Free Press Journal

Winning Like Sourav: Think & Succeed Like Ganguly by Abhirup Bhattacharya-Review


Title: Winning Like Sourav – Think And Succeed Like Ganguly

Author: Abhirup Bhattacharya

Publication: Rupa

Price: Rs 195

Pages: 146


In order to become the best in any profession, one needs to rise to occasion when the situation demands it. And, when it comes to cricket the man who rose to the occasion on both, professional as well as personal, fronts was none other than ‘Dada’ of Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly.

He shouldered the responsibility of Captaincy when Indian fans who considered cricket as their religion were finding it tough to restore their faith after the infamous match-fixing scandal. With new bunch of lads at his disposal, ‘Dada’ not just got the lost credibility back but was also instrumental in creating a team bonding thereby bringing to the fore terms like ‘Team India’ or ‘Men In Blue’ during his prolific career.

Ganguly, in one of the interviews given to the print media, had said, “People will support you, people will criticize you. When you cross that rope everything is about you.” Today, with the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) set to adopt a new constitution, it is once again all about the ‘Maharaja’. Ganguly is considered to be one of the front-runners among candidates to become the world’s richest cricket body’s next president.

On this backdrop, Abhirup Bhattacharya’s book Winning Like Sourav – Think And Succeed Like Ganguly could be considered a perfect straight drive into reading fence. Having reviewed his previous book Winning Like Virat – Think And Succeed Like Kohli I knew what to expect as a reader. But what really stood out and Abhirup rightfully needs to be credited for it is the author’s foresight of mentioning that based on SWOT analysis amongst the new roles Ganguly can play is heading the BCCI. Coaching Team India and entering into the field of politics being the other two.

The author rests his case on the following observation: Sourav is currently the president of Cricket Association of Bengal (CAB) and he might go on to lead the BCCI one day. It would be a marked shift from the current scenario where politicians and industrialists are heading the governing body of the sport in India. As a former cricketer himself and being aware of the ground realities of facing young cricketers and the challenges ahead, Sourav would be able to highlight the issues that players experience and work towards the betterment of the game in general.

Unlike in his previous book on Virat, the author has made ample use of graphs to depict various aspects highlighting Sourav’s professional as well as personal traits. In one such graph, we are introduced to Sourav’s brand value swings in different phases. It starts with 1992 Australia tour and moves towards Dada being dropped from the team showing absolute downward curve, only to rise again with his return in the Indian team for England tour. But what follows next is even a sharper blow to Sourav’s brand value graph with the Team India roped into match-fixing controversy. By now known to rise up from the worst of the worst brand value phases, Sourav once again proves his might by building a stronger Team India only to be lead into dragged into Greg Chappell controversy and once again to be dropped from the team. But at the end of the brand value graph, author rightfully conveys that the ‘Maharaja’ had the last laugh with making a successful comeback and retiring to his own terms.

The author through his book and more so from Sourav’s perspective draws a point across that being aggressive is important part of your persona, but you must equally know how to control and channelize the same towards a goal. A quality, Sourav has displayed from time to time and the one that will go long way if Abhirup’s prophecy about Dada sitting on the hot-seat of BCCI comes true. A lot to learn from this book, irrespective whether you follow the religion called Cricket or not. After all it’s all about the God of the Off Side, on the verge of his new innings once again.