November 11, 2013

Andy, Vishy and me

Flashback to 1975, when the mighty West Indians came up against a pint-sized giant at the Chepauk
35

Andy Roberts took seven in the first innings at the Chepauk, but one man in the opposition was the equal of everything he threw at him
Andy Roberts took seven in the first innings at the Chepauk, but one man in the opposition was the equal of everything he threw at him © Getty Images

I could barely sleep all night. My alarm was set for 6am and I rose about a minute before it went off.

I was 15 years old, it was January 11, 1975, and Madras was abuzz. The beloved annual harvest festival, Pongal, was a day or two away, and cricket was in the air. On my study table - laden with books on trigonometry, physics and chemistry- lay a small booklet: a five-day ticket to the fourth Test between India and Clive Lloyd's West Indies, beginning in few hours' time at Chepauk Stadium.

Unlike previous occasions, I did not have to share this Test with anyone - it was all mine. I lived and breathed cricket in those days. Like many, my interest in the game was inversely proportional to my ability at it. Despite trying very hard, it seemed impossible for me to get in line against that hard red ball on a zippy matting wicket, facing bigger schoolmates who could bowl seriously fast. My bowling was not so much military-medium as civilian-slow. And the best that could be said of my fielding was that it was safe. But I could - and did - fantasise about metamorphosing from a bespectacled and scrawny "substitute" into an athletic and swaggering allrounder.

By 7:30am, armed with a tiffin-carrier, whose layers contained a breakfast snack, lunch, and a tea-time treat, I joined the serpentine queue to enter Chepauk Stadium. And once in, duly settled onto a thin white cotton thundu (towel) spread on the hard concrete rafters.

After having lost the first two Tests, India had stormed back to win the third at the Eden Gardens, riding on a brilliant second-innings 139 by GR Viswanath. The elegant left-armer Bernard Julien quickly removed India's openers (Farokh Engineer and Eknath Solkar) but it was Andy Roberts who wrought havoc. On a slow and turning pitch, he was fast and furious.

One sequence was emblematic. The pink and portly Ashok Mankad pulled a bouncer to the square-leg fence. As Roberts turned at the top of his run-up for the next ball, the entire stadium knew retribution would be swift in coming. With just a floppy canvas hat for protection, Mankad looked the sitting duck he was. With the barest hint of extra effort, Roberts got the ball to rear off a good length and straight at Mankad's jugular. As the batsman frantically fought to get his bat up in time, the ball flew off the gloves in front of his face and looped gently into the palms of a waiting Roy Fredericks. I suspect Mankad was quite relieved to be walking back to the pavilion on his own two feet.

It was barely after lunch and India were reeling at six down for 76. And soon thereafter were eight down for a little over a hundred; Roberts had grabbed six straight. His fielding station was right in front of my stand, and the sporting crowd cheered Roberts back to us after every successful over. He was reputedly the youngest of fifteen siblings. As we stared in awe at his impressive physique, the irrepressible wit of the Madras cricket fan surfaced: "Machan, if this is what No. 15 looks like, can you imagine how big the first one must be?"

As the predictably furious bouncer arrived next, Vishy tucked his head down an inch or two into his barrel chest - the way a tortoise pulls back into its shell - and the ball whistled a hair's breadth above his blue-felt India cap

When Bishan Bedi walked in to join Vishy, you sensed the end might be two balls away. And yet, over by over, the pair gritted it out to add over 50 runs. Vishy cornered the bulk of the action, and seemed to win most of the tactical games he and Lloyd played, from about the fourth ball of each over, to retain the strike. I remember one over by the bustling Keith Boyce in which Vishy hammered him for three boundaries, and an incredibly powerful square-cut drive off Roberts that singed the grass as it sped to the boundary.

