Calcutta: Sourav Ganguly was in a predicament two days before the one-off Test in Dhaka (Bangladesh’s first), in November 2000.
At the centre of it all was V.V.S. Laxman.
Sourav wanted Laxman in the XI, but there was no vacancy in the middle-order as five bowlers (Jawagal Srinath, Ajit Agarkar, Zaheer Khan, Sunil Joshi and Murali Kartik) were to be fielded.
Not sure of the way out, Sourav called Laxman to his room for a one-on-one, which lasted 15-odd minutes. Laxman didn’t reveal what transpired, but the then captain did speak to The Telegraph that evening.
“I offered an opener’s position to Laxman, but he’s decided to wait for his chance (again) in the middle-order... I’m feeling very bad, but it can’t be helped... My respect for Laxman has gone up,” Sourav said.
Four months later, batting in the middle-order, Laxman became a national hero at our very own Eden.
Footnote: Sadagopan Ramesh and rookie Shiv Sundar Das opened in that Test, which India won by nine wickets.