The friendship that Sourav Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar share is legendary. Apart from having played with each other for more than a decade, the two have also been great friends off the pitch. As an opening pair in ODIs, they had myriad great partnerships. Since retiring, the friendship has endured and the love that Ganguly has for his former teammate has often been on display during his commentary stints.
But with close friendship, there also comes a great deal of leg-pulling. The close bond that these two legends share was revealed in a highly-entertaining period of Hindi commentary involving Dada with his two former young guns, Harbhajan Singh and Virender Sehwag.
The rib-tickling conversation
The duo asked their former captain what is it about Sachin Tendulkar that made him better than all his contemporaries. Ganguly's response was classic. He said, "it's because his bat was very heavy." This drew a great laughter from the two men but they prodded Ganguly to go deeper into the reasons for Sachin's greatness. The legendary left-hander responded by saying, with a deadpan expression, "because he had a heavy bat, batted on flat pitches, used to open in one-dayers and could bat decently as well." Viru and Bhajji were left in splits at his explanation.
But Dada was in a good mood and continued to troll his great friend. "When we opened together in ODIs, if he was in good form, I had to take first strike. When he wasn't in good form, still I had to take first strike. Along with that, he could also play well. He had a lot of time while facing pace bowling and could adjust his game according to conditions, whether they were bouncy or swing and seam-friendly. That was a special ability in him."
When Harbhajan asked Ganguly whether he and Sachin shared any lighter moments while batting, the captain of the 2003 Indian World Cup team said that he couldn't fully divulge the words used by them while conversing with each other. "There is a word in Hindi that I cannot use here but when both of were under pressure, when the ball was seaming and swinging, we used to joke about it using that word," the Prince of Kolkata informed the listeners.
Then the camera showed the great man being discussed sitting next to Ganguly. The latter took this opportunity to pull his leg one more time. "There you can see, sitting to our left, the greatest player of our and even the current generation. He will be in London for two months. People like us have to work while he is enjoying a holiday here," Sourav said while Tendulkar himself could be seen laughing heartily at this banter.
Ganguly concluded by saying that he considers himself fortunate to have played in the same era as Tendulkar. For all those who grew up watching Sachin and Ganguly open the innings in ODIs, this was a moment to savour.