June 25, 2011

Indian cricket

The 1971 world champions

Dustin Silgardo

In 2011, India are holders of the World Cup and No. 1 in Tests, but 40 years ago their fans had dubbed the team world champions for two away Test series victories, in the West Indies and England. In Outlook, Rohit Mahajan and Sugata Srinivasaraju reminisce about one of India's finest summers.

Among the seniors was Dilip Sardesai, who ate like a giant and always demanded room No. 8 in hotels; an abrasive and religious S. Venkataraghavan, who mouthed shlokas on the field and did not think twice before declining a gift of cigars from a personage no less than Gary Sobers; Abid Ali, who could bowl all day, bat with determination and gusto, and then ask the debutant to get the winning runs; four different types of spinners—B.S. Bedi, E.A.S. Prasanna, Venkat and B.S. Chandrashekhar—all unbelievably good, a group an English newspaper called “the most dangerous attack in contemporary cricket”

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Dustin Silgardo is a former sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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