RAJESH KUMAR - Cricket Statisticians
A Century is Not Enough - My Roller-Coaster Ride to Success
A Century is Not Enough - My Roller-Coaster Ride to Success
Sourav Ganguly (with Gautam Bhattacharya)

Published by:
Juggernaut Books

KS House, 118 Shahpur Jat, New Delhi - 110049

Pages: 254

Price: Rs. 699/-

In his memoir, A Century is not Enough, which is both a sporting classic and a manual for living, Sourav Ganguly says "cricket was very important in my life, probably its most important aspect. By the grace of God, I could pursue what I wanted and make a career out of it. Playing this game for a long period gave me a life, financially and professionally. It gave me recognition, a place among the successful in society, and most important a tremendous amount of self-confidence. Cricket may be a sport to some, but to me it was life and very close to my heart.

The memoir chronicles his achievements, controversies and disappointments. As India's captain, he gave confidence to the team, re-energized them and took India, for the first time, to spectacular overseas victories.

This is a fascinating book, having excellent photographs.

Sourav Ganguly pays a rich tribute to Steve Waugh: "I must say that I have the greatest respect and admiration for Steve. To me, he remains the ultimate opponent. The captain I most wanted to defeat. I was very surprised when Warne later criticized him for being 'the most selfish cricketer' he had played with. For me, Stephen Waugh was and will always remain a visionary. A leader of men."

According to Ganguly, the five best knocks from Indian batsmen would be in this order - VVS Laxman's 281 at Kolkata; Sachin Tendulkar's 114 at Perth; Virender Sehwag's 309 at Multan, Rahul Dravid's 148 at Headingley and Virat Kohli's second innings hundred at Adelaide.

Ganguly rates highly his innings of 46 off 83 balls vs England at Old Trafford, Manchester on May 26-27, 1996. He calls the innings a confident-looking and a real defining knock and says the impact of the 46 on him was far greater.

Suresh Menon, while reviewing the book for cricinfo, has remarked: "Of the players of India's golden age, he was the most fascinating personality, and had to fight the hardest to make his name. But in the end, he changed the face of Indian cricket. The full details of that transformation are not in this book (written with veteran cricket writer Gautam Bhattacharya), but what is there is interesting enough."

Ganguly believes his two decades in cricket taught him several important lessons. "Through my cricket I had seen an entire cycle of life. Right from my debut in Brisbane to the last day in Pune, it had been an amazing journey. A journey that had seen everything. From despair to ecstasy. From super success to a first-ball duck. From tremendous match-winning performances to disappointing ones. My memories of the last IPL season were very precious. The hysteria at Hyderabad, the passion at Kolkata, the action-packed last over in Bengaluru. It was a good way to go."

Ganguly says his five-year experience as captain suggests "captaincy is an amazing disease. It either cures you or kills you. I have seen captains turn into different individuals once they are offered the job. I have seen personalities of captains change completely as soon as they are at the helm. It also brings unbelievable amount of pressure. Look at Dhoni - he turned grey. Look at me - I lost so much hair."

Summing up, Ganguly has an advice for the current generation: "But if there's anything you should take away from this book, it is that you should not give up. Be patient. You have to wait for your turn, and when it comes, you must remain prepared."

A Century is Not Enough is both pleasingly designed and reasonably priced - a good buy for anyone who has followed Sourav Ganguly's career.