IPL 2012: Kolkata welcomes Sourav Ganguly at Eden Gardens

Sourav Ganguly led Pune Warriors India against Kolkata Knight Riders at Eden Gardens AFP

Kolkata: May 5, 2012

As Sourav Ganguly stepped out in Pune Warriors colours for the first time from the visitors dressing room in the Eden Gardens, the giant screen at the stadium displayed a message reading, ‘KKR welcomes Dada back to Eden Gardens’.

It was a rare sight as Sourav headed straight to the nets and was seen slogging at the nets for about half an hour, trying his best to get his silken touch back with the crowd cheering ‘Dada, Dada’ from the stands.

The city’s favourite son in his battle against Kolkata’s ‘adopted son’ — Gautam Gambhir — might have the biggest support in the ground but it was loud and clear that even Ganguly thought himself as a ‘visitor’ at the ground where he grew up playing cricket.

“To be honest, there is a bit of nervy feeling. But it feels great to come back here,” Ganguly said before the toss.

“It is one of the great cricket grounds in the world. So it’s a great feeling coming here. It has not changed much. We had a bit of grass in the Ranji match but now it’s different obviously,” he said.

Little Master Sunil Gavaskar also felt that pressure was palpable on Ganguly’s side.

“The first challenge for him here would be to find a place for him in the dressing room. When you play at a venue over the years, you tend to make a favourite place for yourself in the dressing room. I’m sure he will not be comfortable in the visitor’s dressing room,” he said.

Gavaskar further added that the pressure would be more on Pune Warriors and not KKR, who are on a four-match winning role and are comfortably placed at the second position in the points table.

Left unsold at last year’s auction after his former franchise, KKR, did not retain him, Ganguly got a fresh lease of life in Pune Warriors camp and this year he got a chance to lead and mentor the side. (PTI)