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    In pics: Celebrating Sourav Ganguly's 41st birthday

    • Sourav Ganguly made his Test debut for India at the Lord's Cricket Ground in 1996, becoming the third player to score a century on debut (131) at the Mecca of Cricket.

    • In 1997, India and Pakistan squared off in a five-match bilateral series held in Toronto, Canada. Ganguly won four consecutive Man-of-the-Match awards for his all-round display. His 5/16 in the third ODI remained the highlight of the series.

    • By the later half of the 90's, Ganguly had become one of the mainstays of Indian batting. His innings of 183 against Sri Lanka at Taunton in the 1999 World Cup, contributed heaps to establish him as one of the greatest ODI players.

    • The opening pair of Ganguly and Sachin Tendulkar smashed record books all over the globe. The duo opened for the first time in a match against South Africa in 1997 and went on to amass 6609 runs from 136 innings, which included 21 century stands.

    • The new millennium dawned with the Indian team looking up to a new leader in Ganguly, after he was given the captaincy from Tendulkar following the latter's woeful run as skipper.

    • Ganguly led India to their most memorable series victory when in 2001 they beat Steve Waugh's 'Invincible Australia' to regain the Border-Gavaskar Trophy.

    • Under Ganguly, India started winning abroad. But none of those victories were more memorable than the 2002 Natwest Series in England where India achieved England's target of 326 in a historical chase at Lord's.

    • Ganguly led India to their first World Cup final in 20 years. However, the side lost to Australia convincingly to extend India's wait for another World Cup.

    • India's tour of Australia in 2003-04 saw the Ganguly-led side finally winning a Test match on Australian soil after 23 years. The series that ended in a 1-1 draw also marked Steve Waugh's last series.

    • India toured Pakistan after a gap of 15 years in 2004 and emerged victorious in both the Test and ODI series. India's first series win in Pakistan established 'Dada' as the quintessential leader of Indian cricket.

    • 2005 saw the Indian team taking a dip in form. The infamous Greg Chappell-Sourav Ganguly incident gathered heat and the then Indian captain was axed from the side after losses to Pakistan and Sri Lanka.

    • Ganguly made a roaring comeback after he was named in India's tour to South Africa 2006-07. He scored 51 in his comeback Test innings which commenced Ganguly's second life in cricket.

    • At 35 years old, Ganguly notched up his first Test double hundred. His 239 came against Pakistan in Bangalore 2007, which included 30 fours and two sixes.

    • Ganguly announced his retirement from international cricket just ahead of Australia's tour to India in late 2008. In his last series, he scored a hundred to bring curtains down on a legendary career.

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