Former Australian captain Steve Waugh was known for his mental disintegration tactics. He encouraged his team to play hard cricket – to sledge, to get in the opposition’s face and do virtually everything possible to win. And his method worked. For a while, Australia were unbeatable.
When they rolled into India for the 2001 tour, they were on a run of 15 consecutive wins in Test cricket. They added to that list with another crushing victory at Mumbai. Then, the streak came to an abrupt end at Kolkata.
It is a result Australia have not been allowed to forget since. The other thing they haven’t forgotten is the resilience of India skipper Sourav Ganguly.
A favourite tactic of the Aussies would be to go after the opposition skipper. They believed that if they go could put the leader under pressure, the team would suffer. But Ganguly gave it back as good as he got.
He would repeatedly walk out late for the toss to try and “get under the skin” of Steve Waugh. He would not back down. He would sledge. He would fight them on their terms and his.
Ganguly’s team responded in kind and he earned the respect of not only cricket fans around the world but Waugh as well.
Watch Steve Waugh speak about Sourav Ganguly below: