|Player:||SR Waugh, GS Chappell, JM Buchanan, J Srinath, SR Tendulkar, SC Ganguly|
DateLine: 20th November 2006
Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly has finally revealed the story behind turning up late for the toss during the famous 2001 India-Australia series, saying it was a pre-meditated strategy aimed at provoking the Aussies. Ganguly's turning out late for the toss had aggravated rival skipper Steve Waugh no end, prompting him to mention the incident in his autobiography. And Ganguly admitted the plan was to provoke the Australians and give them a dose of their own medicine.
"When we played them in India, I was a novice as captain while Steve knew the tricks of the trade. He was also utilising the columns he wrote for Indian newspapers to say why Sachin (Tendulkar) was a spent force and how good the Australians were," Ganguly said at the HT Leadership Summit in New Delhi on Saturday. "Having already lost the Test series, John Buchanan once asked Javagal Srinath in an ODI at Vizag why he was leaving the field, in a rude manner. So, we decided to give a taste of their own medicine to the Australians. We wanted to tell them that they were in our country and not vice-versa. The idea was to provoke them, and it worked."
On his best behaviour ever since being sidelined from the team first as a captain and then as a player, Ganguly made light of coach Greg Chappell's remark that he wanted to cling on to his job as skipper for money. "We were good friends for many years before he became the Indian coach and friends can fight and behave irrationally in anger. By God's grace, I was born in a family where things were never so bad financially. It was a statement made in anger."