Square Cut Maestro

Gundappa Vishwanath turned 60 today.

How does one put words to the genius of this great master of cricket? This little man was perhaps one of the tallest cricketers of India. His batting was poetry.  I still remember listening to the radio commentary of his debut test match, versus Australia at Kanpur in 1969. And he scored a century (137 if I am not mistaken, with one hundred of those coming in 25 exquisite boundaries) in the second innings (first innings was a duck!)… After that century innings, we all knew that a new phenomenon has hit the cricket scene. Right through the 70s, this artiste treated the cricket world to some of the finest batsmanship. Those were the days of cricket in the raw. One had to face the fast bowling of Andy Roberts and the like, with no protective helmet. The fast bowling battery of those days included Jeff Thomson, Dennis Lillee, Andy Roberts, Micheal Holding, John Snow, Richard Hadlee, and that new fast bowling phenomenon, Imran Khan. Who can forget the ‘sniffer’, nose-kissing super-fast bouncer of Andy! And Vishy played them all. His average against Australia and West Indies was above 50! His innings of 97 in Chennai, against West Indies, was considered by Wisden as one of the top fifty test innings of all time, and the second best non-century…

What an array of strokes, and what grace of strike… Hooks, pulls, cover drives, and above all, his great square cut…

Cricket is Gundappa Vishwanath hitting a fast bowler, over extra cover, for a six!

One Response to “Square Cut Maestro”

  1. bala Says:

    Amen!! I vividly remember the 97 not out he scored against the West Indies and Andy Roberts in Madras. What an innings. I had watched him at close quarters in the nets at the Delhi rece course ground in the 64-75 series and saw the power of his square cuts. and what a gentleman on the field……

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