September 19, 2012

Indian cricket

'Marshall' Patil - India's unsung hero

Nikita Bastian

Makarand Waingankar, in the Times of India, on VS 'Marshall' Patil, the man who made his Ranji debut in February 1957 and was lethal with old balls - bowling his in and leg cutters - at a time when the quality of balls was very poor.

Baffling leading batsmen with his swing and cutters in local cricket, he took thousands of wickets in tournaments, becoming the highest wicket taker (759) in the Kanga League, a record that still exists. Deprived of all honours he deserved, this man didn't need an institutional recognition. He continued to serve the game like a humble servant.

Says Sunil Gavaskar, "If anybody else who has a major role in making me the batsman I was, it has to be 'Marshall' Patil. Dadar Union's tradition of giving nicknames meant that with his imposing moustache, straight back, discipline and dedication to the game, it was easy to call Mr Patil 'Marshall' like in the old wild West. I never saw anybody with the control over swing that he had and he could bowl both inswing and outswing with little change in action".

Talking of Marshall and Co, Anuj Kumar, in the Hindu, speaks to Stevan Riley, director of “Fire in Babylon”, about the team that redefined the way the world played cricket.

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Nikita Bastian is a sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo

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