Sourav Ganguly was one of the most fierce captains of his time. The former captain brought a revolution in the Indian cricket as the Asian giants bettered their overseas record under his leadership. Ganguly also led Team India to 2003 World Cup final, where it faced heartbreak defeat against Australia.
Graeme Smith heaped praise on Ganguly and revealed what it was like to poke the former India captain.
"You knew if you poked Dada, you were going to get something back always,” Smith said on the Cricket Connected Show on Star Sports. “I have spent a fair amount of time with Dada now. Particularly in administration now, we are having a number of conversations over the telephone. He is always calm and approachable, always interested in a good conversation.”
Smith also talked about Ganguly's iconic celebration at the Lord's after Team India won the final of 2002 Natwest ODI series. The former Proteas skipper said the celebration showed how much India winning meant to Ganguly.
“I think all of us remember that celebration, it was a beautiful sight seeing Dada. More than anything besides the humour of it all, it was the passion that he showed in celebration,” Smith said.
“It showed how much India winning meant to him and to overcome the challenge of winning the NatWest Trophy in England, to win away from home, driving Indian cricket forward. I think that shot epitomises everything we have discussed today. But I do have a chuckle every time I see it now. Also, Dada was running short on the hair side on those days, so it is a very humorous shot. But from a passion perspective, that speaks volumes about Dada,” he added.
#OnThisDay in 2002, India secured a memorable victory over England in the NatWest series final at Lord's.— ICC (@ICC) July 13, 2020
A brilliant century stand under pressure between Mohammad Kaif and Yuvraj Singh guided their side to a sensational two-wicket win with just three balls to spare 💥 pic.twitter.com/mNNS4jgAWY
Ganguly, being one of the most aggressive and competitive players on the field, kept many opposition captains waiting on the field including Australia's Steve Waugh and England's Nasser Hussain. On being asked whether he received the same treatment, Smith replied no.
“No, he didn’t, We had one or two moments when we were at each other a little bit. I was quite feisty in my youth as a captain and certainly, we know that Dada never backed away,” Smith said.