It was exactly 15 years ago when Sourav Ganguly did his famous shirtless swing from the Lord’s balcony after India won a famous victory.
One of the everlasting images of Indian cricket is that for then India captain Sourav Ganguly’s shirtless tirade from the balcony of the hallowed Lord’s dressing room on July 13, 2002, after India came back from the brink of defeat to beat England and lift the NatWest Trophy. Ganguly was obviously incensed about the way England all-rounder Andrew Flintoff had taken off his shirt during a match at the Wankhede Stadium in Mumbai during an earlier tour and was waiting to return the compliment.
However, his ambition seemed to be doomed as India, chasing a massive 325-run target, were down to 146/5 at one stage.
— BCCI (@BCCI) July 13, 2017
However, a fantastic 121-run sixth-wicket stand between Yuvraj Singh and Mohammad Kaif brought India into the game and then Kaif got some crucial help from Harbhajan Singh and Zaheer Khan to ensure that India emerged improbable winners by two wickets and Ganguly got his moment.
Kaif, who was named Man of the Match on that day, took to Twitter on Wednesday to remember that moment and other players too added their bit.
— Mohammad Kaif (@MohammadKaif) July 13, 2017
Ganguly himself had also played a crucial innings of 60 off 43 balls as opener and stitched together a 106-run partnership with Virender Sehwag (45).
But then India lost both openers, Dinesh Mongia, Rahul Dravid and Sachin Tendulkar in a tumble and looked down and out, before Yuvraj and Kaif steadied things.
The win was remarkable since chasing down 300-plus runs was unheard of in those days, especially from the position that India were in, making it one of the landmark moments of Indian cricket.