Venkatapathy Raju is considered as one of the best Indian spinners of the 90s. The left-arm spinner made the most out of India’s spin-favoring conditions as he produced some fine spells to help his team to several victories. Since his debut against New Zealand in February 1990, the spinner represented India in 28 Test matches and 53 One Day Internationals picking 93 and 63 wickets respectively.
As he turns 52, let’s take a look at some of his memorable spells
4/46 vs West Indies, 1994
His best figures of ODI career came during the last One Day International of a five-match series against West Indies in 1994. The second innings saw West Indies chasing a target of 260 runs posted by India.
However, Raju caused a carnage on the field as he ran through the visitors’ batting line-up to pick as many as four wickets. The spinner bowled nine overs at an economy rate of 5.11 and helped India in securing a victory by five runs.
3/36 vs West Indies, 1994
The second One Day International against West Indies in 1994 saw Raju delivering another phenomenal performance. The leg-spinner returned with the figures of 10-1-36-3. The disciplined bowling helped in stopping West Indies to a score of 192 in the 50 overs. However, the hosts failed to complete the target and lost the game by eight runs.
3/19 vs Sri Lanka, 1994
Playing the last One Day International of the three-match series against Sri Lanka, Raju once again weaved his magic with the ball. Batting first, India could put a target of only 213 runs on the board in their 50 overs.
The second innings saw Raju showing his class as he picked three crucial wickets of the opposition team while bowling at an economy rate of 2.38. However, it wasn’t enough as Sri Lanka won the game by four wickets.
6/87 vs Sri Lanka, 1994
Raju produced another six-wicket haul in his Test career against Sri Lanka in 1994. Playing the last Test of the three-match series, Raju was the wrecker-in-chief for India as they won the game by an innings and 17 runs.
In the first innings, the leg-spinner picked five wickets while giving 38 runs to restrict Sri Lanka to a paltry total of 119. This was followed by Raju delivering another stunning performance as in the second innings he picked six wickets while giving 87 runs to bowl out the visitors in 222 runs.
6/12 vs Sri Lanka, 1990
The only Test match between India and Sri Lanka in 1990 in Chandigarh saw Raju delivering the finest performance of his cricket career. While Sri Lanka was following the score of 288 runs posted by India in the first innings, Raju ran through the visitors’ batting line-up to pick as many as six wickets.
The spinner produced magic figures which read 17.5-13-12-6. Sri Lanka’s second batting innings saw Raju picking two wickets while conceding 25 runs. The exploits by the bowler ensured that India won the match by an innings and eight runs.