While others have rhapsodised about Vishy's innings that day, and talked of the many marvellous shots he played, 40 years later what I remember most vividly are two moments - both defensive. The first one followed the rasping square drive off Roberts that I just described. As the predictably furious bouncer arrived next, Vishy tucked his head down an inch or two into his barrel chest - the way a tortoise pulls back into its shell - and the ball whistled a hair's breadth above his blue-felt India cap. Vishy nonchalantly walked down the pitch to pat down a bump or two, seemingly oblivious to how close to serious injury he had been seconds ago.

The second one was also to a ball by Roberts that reared off a good length. Vishy, on the back foot, behind the line, met the ball right in front of his chin, and - this is no exaggeration - it seemed to flow down the length of the dead-straight bat and drop like a blob of lead at his feet. You could hear an audible gasp from the crowd at what they had just seen. A ball travelling at what must have been in the high-80s or low-90s mph, hitting a bat and coming to an almost complete stop in a matter of a few feet. If you ever want a definition of technique, or the superhuman things Vishy could do with those wrists, this was it. In my mind's eye, I can see Roberts wryly smiling and shaking his head at Vishy, and the murmur of appreciation from the slip cordon.

Of course, as everyone knows, Vishy was left stranded on 97 that day. Last man out was the genial Chandra, who gingerly ramped one from Roberts into Lloyd's capacious hands at slip. The two Karnataka stalwarts walked off, in conversation. I presume Chandra was apologising for not being able to hang around long enough for Vishy to get to that hundred, and the latter assuring him that it was perfectly all right and that he had done marvellously well to stick it out for as long as he had - about 40 minutes. Neither man ever placed much store in landmarks in any case. As they neared the pavilion, I cannot remember whether the West Indians slowed down to let Vishy lead them back in - or whether Andy Roberts with his 7 for 64 led them off. Talk about a tough choice.

Fifteen-year-old schoolboys, even of the more bookish and introspective sort, cannot be counted on to appreciate the long-term significance of events that they witness. And yet I, like almost every one at Chepauk that day, knew I had seen something I would remember for the rest of my life.

Sankaran Krishna is a professor of political science at the University of Hawaii, in Honolulu

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Biso on November 11, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    I had enjoyed the radio commentary of whole match. I remember Roberts stating that the Chepuk pitch was the fastest pitch on which he had ever played. That Chepuk pitch had lots of bounce too( comparable with the old Perth pitch ). The pitch was quite fast even when Kallicharan,s team was beaten by the Indians few years later. That Indian team had a young Kapil Dev bowling pretty quick. WI had Sylvester Clark , Norbert Phillip and Malcohm Marshall (then a baby of the team ). After they re-laid it, the nature of the pitch changed so much that it could not be recognized any more for if had hardly anything in common with the older pitch.

  • Srivathsan_Sridharan on November 11, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I am 24 and i am from Chennai. Though i was not born at that time, I still remember my uncle who was there at the ground, told me that the joy of watching Vishy bat and the pace that Andy Roberts bowled at that time. The crowd enjoyed each and every moment of that match and they even cheered Roberts' five for in both the innings. Also the crowds' favourite team after India at that time was WI bcos of the way they played their cricket, attractive and sportive. The author brings back the match in frount of our eyes , and thanks for the author and Cricinfo for this brilliant write-up. Kudos!!

  • on November 11, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Dr. Krishna,

    thanks for kindling the memory. I was there and Vishy played what is in my mind the best ever innings in Chepauk, period. I still remember the 3 fours of Boyce - between point and cover, cover and extra cover, and extra cover and mid off.

    No helmet mind you. He was and will always be the Little Master.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    I'm Sri Lankan. I too remember Vishwanath. Great batsman.

  • ashok16 on November 15, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Gavaskar - Vishwanath - SRT - Dravid - Laxman: the golden quintet of Indian batting.

