Calcutta: For Sourav Ganguly, the mother of all tests ' captaining against Pakistan at home ' isn't many weeks away. On Thursday, though, the Team India boss received a huge boost with Steve Waugh applauding his leadership.
The Australian himself features very high in the captains' Hall of Fame.
Answering a Sourav-specific question at the end of an enriching 25-minute talk (or 'chat', as he prefers) on 'Leadership: Cricket and the Corporate World', at the Oberoi Grand, Steve said: 'Sourav has done a great job' He has injected steel in the Indian spine and, clearly, taken the team to the next level'
Sourav is about to complete five years in the hottest seat around.
Steve added: 'As with other captains, there are bound to be hiccups, but Sourav must continue believing in himself and not lose faith' However, captaining in the sub-continent is tougher' You're great only when the going is good'
As captain, Sourav and Steve faced each other in two Test series': In 2000-01, when India won 2-1 (at home) and 2003-04, when the showdown (in Australia) ended 1-1.
Both face-offs are part of folklore.
Another question from the select gathering was on the gut feeling factor. In Steve's view, a leader/captain should trust gut feelings ('that's why one is the leader/captain') and, nine times out of ten, won't be let down.
While Steve is accustomed to sharing his thoughts on leadership with audiences in Australia, he chose Calcutta for his overseas debut.
The talk (or 'chat') preceded an auction of bats, paintings and designer wear, with the proceeds going to the tsunami survivors of the Andaman and Nicobar islands.
In a nice gesture, the Macquarie Bank has pledged to 'construct' 20 homes in the affected islands. Incidentally, two top officials of the bank, William Moss and Tony Fehon, are part of Steve's entourage.
Steve has himself donated Rs 10 lakh.
With Shamlu Dudeja taking the lead, Thursday night's function was put together by the Calcutta Foundation and a recently-formed NGO (Together, We Will).
Earlier in the day, Steve and his entourage (manager Robert Joske and the bankers) held meetings with leading industrialists.
'It seems Steve is wanting to invest in property-related development' Perhaps, some real estate with a golf course as an add-on' A hotel, too, is a possibility,' an industrialist who interacted with the Australians told The Telegraph.
Steve, understandably, didn't go into details but indicated he is enjoying the start of a new innings. 'I could do with some sleep, though,' he remarked, speaking exclusively.
Laughing, he asked: 'By the way, what day of the week is it'
Appointments are in place for Friday as well, one apparently with West Bengal chief secretary Asok Gupta.
Steve, of course, has been impressed with what he has seen: 'India changes with each visit. Calcutta as well'
Well, Buddhadeb Bhattacharjee may use this as an investment-attracting promo-line.