After a heavy Pongal lunch, and a good siesta, surfing channels at some twenty minutes past 4 pm, I came upon an old treasure. On ESPN TV.
They were showing highlights of that old test at Old Trafford. India versus England. England had piled up something above 400, thanks to a ton by big boy Botham.
India in reply had lost three quick wickets. And then Kapil Dev and Sandip Patil got together. Kapil played a brilliant quickfire knock, and the pair brought the score to some degree of respectability. Then Kapil was out knicking the ball to the keeper (good catch, that one…off a spinner…very little time to react…)…Madan Lal comes in….Sandip lifts a spinner over long on for a clean six….Clean as a whistle…
And then England takes the new ball.
Sandip Patil on 80, facing Bob Willis.
And then he smashes six fours of one 7 ball over (one no ball), to reach and get past his hundred. What a treat to watch, and re-watch! He smashes one to the off side boundary! Slaps another, a rising chest-high bouncer, back past the bowler to the long off boundary….And it wasnt a slog shot either….Beautifully balanced, elegant shot…hooks one to square leg boundary….smashes one to cover, and one to deep point….Brilliant batting! Batting Power at its best! And then Botham comes and bowls….A rising delivery…Sandip pulls it from outside the off, keeps it down, and smashes it in front of square! Take that! Festival stuff! Happy Pongal! Patil ends the day unbeaten on 129.
That was some session between Patil and England!
Sunny Gavaskar, talking of that match mentioned that when they went to Pakistan next…When the Indian team got off the bus, or whatever, someone asked Patil – “Whats your name? Aapka naam kya hai?”…And a teammate replied “Willis sey poochO! (Ask Willis)”.