  • on November 15, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    I watched Vishy one of my Favouriteshe was so Cool aGood man Neverinvolved in politics I also remember his Inining in Port of Spain one of the hightest Chases at tht time he was playing Carner Holding Roberts Croft and WayneDaniels,,,he was calm and a Gentleman Fearless no Helmets he was 5 :5,,,good article I listented to the Commentary in 1975 and the 5th Test Indian lost in Wankhede i snicked in Free aand watched the last day ,,,Brijest Patel made his name,,

  • Puru-ynwa on November 14, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    2 other happenings spring to mind.

    Recently Vishy was playing Golf in Blr and I walked upto him and told him that 97 no is the greatest knock by an Indian.He smiled and shook my hand.

    I remember that at the ground that day was a wise old man in th stands with me .he had a pair of binoculars.He would say that Patudi and Pras are talking ...a wicket is going to fall.amazingly it happened everytime .Patudi's captaincy and his use of his spinners to win matches and give them the right fields were a treat and the old man was right everytime. Iin the first innings ,both Viv and Lloyd were caught at deep mid off a nd mid on off mistimed drives.well thought out by Pat and Pras after some minor field alterations and duly predicted by our old companion. In the second innings too Grenidge was caught on the bounday line off Bedi after a mistimed sweep.The fielder has just been moved there!

    Brilliant players.Vishy,Pat,Pras,Andy,kallicharan et al.

    Amazing & Magical times.

  • on November 12, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    I remember listening to the radio commentary after one of my classmates had sneaked in a transistor radio into my 9th grade classroom. Aah, the joys of a boy's high school! Funny how two things stood out from this great test match. (1) the fact that Prasanna and Bedi wove such a spell that by the end of 2nd day, the 3rd inning of the match had already started with India down by 4 wickets. It was clear this Test wasn't going to see a 5th day. (2) I was a big supporter of Lloyd's young Windies team with new, upcoming stars like Richards, Roberts, Greenidge and Kallicharan. It was definitely deflating to hear the roars of the crowd (and my classmates with their hideous dances after each Windies wicket fell!!) as Prasanna and Bedi wove their magic and cleaned up 18 of the 19 wickets to fall. The other two included one for Ghavri and Kalllicharan getting run out after playing quite well for 51.

  • Puru-ynwa on November 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Great post by S Krishna. I was 14 when I watched that match.The bowling attck of Roberts,Boyce,Holder ,Julien and Gibbs was put to the sword in an exhilirating display of controlled aggression.On 96 he glanced and the crowd that will be his 100 but it was stopped on the boundary and Chnadra was boweld leaving Vishy on 97 no.In my mind it is the GREATEST Innings ever by an Indian.Second innings Vishy (48) guided young Anshuman Gaekwad (80 run out) and India went on win the test by 100 runs.Still remember the catch Enginner took of Pras to dismiss Viv.Twas the Doosra. Vishy's cover drives on the up against a fearsome attack was a sight.The sound of his bat on ball, reverberated in the stadium such was his timing that day.The Cheapuk crowd was treated to the strokeplay with elegance and power that has yet to be surpassed on Indian soil.

    I wish the BCCI shows footage of this match to our Youngsters .To Learn how to combine Talent and Humility.Gentelman Vishy true great & awsome Role Mode

  • on November 12, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Judging by the comments and the article itself, maybe the Australians and Ricky Pointing in particular should ponder why even though they were champoins, they were never popular and their setbacks and defeats were always cheered by almost all non Austrlian cricket fans. But in case of West Indies, they were always adored or respected in their heydays. All people loved them.

  • Biso on November 11, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    I had enjoyed the radio commentary of whole match. I remember Roberts stating that the Chepuk pitch was the fastest pitch on which he had ever played. That Chepuk pitch had lots of bounce too( comparable with the old Perth pitch ). The pitch was quite fast even when Kallicharan,s team was beaten by the Indians few years later. That Indian team had a young Kapil Dev bowling pretty quick. WI had Sylvester Clark , Norbert Phillip and Malcohm Marshall (then a baby of the team ). After they re-laid it, the nature of the pitch changed so much that it could not be recognized any more for if had hardly anything in common with the older pitch.

