Sourav Ganguly: a one-day behemoth with 10,000 runs behind him © Getty Images

Amid talk about his questionable place in the side, declining form, lost captaincy and the end of an era in Indian cricket, Sourav Ganguly strode past the 10,000-run milestone in India's third match of the Indian Oil Cup versus Sri Lanka at Dambulla. (Click here for Ganguly's ODI statistics)

He reached the mark with a single during an innings of 51, his 60th one-day half-century, and broke into what was an exclusive two-member club which includes Sachin Tendulkar (13642 runs) and Inzaman-ul-Haq (10933 runs), although pedants might argue that, seeing as 22 of his runs came for an Asian XI against the ICC in January, he is still four short of the mark. Even so, it was still a fitting reminder to his critics of what a powerful force he has been in Indian cricket.(Click here for highest run-scorers in ODIs)

Ganguly has not been slack in reaching the 10,000-run landmark either. It took Tendulkar 259 innings and Inzamam 299. Ganguly needed 262, as he and Tendulkar forged what was the most productive opening partnership in the history of the game. Ironically, the rise of Virender Sehwag, who eclipsed even Tendulkar with his array of bludgeoning hits, coincided with the decline in Ganguly's batting form. He has scored 3319 runs at an average of 36.47 in 97 innings since Sehwag claimed his spot as India's one-day opener, statistics that many average players would love to claim as their own. However, these numbers are dwarfed by Ganguly's performance as an opener where he has amassed 7870 runs in 200 matches at 42.06.

A big-match player for India, Ganguly's form has been instrumental in several Indian victories, with 18 of his 22 centuries coming in those games. Ganguly's return to the Indian team with a out-of-sorts half-century has been the subject of much conjecture. Only time will tell whether he will build on his gargantuan ODI record or whether his recent run of poor form will erode it.

Batsman Total centuries Centuries in matches won Percentage
Sourav Ganguly 22 18 81.81
Sachin Tendulkar 38 28 73.68
Inzamam-ul-Haq 10 7 70

George Binoy is editorial assistant of Cricinfo