Indian captain MSD’s biopic was a treat to watch. With ample goosebumps inducing scenes thrown in, it was a joy to experience it. However, as a huge fan of Dhoni as a player and person, i’m somewhat let down by this film. You expect a biopic to show us the highs and lows the lead character faced in life. While Dhoni’s biopic showed a lot of his personal journey, there wasn’t much depth in his professional journey. For example, there wasn’t much said about how he was treated once he joined the national team. I would have simply loved it if they had shown him rising up the ranks with nothing but his determination to support him.
There wasn’t much said about Dhoni’s faults in the movie. He is human, and he is prone to error as well. It would have made for an even better character arc. However, the movie had some spectacular moments. One such moment was when a voice on the phone said “Dhoni ko try karte hain” to the selectors. The roar in the theater was unbelievable. That voice on the phone was that of Sourav Ganguly, the Dada of Indian Cricket. As a die-hard Dada fan since childhood, this got me wondering… What if Bollywood finally decided to make a biopic on Dada’s life?
Time seems to be ripe for sports biopics, so why not a Dada biopic? But it can’t be just another biopic, it has to be the awesome movie that Saurav truly deserves. So this is just my expectation on what a Dada biopic should focus on!
Who is Ganguly?
Sourav Chandidas Ganguly, is the youngest son of Chandidas Ganguly, a wealthy businessman from Kolkata. His elder brother Snehashish was a state level cricketer as well. Coming from a well-to-do family, you’d think that Ganguly would not have too many problems in his early days as a cricketer. Well that just shows you know nothing about the man. The following scenes will chronologically depict what we would hope to see in a Sourav Ganguly Biopic.
The child who loved Football
West Bengal is a state that enjoys football more than cricket. A young Sourav is no different, he shows promise as a footballer. Originally a right-hander, Ganguly learnt to bat Left-handed so that he could play with his brothers left-hand kit.
The promising boy is also stubborn
One day, little Sourav comes home and states pointedly that he is not going back to his coach. On inquiring, he tells them that the coach is not letting him bat. His father meets up with Sourav’s coach, who then tells him that all he did was to ask him not to hit so many sixes because they kept losing the ball.
The rise and fall of the ‘Maharaja’
After several excellent performances, the adolescent Sourav makes his way to the Indian team at the age of 22. However, his haughty nature and arrogance earns him the title of ‘Maharaja’ with his team-mates. After an incident where he refuses to carry the bottles and bags of senior, he is labelled as an arrogant brat and dropped from the team. He scored just 3 runs on his ODI debut.
Return to the Indian team
Sourav begins playing first class cricket with a vengeance. After such a great run of form, the selectors couldn’t ignore him anymore. He gets picked for the tour of England. However, here too, he is benched. But fate has other plans. Navjot Siddhu decides to return back home due to differences with the captain. Sourav gets called on to bat and in his debut innings at Lords, The Bengal Tiger arrives in style by notching a scintillating hundred. He follows it up with another hundred in the next match.
A man of integrity
A few years later, India is about to play Sri Lanka the next day. Sachin walks into Sourav’s room with grave news. Sachin has heard whispers about plans to fix the match by some team mates. They both decide that they will not give the chance to anyone and bat through. Both of them scored a century that day. India went on to win the match. This is a mark of Sachin and Sourav’s integrity.
The Captain India Deserves
Indian team is in shambles. Several players have been mired by the shadow of match-fixing. The team is at its lowest. The scandal takes its toll on Sachin Tendulkar, who decides to step down from captaincy. With nowhere to go, the board entrusts the reins of the team to a temperamental Sourav Ganguly.
Building Team India
Dada decides that we needed a foreign coach to get to winning ways. Thus began his friendship with John Wright. They struggle together and bring in a lot of Young talent to the team. Sourav stops a young spinner who was on his way to Canada in pursuit of a career as a Lorry Driver. That young spinner is none other than Harbhajan Singh. The Indian team under Sourav defeat the invincible aussies in Kolkata after being forced to follow-on. India goes on to win the series 2-1 after that stopping the 15 match winning streak of the mighty Aussies.
A young Indian core team takes shape
Dada brings in the likes of Sehwag, Yuvraj, Kaif, Zaheer, Mongia. These players became crucial to India’s worldcup hopes. This young Indian team started to reflect Dada’s aggressive attitude. They suddenly showed the world that an Indian team could win matches abroad. This was a team that is not afraid to attack or sledge you back.
The Natwest Series
After the series loss and Flintoff’s shirt incident, India goes to England with much to prove. The iconic Natwest series final is where Dada eventually gets his revenge. After Kaif guided the team to a win, Dada took off his shirt and roared victoriously on the balcony of the Lords pavilion.
The 2003 Worldcup
After a disastrous New Zealand series, India were almost done and dusted after losing big to Australia in the early stages. However, Dada managed to pick up the team from there. Several inspirational wins later, the team reaches the final. The aussies get the better of Team India, ending their dream run in the final. An exasperated Dada leaves the field in tears.
Declining Form and Increasing Stubbornness
Receiving the Padma Shri in 2004, there are whispers that Dada is finished. The pressure of captaincy starts affecting his playing form. India’s most successful captain was now fighting an internal battle with himself. His opponents have begun exploiting his weaknesses. The short ball was being used to keep him quiet. Dada lashes out in the only way he knows, with aggression. He starts coming late for the toss, keeping his opponent waiting. He goes so far as to send Dravid to the toss in his place.
The Greg Chappell Episode
Right from the onset, Ganguly and Chappell don’t get along. Chappell appeals to the board that Sourav is unfit to lead the team. Without any good scores for him to fall back on, Dada is axed as the captain. Further poor form resulted in him being dropped from the squad. Greg Chappell had gotten what he wanted.
The Tiger Returns!
Greg Chappell’s Team could not produce results. His chosen middle order couldn’t deliver the goods. Meanwhile, in the domestic circuit, a revamped Ganguly was scoring runs a plenty. He was piling runs by the ton. Dada inevitably returns to the team. He continues his good form scoring runs everywhere, saving the team on several ocassions. Meanwhile, the other players turn against Chappell and express their displeasure, Chappell eventually gets the axe.
Dada finishes off in style!
Dada becomes the second highest test scorer of 2007 after Jacques Kallis. He even notches up his maiden and only test double hundred against arch-rivals Pakistan. Dada decides to retire on his own terms, announces that the Border-Gavaskar trophy will be his final series. Captain Mahendra Singh Dhoni invites Dada to lead the team on to the field one last time. The crowd cheers for Dada one last time. Dada walks in with a tearful smile.
Ganguly was more than an ordinary captain. He was a man who changed the way the we played the game. He taught us how to win and win consistently. He laid the foundation on which the current teams streak of success is based. That is why Dadagiri shall never end. Here is a teaser of a teaser of what a Ganguly movie might look like…..
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