  • Srivathsan_Sridharan on November 11, 2013, 4:48 GMT

    I am 24 and i am from Chennai. Though i was not born at that time, I still remember my uncle who was there at the ground, told me that the joy of watching Vishy bat and the pace that Andy Roberts bowled at that time. The crowd enjoyed each and every moment of that match and they even cheered Roberts' five for in both the innings. Also the crowds' favourite team after India at that time was WI bcos of the way they played their cricket, attractive and sportive. The author brings back the match in frount of our eyes , and thanks for the author and Cricinfo for this brilliant write-up. Kudos!!

  • on November 11, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    Dr. Krishna,

    thanks for kindling the memory. I was there and Vishy played what is in my mind the best ever innings in Chepauk, period. I still remember the 3 fours of Boyce - between point and cover, cover and extra cover, and extra cover and mid off.

    No helmet mind you. He was and will always be the Little Master.

  • on January 30, 2014, 15:20 GMT

    I'm Sri Lankan. I too remember Vishwanath. Great batsman.

  • ashok16 on November 15, 2013, 7:34 GMT

    Gavaskar - Vishwanath - SRT - Dravid - Laxman: the golden quintet of Indian batting.

  • on November 15, 2013, 4:03 GMT

    I watched Vishy one of my Favouriteshe was so Cool aGood man Neverinvolved in politics I also remember his Inining in Port of Spain one of the hightest Chases at tht time he was playing Carner Holding Roberts Croft and WayneDaniels,,,he was calm and a Gentleman Fearless no Helmets he was 5 :5,,,good article I listented to the Commentary in 1975 and the 5th Test Indian lost in Wankhede i snicked in Free aand watched the last day ,,,Brijest Patel made his name,,

  • Puru-ynwa on November 14, 2013, 12:40 GMT

    2 other happenings spring to mind.

    Recently Vishy was playing Golf in Blr and I walked upto him and told him that 97 no is the greatest knock by an Indian.He smiled and shook my hand.

    I remember that at the ground that day was a wise old man in th stands with me .he had a pair of binoculars.He would say that Patudi and Pras are talking ...a wicket is going to fall.amazingly it happened everytime .Patudi's captaincy and his use of his spinners to win matches and give them the right fields were a treat and the old man was right everytime. Iin the first innings ,both Viv and Lloyd were caught at deep mid off a nd mid on off mistimed drives.well thought out by Pat and Pras after some minor field alterations and duly predicted by our old companion. In the second innings too Grenidge was caught on the bounday line off Bedi after a mistimed sweep.The fielder has just been moved there!

    Brilliant players.Vishy,Pat,Pras,Andy,kallicharan et al.

    Amazing & Magical times.

  • on November 12, 2013, 22:56 GMT

    I remember listening to the radio commentary after one of my classmates had sneaked in a transistor radio into my 9th grade classroom. Aah, the joys of a boy's high school! Funny how two things stood out from this great test match. (1) the fact that Prasanna and Bedi wove such a spell that by the end of 2nd day, the 3rd inning of the match had already started with India down by 4 wickets. It was clear this Test wasn't going to see a 5th day. (2) I was a big supporter of Lloyd's young Windies team with new, upcoming stars like Richards, Roberts, Greenidge and Kallicharan. It was definitely deflating to hear the roars of the crowd (and my classmates with their hideous dances after each Windies wicket fell!!) as Prasanna and Bedi wove their magic and cleaned up 18 of the 19 wickets to fall. The other two included one for Ghavri and Kalllicharan getting run out after playing quite well for 51.

