Memory of Sourav winds up Shane Warne

Sourav Ganguly, taken back into the team after being dropped, is among 11 Indians named by Shane Warne in his list of 100 greatest cricketers.

updated: October 09, 2008 17:38 IST
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Former Indian captain Sourav Ganguly, taken back into the team after being dropped, is among 11 Indians named by Australian spinner Shane Warne in his list of 100 greatest cricketers.

But the Indian clearly irks Warne - enough for the Aussie to claim India's famous Test series win against Australia in 2000 was due to cricketers other than skipper Sourav.

The list of greats, which forms a new book called "Shane Warne's Century", is headed by Sachin Tendulkar and includes all members of the famed Indian batting quartet dubbed the Fab Four - Sachin, Sourav, Rahul Dravid and VVS Laxman.

The other seven Indians in Warne's list are: Anil Kumble, Virender Sehwag, Kapil Dev, Ravi Shastri, Dilip Vengsarkar, Mohammad Azharuddin and Harbhajan Singh.

The chapter on Sourav looks set to add the long-running public row between the Indian batsman and Warne - the Indian has got under the skin of every cricketing captain, and Warne doesn't look to be an exception.

Warne describes Sourav as "an intelligent bloke, with some interesting ideas on all sorts of subjects" and pays tributes to Sourav's batting, fighting qualities and self-confidence.

"But he did have the knack of rubbing up opponents (and even teammates when he went to Lancashire) the wrong way without seeming to try very hard. If this was part of a deliberate strategy, then he got it bang on at times."

When Australia arrived in India for the 2000 series, Sourav said the team had only beaten weak teams in the past, Warne recalls, adding: "Funny, that, as India were one of them."

"He would also be late for the toss and then walk off on his own without waiting for Steve Waugh, our captain. To be a minute or so behind because an issue crops up is one thing, but more than that is just taking the mickey.

"He will say that the results are in the book and, yes, India did beat us in that series - thanks, I would say, to a great stand between Laxman and Dravid at Calcutta (now Kolkata) and Harbhajan's bowling rather than any tactical genius on Ganguly's part. On this, as on practically everything else, Ganguly splits opinion."

The comments came after an altercation between Sourav and Warne during the IPL tournament this year when the Australian criticised the Indian for questioning a catch claimed off his batting.

Although the verdict went in favour of Sourav, the Australian complained that he had violated the spirit of the game, prompting the feisty Indian to respond: "Look who's talking!"

Both were fined 10 percent of their match fees.