There was a call as soon as Sourav Ganguly walked into his Posthouse Hotel room last evening. It was from Sujata, wife of Robin Singh, congratulating him for a sterling performance.
Sourav?s response was a warm: ?But I?m happier for your husband.? Perhaps those who believe Sourav isn?t a team man ought to have been around to hear that. That one remark itself said so much.
There were other calls, too, as Sourav prepared to leave for London (with his uncle) to pick up a fresh set of disposable contacts from Dr Bharat Rugani. He?ll join the team in Birmingham today.
Shortly before driving off, though, a visibly pleased Sourav spoke to The Telegraph.
On his MoM-award winning 183
(Smiles) Touch wood, things have been going well and God has been kind.
On how special will the knock remain
Because it was a ?big? game, will always be special. I?ve already said it?s my best one-day innings. Of course, you can?t wake up with the feeling you will get exactly X number of runs. Doesn?t work that way in cricket.
On the massive Indian win
You know, except that Zimbabwe match, we?ve played very well throughout this World Cup. Winning is fine, but just look at the margin ? 157 runs. And, could anybody have imagined any team scoring 373 in England? I?d myself told you (in Bangalore, last month) that totals of around 300 will be rare. Now, we?ve ourselves got past 300 in successive games.
On surpassing Kapil Dev?s 175 not out
Had never even dreamt I would get past that... Honestly, 175 always seemed too high a score... Once I got into the 170s I did, of course, become conscious and, then, Azhar reminded me about the record. Everyone admires Kapil and it?s a nice feeling to have gone one better. He?s conveyed his congratulations.
On whether he will, in days to come, regret missing out on emerging the highest scorer-ever by just a few runs
At the moment, there certainly aren?t any regrets. In fact, I don?t regret things. Indeed, I?m happy I batted for almost 50 overs. Ideally, that?s what openers should do.
On his record-shattering 318-run (second-wicket) partnership with Rahul Dravid
We?d decided, from the very beginning, to be positive. We only had to see off those first few overs... Initially, we had a reasonable target in mind. Later, we got ambitious... Rahul took the pressure off me with a gem of an innings. He was brilliant. We understand each other well, but it?s the same with Sachin or Jadeja or...
On whether that 97 in the first match, versus South Africa (Hove), has given loads of confidence
Certainly has, but even otherwise, I?m a lot more confident today. I know that once I get set, once the first six-eight overs have been played out, I will get a big enough score. The key, really, is to survive those six-eight overs. That?s when the ball will do a few things, that?s when you?ve got to choose the safest option. After that, you can be the master.
On whether, as a kid, Taunton held special meaning
Because of what Viv Richards and Botham did? Somerset, yes, but not Taunton specifically. I grew up with the thought that Middlesex and Somerset were the big Counties. That they were special... As it turned out, I?d never played in Taunton before. (Adds laughing) Wouldn?t mind playing here again, though.
On the Duke balls that sparked quite a controversy
It does move around quite a bit, initially... I doubt if even the bowlers then know what?s going to happen... But the balls remain firm and hard till the end. Makes a difference.
On whether he has that home-away-from-home feeling in England
Look, I?ve got runs everywhere. But, yes, it certainly was a psychological boost that I?d done well on our last tour (1996). Still, everything that?s over is history. Next innings, I?ll start from zero. I?m aware of that.
Finally, on what he intends doing with the MoM champagne bottle
(Laughs again) Intend taking it home.