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|May 29, 1999||
Lord's innings was more significant: Saurav
After his record-breaking knock against Sri Lanka in the World Cup on Wednesday, Saurav Ganguly went to his uncle, Animesh Mukherjee's place in London. An appointment with an eye specialist was arranged before, and the Indian team management permitted Saurav to go on condition that he would return to Birmingham before Thursday evening.
Thus, telephone calls from Saurav's residence at Behala, Calcutta, to the hotel in Taunton, where the Indian team was staying, proved futile as Saurav wasn't there. Finally, Chandi Ganguly, Saurav's father, got connected to his son, at his brother's place. The proud father, while appreciating his son's performance against Sri Lanka, said: "Well played, very well played. You have to play another match-winning innings against England. For the first couple of overs stay there, after that start charging. You will find no difficulty in charging."
In an interview later, Saurav confessed: "The Lord's innings was more significant as it was my debut Test and first century. So the pressure was much higher then. But this innings was also different. Truly speaking, I never thought I could make 183 runs in this match. But it was my day. Whatever I hit went beyond the boundary. I have no regret for not breaking Saeed Anwar or Gary Kirsten's records.
"Kapil's record was not in mind, but when I was 172, Azhar told me that I have to make another four runs. But when I was thinking of Kirsten's 188, I got out."
The innings of 183 has certainly boosted Saurav's self-confidence. "We will win the England match and go through to the Super Six. Take it for granted. We are all getting into form," he declared.
It is believed that the Somerset county club want Saurav's bat for their cricket museum. However, the left-hander plans to have a museum of his own and will not part with it because he had also scored an unbeaten 130 against Sri Lanka at Nagpur sometime back with the same bat and thinks it is a lucky one.
On Friday, Saurav was congratulated by Kapil Dev. "I could not move my chair during your innings. Your innings is much better than my 175. It looked like I was watching highlights on television," said the 1983 World Cup-winning captain.
Kapil was in London on some business work and watched the match against Sri Lanka on television.
West Bengal chief minister Jyoti Basu too is in London. He congratulated the Calcuttan on phone and said that he would be in Birmingham for the match against England.
After the match against Sri Lanka, Calcutta has found two new idols. First it was Sachin, now Saurav and Rahul Dravid have become instant heroes with the cricket-crazy crowds there. Practically every street corner has pictures of the duo pasted on the walls.
Saurav's wife Donna is in the Calcutta right now, preparing for an examination. She was with him in England during the early past of the tour, and regrets not being there during her husband's moment of glory. "This is the first time I wasn't there. I regret it," she said.
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