Pongal Cricket

Happy Pongal!

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)”.


9 Responses to “Pongal Cricket”

  1. Jayan Says:

    Happy Pongal to u 2 !!

  2. bala Says:

    Pongal vazthukkal. I remember the Sandip Patil innings in England. Willis of the very long bowling run up and getting smacked right back. That inning and one in Austyralia a few years later are the only two innings of any worth that patil played in his entire career…

  3. gkamesh Says:


    not too sure about the ‘two innings’ only part. distinctly remember a swashbuckling innings against Pakistan. Remember a shot that rocketed past the bowler (Mudassar Nazar) making the bowler remove his foot from the way just in the nick of the time….

    And have a look at this http://natarajanh.sulekha.com/blog/post/2006/08/sandeep-patil-completes-an-exhilarating-half-century-2.htm

  4. Arun Sundar Says:

    You did sound like a live-commentator in the last but one paragraph of u’r post 🙂

    Watching classic cricket matches is an experience in itself!

    Happy pongal to u too.

  5. bala Says:


    Even patil’s friend in the article doesnt have much to say byond the australian innings and the one against Willis. Most of the stuff quoted is his heroics at Shivaji park Gymkhana and around where even I can claim to have hit a few sixers during the few years I played in the Times Shield (Division E). Like the author says he was a waster talent with only 4 centuries in tests. He was fun to watch when he gets going but that was only rarely..

  6. gkamesh Says:


    I didnt know your Shivaji Park connection! Bravo!

    Oye chak de!

  7. ramji Says:

    and Patil is also on record saying rather disparagingly, that the only useful innings ever played by Srikkanth was the 38 in the World Cup final!!!That was uncalled for and ridiculous!!

  8. bala Says:

    Another Sandip highlight

    As one of the most charismatic heroes of India’s 1983 World Cup triumph, Patil was bound to be first in line for the stardom that followed, and sure enough, in 1985 he was cast in the lead role of Kabhi Ajnabi Thay opposite the alluring Poonam Dhillon, but alongside the legendary Debashree Roy, with whom he was linked at the time. Though he did not let himself down, his thunder was completely stolen by another of his World Cup team-mates, the wicketkeeper Syed Kirmani, who excelled in the role of a karate-chopping villain who undergoes a change of heart. “In our original script, Kirmani was not included,” wrote Patil in his autobiography. “He came in only because he was keen to perform some kind of role. We literally had to find him a place in the movie. The [fight] scene between Kiri and me got tremendous publicity

  9. gkamesh Says:

    Ramji / bala

    Now I understand the old adage that ‘one lives and learns’.

    Thanks for the info

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