July 9, 2011

Indian cricket

The man who conquered Windies and England

Dustin Silgardo

As India tour the West Indies and England this summer, MS Dhoni will be trying to repeat Ajit Wadekar's feats. Wadekar captained India to series victories in both countries, but he was criticised by some as being a defensive captain. In an interview with Outlook, Wadekar speaks about how the players reacted to him replacing Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi as captain, Pataudi's refusal to come on the tours of England in 1971 and 74, and how he used his spinners.

Perhaps these guys failed to read my mindset then. I had a fairly new combination with me as a surprise captain. As against that, our opposition was as mighty as ever in WI, led by Sir Gary Sobers. I planned to curb their strokes and try their patience, how can anyone call it defensive tactics? Sobers and all others were known for going for their strokes all the time, but they got restless if they couldn’t get going. If I were a defensive captain, would I have enforced the follow-on in the first Test?

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Dustin Silgardo is a former sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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