| Sachin Tendulkar (above) in action against Pakistan in Centurion and Mohammed Kaif after the NatWest final win over England at Lordís on July 13 last year
Cape Town: Come Sunday and Sourav Ganguly will complete three years as India's captain, a period that has seen more highs than lows. In fact, last Saturday's win over Pakistan was his 50th in ODIs. Given that a landmark has been reached, The Telegraph requested Sourav to pick his top five victories. The other evening, he obliged.
On being just days away from completing three years as India captain
(Smiles) If I stop and think, itís actually been a long time... Iíve seen some great moments, but Iíve also turned grey!
On the lessons learnt in the past three years
That itís important to have faith; that itís important to back youngsters. Also, that itís important to be patient... Iíve myself changed... For instance, Iím definitely more patient.
It has everything to do with communicating, with motivating and ensuring that the body language doesnít give anything away when the going isnít good... Iím still learning.
On the criteria for picking his top five (one-day) wins
Firstly, the significance. Then, Iíve chosen the ones overseas. Itís nice to win at home, but success overseas gives that much more satisfaction.
THE CAPTAINíS TOP-FIVE
1. Beating South Africa by 10 runs in the Champions Trophy semi-finals, Colombo, on September 25, 2002.
Brief scores ó India (261 in 50 overs... Yuvraj Singh 62, Virender Sehwag 59; Shaun Pollock 3/43). South Africa (251 in 50 overs... Herschelle Gibbs 116 retired hurt, Jacques Kallis 97; Sehwag 3/25).
Man of the Match: Sehwag.
What stands out: ďEvery minute, as we won a lost match... South Africa, after all, were 194 for one at one stage... But, if Iíve got to pick one moment, it has to be Yuvrajís exceptional catch (off Harbhajan Singh) which sent back Jonty Rhodes.Ē
2. Beating England by two wickets in the NatWest final, Lordís, on July 13, 2002. Brief scores ó England (325 for five in 50 overs... Nasser Hussain 115, Marcus Trescothick 109; Zaheer Khan 3/62). India (326 for eight in 49.3 overs... Mohammed Kaif 87 not out, Yuvraj 69; Ashley Giles 2/47).
Man of the Match: Kaif.
What stands out: ďThe 121-run partnership between Kaif and Yuvraj (for the sixth-wicket). That changed everything.Ē
3. Beating Australia by 20 runs in the ICC KnockOut quarter finals, in Nairobi, on October 7, 2000.
Brief scores ó India (265 for nine in 50 overs... Yuvraj 84, Sachin Tendulkar 38; Shane Lee 2/31). Australia (245 in 46.4 overs... Ricky Ponting 46, Adam Gilchrist 33; Zaheer 2/40).
| Yuvraj Singh punishing the Aussies in Nairobi on October 7, 2000
Man of the Match: Yuvraj.
What stands out: ďYuvrajís effort, batting at No. 5... In fact, that was his maiden one-day innings and he couldnít have announced his arrival more sensationally.Ē
4. Beating Pakistan by six wickets in the final World Cup league game, in Centurion, on March 1, 2003.
Brief scores ó Pakistan (273 for seven in 50 overs... Saeed Anwar 101, Younis Khan 32; Zaheer 2/46). India (276 for four in 45.4 overs... Sachin Tendulkar 98, Yuvraj 50 not out; Waqar Younis 2/71).
Man of the Match: Sachin.
What stands out: ďSachinís innings, what else' Probably his greatest one-day knock.Ē
5. Beating South Africa in the ICC KnockOut semi-finals, in Nairobi, on October 13, 2000.
Brief scores ó India (295 for six in 50 overs... Sourav Ganguly 141 not out, Rahul Dravid 58; Allan Donald 2/34). South Africa (200 in 41 overs... Mark Boucher 60, Jonty 32; Zaheer 2/27).
| Sourav Ganguly in full flow versus South Africa in Nairobi on October 13, 2000
Man of the match: Sourav.
What stands out: ďMy own innings... Iíve always regarded that as one of my best knocks... I remember having a brisk (66-run) opening partnership with Sachin and, then, that big (145 runs) stand with Rahul, who came at No. 3...Ē
Postscript: The captain, by the way, grinned when a suggestion was made that the Ďstandingsí could be recast by the end of this World Cup.