Saturday, February 14, 2009

Happy birthday Vishy!

One of the greatest Indian cricketers turned 60 the other day. GR Viswanath was the classiest cricketer in every sense, according to Achan. According to him, the greatness of a batsman was defined not by the records he broke, but by the way he got out. People still talk about the absolute beauty of a yorker he got from Imran in the 1982-83 series, which came out of nowhere to hit the stumps. There aren't too many videos around of Vishy's artistry, and to today's YouTube/20-20 generation, he will remain just another name in the annals of Indian cricket. But he was probably one of the most technically correct batsmen to have every played for India - the other two being Sunny Gavaskar and the man who used to be called Rahul Dravid (there's an impostor who's been on the loose the last year or so).

The knock he will forever be remember for was the 97 he smashed against a rampaging Windies pace attack at the Chepauk in 1975, which was ranked 38th on Wisden's Top 100 innings by batsmen. According to the master himself, he ranked the century he made in the previous test at the Eden Gardens as his personal favorite. The interview with Cricinfo is a delight to read, and one can imagine Vishy with his infectiously naughty grin reminiscing on his career!

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