a photo of his Guru in his pocket, something he believed brought him success. He also used to wear rings and necklaces like a good luck charm.
The Missing Jersey Number of Virender Sehwag
Virender Sehwag started off his career with the number 44 on his jersey. However, he removed it on the advice of his numerologist. Numerology has nothing to do about his success, but he believes so.
Rahul Dravid and His Right Pad
Rahul Dravid’s face might be the one on those no-smoking ads, making him seem like a man with a modern outlook. However, he too was a superstitious person. He believed that wearing his right pad before his left pad gave him good luck. He was also said to have not used a fresh bat while at the beginning of a series.
Zaheer Khan’s Lucky Handkerchief
Zaheer Khan became India’s key bowler after Kapil Dev retired, but the left-arm pacer was not without his superstitions. He used to carry a yellow handkerchief with him as he believed that it brought him good luck.
Here is a detailed list of the top 6 paid cricketers in India.
Mahendra Singh Dhoni
Mahendra Singh Dhoni is a captain that has led the men in blue to unparalleled success in white-ball cricket. He assesses every situation perfectly, and remains calm and composed during adverse conditions, earning him the nickname Captain Cool. Under his leadership, India won all three titles including ICC T20 World Cup, 50-over World Cup, and the Champions Trophy. His net worth is estimated to be around 150 million dollars.
The God of cricket needs no introduction. Sachin Tendulkar was the complete batsman, a determined run-getter, and the most celebrated icon in cricket history. The most capped player in Test and ODI cricket, Sachin is the only person to hit 100 centuries in international cricket. He also holds the title of getting the most runs in both ODIs. The 46-year old’s current net worth is little over 120 million dollars.
Arguably the greatest batsman in all formats in modern-day cricket, Virat Kohli’s contributions towards the game are unprecedented. The Indian Test team under Kohli has grown from strength to strength. The Indian skipper has set the current benchmark for world cricket fitness and is also a youth icon. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the 31-year old’s net income is a whopping 92 million dollars and is one of the top-tier cricketers on the contract list of the BCCI.
Widely renowned as the Dada of Indian Cricket, Sourav Ganguly is one of the most polarising figures in Indian cricket. He was one of the captains who revived Indian cricket from the match-fixing scandal’s deep dark days. In 2008, Ganguly announced his retirement from international cricket. However, he continued to play in the Indian Premier League and never lost touch of the game by taking up coaching roles.
He became President of the BCCI in October 2019. Ganguly’s net worth is 55.5 million dollars, which includes the money he gets from his endorsements from companies as well as his IPL salary.
This once-energetic left-handed batsman is yet another cricketer who played a massive role in helping lift the T20 World Cup back in 2007 and the 50 overs World Cup in 2011. Having joined Lok Sabha in the General Assembly Elections, Gautam Gambhir has assets worth 20 million dollars, making him the richest out of the 349 candidates in contention. Gautham Gambhir has an income of 170,000 dollars. His movable and immovable assets are cumulatively valued at 15 million and 3.8 million dollars, respectively.
One of the confrontational, aggressive opening batsmen that India has ever seen, Virender Sehwag is affectionately called Viru and the Nawab of Najafgarh. He is only one of the two batsmen to have passed 300 runs twice in Test cricket. He has a net worth of 40 million dollars presently. He also makes about 4.1 million dollars from his endorsements.
India is indeed blessed to have such immensely talented players on their sports teams. If they are the chosen 11 players to represent 1.4 billion Indians, they obviously have to be good. But here are some exceptional players among them that shone through because of their achievements.
Having won all 3 ICC trophies (the Champion’s Trophy, T20 World Cup and 50 Overs World Cup) under his captaincy, MS Dhoni deserves all the admiration and love that he gets and tops the list for India’s ODI match winners. Team India’s win under him in the 2007 T20 World Cup is believed to be the reason for the massive success of the IPL. He played 350 One Day International matches and scored a total of 10,773 runs at an average of 50.58.
One of the best all-rounders India has ever seen, Yuvraj Singh truly is the ‘Prince’ of Indian Cricket. He had knocked critical runs for India when the team was struggling, making sure that the team saw victory when he was at the crease. He has played 304 ODI matches and scored 8,701 runs, while also taking 111 wickets in the format. People still hail him for his magnificent effort in the 2011 World Cup, playing while being diagnosed with cancer.
Sachin is undoubtedly one of the most proficient ODI players in the world. Knocking 49 of his 100 centuries in ODIs, his score in the format totalling an unparalleled 18,426 runs. Being the first person to ever score a double hundred in the history of the game often overshadows the fact that Sachin also has 154 wickets to his name in the format.
Sachin Tendulkar might have introduced the world to an ODI double hundred, but Rohit Sharma was the one who owned it. Even though he has only half the runs Sachin scored (9115), he holds the record for being the only person on planet Earth to have 3 ODI double hundreds to his name. He is also the highest individual run-scorer in ODI with 264 runs. He is referred to as the ‘Hitman’ of India for his incredible performances in limited-overs cricket. However, MS Dhoni was the one who suggested that Rohit Sharma should open for India because of his explosive nature. The rest is history.
