The memories of the historic 2002 NatWest Trophy Final Win by India over England has been carved into the memories of the cricket fans from around the world, the same match where Sourav Ganguly, the then Indian skipper waved his shirt in the balcony of the Home of Cricket, the Lord’s. The ardent victory over the home team and the celebrations that followed was a moment of utter sentiments and emotions.
In the launch of the book, ‘Eleven Gods And A Billion Indians’ by Cricket historian Boria Majumdar, Ganguly, in the presence of the current Indian Captain Kohli, said, “I can guarantee you now that if he wins that final in Lord’s in 2019, I will be there, you will be there and we better get our cameras ready. As he has got the six packs, I won’t be surprised if he is on the Oxford street with the trophy and with his shirt off… and I can tell you who will be following him — Hardik Pandya”. Agreeing with what Kohli said, “I don’t think it will only be me because there will be a lot of people with six packs in the team. We will all be roaming shirtless. Hardik Pandya, there’s Bumrah as well… We have got a few candidates”, Kohli said then after.
Recalling that moment of celebration back in 2002, Ganguly said, “The best thing that happened at Lord’s was, as I was taking the shirt off Laxman was pulling it down. Then Harbhajan, next to me, asked what should I do? ‘I said you take it off too’.”Ganguly was confident of the Men in Blue winning the World Cup Trophy in 2019, provided that the team has got some outstanding cricketers and new talents. With heaps of praises for Kohli, Ganguly also said, “Look at his transformation. He struggled in England and in less than six months, he scores four hundreds in four Tests. I’ve not seen any Indian batsman play so well in Australia. We all got hundreds in Australia, Sachin, Rahul, VVS, I have but what he did in those four Tests was something I’ve not seen for a long time. That actually transformed him. There are times in life when every sportsman goes through”. Highlighting the fitness of the current Indian Cricket Team, and Kohli in specific, Ganguly added, “There’s a purpose to it. It may sound old-fashioned. But there’s a meaning to it. Over the years, he has realized you play the best when you are the fittest”. Kohli, who is particularly known for his aggression, said a player cannot always act thinking about the people’s judgment or reactions but needs to be himself and enjoy when such iconic moments arrive. “You cannot be a robot operating for the sake of what people are going to write or say about you. You have to honest towards the game and you have to be yourself” he said.