My favourite Indian cricketers
It is difficult for me to list the 11 top cricketers who have played for the country, simply because I have not been around to see all of them. Therefore, it would be difficult for me to include Ranjitsinhji, C K Nayudu, Lala Amarnath, Vijay Merchant etc in my list. Nor can I include those who have played cricket after my tenure. So players like Kapil Dev and Sachin Tendulkar do not figure in the list either. The 11 best cricketers of my choice are the ones I played with.
Sunil Gavaskar comes first in the list. Not just because he is a master batsman, but because he was the first to bring professionalism in the game in India. His cricketing abilities are too well known to be described to followers of the game.
G R Vishwanath is one of the most talented players I have seen
during my cricketing career. He was an entertaining cricketer. It was great to
see him play.
Bishen Singh Bedi. The legendary left-arm spinner was one of the best spinners India has ever produced. Bishen is a great cricketer who loved to bowl to his opponents.
Bhagwat Chandrashekhar: The only aggressive, attacking matchwinning bowler that India had at that time.
E A S Prasanna. The best off-spinner in the game in his day. He has a good cricketing brain.
Salim Durrani was a talented left-arm bowler and lefthanded batsman who could entertain viewers. The statistics do not do justice to his career as a batsman.
Farokh Engineer was the best wicket-keeper of his time. He was flamboyant, a great crowd puller. Engineer had very good public relations with almost all the cricketers.
Ramakant Desai: The only quick bowler we had from the mid-fifties to the early seventies. A tenacious cricketer, Desai was over bowled by Bombay and that is why he ran out of steam at times.
Vijay Manjrekar: A solid batsman. He would have been a better cricketer if he did not have a knee problem.
Polly Umrigar: The best Indian cricketing brain. I knew that once he settled down he would surely bat long enough to give us a good score. A reliable first slip fielder who would take all the catches that came his
way. He was also a useful off-spinner.
Chandu Borde: A fine all-rounder till he damaged his shoulder. He was a courageous batsman. Anyone who would score ninety or a hundred against Gilchrist would be on my list.
Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi played for Oxford, Sussex, India. The youngest captain in the world at 21, he scored 2,793 runs in Tests at an average of 34.91. As told to Onkar Singh.
Tell us what do you think of this list?