  • Puru-ynwa on November 12, 2013, 16:32 GMT

    Great post by S Krishna. I was 14 when I watched that match.The bowling attck of Roberts,Boyce,Holder ,Julien and Gibbs was put to the sword in an exhilirating display of controlled aggression.On 96 he glanced and the crowd that will be his 100 but it was stopped on the boundary and Chnadra was boweld leaving Vishy on 97 no.In my mind it is the GREATEST Innings ever by an Indian.Second innings Vishy (48) guided young Anshuman Gaekwad (80 run out) and India went on win the test by 100 runs.Still remember the catch Enginner took of Pras to dismiss Viv.Twas the Doosra. Vishy's cover drives on the up against a fearsome attack was a sight.The sound of his bat on ball, reverberated in the stadium such was his timing that day.The Cheapuk crowd was treated to the strokeplay with elegance and power that has yet to be surpassed on Indian soil.

    I wish the BCCI shows footage of this match to our Youngsters .To Learn how to combine Talent and Humility.Gentelman Vishy true great & awsome Role Mode

  • on November 12, 2013, 14:15 GMT

    Judging by the comments and the article itself, maybe the Australians and Ricky Pointing in particular should ponder why even though they were champoins, they were never popular and their setbacks and defeats were always cheered by almost all non Austrlian cricket fans. But in case of West Indies, they were always adored or respected in their heydays. All people loved them.

  • on November 12, 2013, 13:33 GMT

    Beautifully written....took me back to the good old days...

  • on November 12, 2013, 13:17 GMT

    Mr krishna thanks for taking all the fans of Vishy down memory lane. In fact whenever I feel lonely this is one of the ways I get over the feeling. Reading about this particular innings. I was almost as old as you at that time, though much less fortunate; as I had to settle for Radio commentary. But in those days people like Anant Setlvad & Dicky Ratnaugar did wonderful job. Your description of the defensive shot is marvellous, but T 20 generation will wonder what is marvellous in a defensive prod. One cannot describe Vishy in any better way than " neither man placed much store in landmarks ... "

  • Leggie on November 12, 2013, 12:50 GMT

    This is one of the first memories I have about cricket in Chennai. I remember my cousin in Triplicane coming home with a laddu - offered by an ardent fan who was celebrating an India win. I saw scores of people thrilled having beaten the west indies. It was not until 1983 I realized the significance of this event. Many say that Tendulkar or Kapil or Saurav Ganguly has taken Indian cricket to the top. In my view, significant steps were built brick-by-brick and this innings by GRV must count as a foundation to the glory we have achieved today.

  • cnksnk on November 12, 2013, 6:43 GMT

    I have been following cricket for the last 45 years and this innings was and is the best played by an Indian. Yes and I say this after watching all the beauties of SG and SRT. I think that spell of Roberts post lunch must have been the fastest that he has bowled. And Vishy met force with force. Lloyd had a point, cover and extra cover and yet Vishy was able to find the gaps. Still fresh before my eyez. Just one correction, I think it was Prasanna who stuck around with Vishy and made 37 and not Bedi. The other great sight from the match was Prasannas bowling. He bowled 2 balls to Julian (or was it Boyce) who hit it for 6 s. Next ball he held one back and after bowling he trotted to mid off to take the catch. A lesson on how a bowler was in complete controlnof his trade.

  • harshthakor on November 12, 2013, 2:37 GMT

    This innings proved Vishy's prowess in a crisis and his ability to win games.Arguably at his best he was a better match-winner than Gavaskar or Tendulkar.No Indian batsmen posessed more natural talent or posessed as much creative genius as Vishy.That day Vishy displayed the counter-attacking force of a great military batallion countering the most powerful of enemy forces in the hardest of conditions .In that knock he displayed the creativity of a musical composer,the skill of a technician and the grace of a violinist.The game has arguably seen more than 2 or 3 greater stylists than Vishwanath.

    Andy was one of the most under-estimated pace bowlers who was the most versatile of all Calypso quickies .Statistics hardly did Justice to Roberts who Dennis Lillee regarded as the most complete bowler of his era .Andy had a great repertoire with his 2 bouncers at different speeds,slower ball ,off-cutter and out -swinger.He could cut back a 120 over old ball which was incredible.

