London: Wisden has given full credit to captain Sourav Ganguly for transforming the Indian team from “stoic losers to chest-thumping warriors” and helping it emerge as the “second-best” team in the World Cup.
Terming India as “a new steel,” Wisden Cricketers’ Almanack 2003 said the “hub” of India’s transformation was Ganguly who “lifted Indian cricket from a state of factionalist torpor by the sheer force of his personality.”
If Wisden was opulent in its praise of Sachin Tendulkar, who has been given special space in its latest edition, it was no less praiseful of the Indian skipper for showing “passion, vim and an unflinching commitment to talent.”
Referring to India’s loss in the World Cup final, it said, “if they lost, it was because they lacked skill and armoury in foreign conditions, not nerve and heart.”
Referring to India’s Test performances prior to the World Cup, Wisden said: “The real story, however, was not in the scorebook.... But in the way India transformed themselves.”