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Chandu Borde and Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi Brought me Under Spotlight: GR Viswanath

However, the way his career ended after 14 years after the Pakistan series of 1982/83, left Viswanath hurting he said.

Cricketnext Staff |June 27, 2020, 5:32 PM IST
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Considered to be one of the best Indian batsmen to have played the game, the gritty GR Viswanath played a huge role in bringing Karnataka cricket into the spotlight. He came to the limelight under the captaincy of EAS Prasanna for Karnataka and then under Mansoor Ali Khan Pataudi for India for his abilities with the bat.

Slowly but surely, he was assured the status of Karnataka cricket’s first superstar who opened the doors for plenty more to follow suit.

Talking about how the transition from domestic cricket happened, Viswanath said on Star Sports 1 Kannada show Diggajara Danthakathe, “Thanks to Prasanna who pushed for me initially. It helped me play for the state. Pataudi was playing for Hyderabad in the Ranji Trophy. As a part of Karnataka team, we had to play against him. He (Pataudi) saw me closely there. For a match playing for President’s XI, New Zealand had come in 1968 and I got a chance to play. Chandu Borde was the captain and we had a good partnership. He [Chandu Borde] recommended me to Pataudi and that’s how I came into prominence much earlier than what I expected.”

Viswanath, a hero for the likes of Rahul Dravid and Anil Kumble, repaid the faith bestowed upon him with a century on debut in Kanpur against Australia in 1969.

Well known for his immaculate technique and the ability to offer shots no matter what to bamboozle the opposition meant Viswanath would go onto score quite a lot of runs against some of the most menacing bowling attacks like the West Indies.

His unbeaten match-winning 97 against West Indies while facing a rampaging Andy Roberts in Chennai in 1974-75 or the match-winning 124 against West Indies in 1978-79 or his attacking innings of 83 & 79 against New Zealand in Christchurch on a seaming track in 1976, established him as a batsman who could play across conditions.

However, the way his career ended after 14 years after the Pakistan series of 1982/83, left Viswanath hurting he said.

“I was very, very hurt when I was dropped. At that time, in all the three times [innings] I took wrong decisions. It is part of the game. But in that [situation] in two innings, if I had scored well, they would not have removed me. Kapil’s captaincy was not announced but it was almost known to everyone. He told, “Probably I [Kapil] think they won’t select you, is it ok?” How do you expect me to say no I am not ok?”

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