When it comes to limited-overs cricket, the one-down current Indian skipper is one that needs no introduction. Kohli’s resolve for excellence is a real inspiration for the youth of India, which is reflected in his scores. He is the fastest person to reach 10,000 runs in ODI cricket in a record 205 innings.
The never-say-die attitude of India and their heroics in the India-Australia test Series 2021 ensured that they rewrote history by beating the Aussies at their home ground at Gabba, where they had reigned unbeaten for 32 years. The West Indies was the only other team to beat them there, which was way back in 1988.
Pujara’s stubborn resistance and his able support to assist Rishabh Pant and Shubhman Gill were expected from Team India, but what was unexpected was that the other two senior batsmen, Rohit Sharma and Ajinkya Rahane, failed to rise to the occasion. After the epic Kolkata win almost a couple of decades ago, this will surely be one of the India-Australia Tests that will be remembered for centuries to come. Even though they only had a combined experience of four Tests, the pacers of India set the foundation for the team in style. No one thought that India even stood a chance against Australia before they arrived in Gabba. This was further accentuated by a draw the other night, which itself seemed like a massive achievement in helping India retain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy. However, the young brigade had different ideas from last time and had their own strategy. A draw was probably not even in their mind at all.
The increasing absence of the senior players all throughout the series never reduced the remaining players’ resolve. They had nothing to lose except an opportunity to ensure a long Test career. After the emergence of fearless India under the captaincy of Sourav Ganguly against these very same Aussies. This was a team which has made use of every opportunity coming their way, showing that a new India is born again. Ganguly would be incredibly proud and happy watching this team show astronomical self-belief, character, temperament and positive attitude. This Test win is not just a win: it is a message, a message the Aussies can be beaten wherever they play, including at the Gabba. The youngsters rose to the challenge and once again proved why Test cricket is unique and special. This series win would indeed have inspired millions of youngsters once again to take up cricket, that too as a career option. As a matter of fact, this 2-1 victory has certainly temporarily removed the shorter formats of the game from the spotlight and pushed them to the background, for now, much to the pride of every proud Indian. It is a matter of immense pride and prestige that this team retained the Border-Gavaskar trophy not only with a draw but with a record Test win at Brisbane as well as the much-deserved repeat series win in Australia and will rightfully hold their respective heads high.
Cricket is more than a game for many people; it is a passion and emotion for the whole of India. Here are some of the legends of cricket that people look up to even today for their contributions.
Sachin Tendulkar is considered one of the greatest batsmen in cricket history. He is the highest run-scorer and century hitter in Test and ODI cricket. Sachin holds a plethora of records in his name. He is the first cricketer to score a double century in the history of ODI cricket and has the distinction of appearing in six consecutive cricket world cups, the highest by any individual player. Sachin is the first player to score fifty Test centuries, and the only player to reach 100 centuries in international cricket. He was also the first player to reach 10,000 runs in ODIs and holds the record for most runs in Tests. Sachin crossed the 30,000 runs mark in international cricket on 20 November 2009. For his contributions to the game, he has been conferred India’s second-highest civilian award, the Padma Vibhushan award, and India’s highest sporting honour, the Rajiv Gandhi Khel Ratna award. Tendulkar became the first person without an aviation background and the first sportsperson to be rewarded with the rank of Group Captain by the Indian Air Force for his efforts.
Kapil Dev is most famous as the Indian cricket team captain who won the 1983 Cricket World Cup. Named as the Indian Cricketer of the Century in 2002 by Wisden, Kapil Dev was also the national cricket coach for ten months from October 1999 to August 2000. Kapil Dev’s achievements are very many. He was the leading bowler for India during the time. The right-arm pacer was known as the Haryana Hurricane for his achievements in domestic cricket. Kapil Dev is the only player in cricket history to take more than 400 wickets and score over 5000 runs in the history of Test cricket, making him one of the most proficient all-rounders of all time. On 8 March 2010, he was inducted into the ICC Cricket Hall of Fame.was also given an honorary Lieutenant Colonel position in the Indian Territorial Army.
Sunil Gavaskar is a former batsman for the Indian cricket team in the 70s and 80s for Bombay and India. Standing just 165cm tall, he showed that height was no criteria for excellence. He is widely regarded as one of the greatest opening batsmen in Test cricket and set world records during his career for most runs and most centuries scored by a single batsman. Gavaskar has 34 Test centuries to his name, a record he held nearly two decades before Sachin Tendulkar finally broke it in 2005. Gavaskar is most renowned for his approach towards the West Indies fast bowling attack, which was considered the most vicious in Test cricket history. He was the first Indian cricketer to hit more than 700 runs in a series, and this 774 runs at a strike rate of 154.80 remain the most runs scored in a debut series by any batsman.