  • harshthakor on November 12, 2013, 2:22 GMT

    Brilliant article,Sankaran Krishna.I completely share your feeelings.

    There have been few more enthralling battles between ball and bat in the history of cricket than that day in Chepauk.Gundappa Vishawanath gave one of the greatest exhibitions of artistry ever displayed on a cricket field.He executed strokes from his very own book reminding you of a poet or a musical composer.Arguably in test cricket on a fast pitch and against a hostile pace attack there has never been such a counter attack which so brilliantly blended agression with technical skill and artistry.Vishy was that day a surgeon and a poet rolled into one bissecting the most impregnable of field placings with sheer touch play.He literally held his bat like a wand.

    Andy Roberts at his best was Dennis Lillee's equal and he displayed the ferocity of a bomber plane combined with superb innovation.Robert's bowling superbly combined brutal pace with control ,changes of pace and variations.

  • on November 11, 2013, 21:20 GMT

    Cricket is a sport that needs highly skilled eyes and concentration to echo the skill, speed and concentration on display because the action happens so quickly, and the ball is relatively smaller than most ball sports. This is a wonderful example of what Indian crowds used to be like - knowledgeable, skilful, sporting, appreciative. I fear the advent of the television coverage of 20-20, which is not really interested in the game, has also meant the corresponding decay of skills amongst the cricket audience in India.

  • cricton on November 11, 2013, 19:55 GMT

    I grew up in Chennai and remember as a young kid watching this match in person. It was a very tough pitch to bat on. Amazing performances with the bat and ball from both sides. In the end, our spinners prevailed. In those days, the Indian team rolled the new ball on the ground when passing to each other to get rid of the shine quickly for our spinners. Besides Vishy's master class innings, I distinctly remember, in the 2nd innings, Chandra flattening Greenidge's stumps and also Prasanna's beauty of a ball to deceive Clive Lloyd. As for the comparisons, it is really unfair to compare SRT with Viv, Sunny, Vishy, Dravid or VVS. They are all legends in their own way. I personally felt that Sunny's technique and Viv's flair stood out in that era. SRT is the only one who showed he had a good bit of both.

  • On-Drive on November 11, 2013, 13:41 GMT

    I was there too watching the match from the famous 'D' stand. I still remember the marvellous square cut that vishy played of Roberts to move from 47 to 51. I cannot forget the hook shot that Vishy played (of Roberts) by picking up the ball right in front of his nose. The Hindu (local news paper), published a special edition on the next day with many pictures from the match. Overall it was a great match. I am yet to see a better inning than Vishy's 97 not out.

  • ram_1958 on November 11, 2013, 13:12 GMT

    I was one of the lucky spectator on that memorable day in MAC Stadium and interestingly this was the first test match I watched and I was 17 years old and alone, standing in line from 5.00 am outside the stadium. But what an innings. Vishy is Vishy. The one shot of Roberts went like bullet through slips. Whenever Vishy score century India won the match. I still preserve his photograph duly signed which I recd as his birthday gift. I have sent full statistics of his batting scores neatly typed on Remington typewriter. Vishy we love you. Ramnath Chennai

  • on November 11, 2013, 12:18 GMT

    Rajsingh Dungrapur rightly said that he has not seen a better innings. Lloyd and his men including the rampaging Roberts decided that Vishy will not surrender that day. Easily one of the 3 best innings played by an Indian. The best according to me is 281 by VVS and second Vishy's 97 and third Dravid's Adelaide 233.

  • Srivathsan_Sridharan on November 11, 2013, 9:13 GMT

    I never saw Vishy batting. But what i read from the comments posted here and what my uncle told me, I can understand what Viswanath meant to the Indian team. He was the crisis man for us earlier like VVS Laxman for us till his retirement. It will be great for youngsters like me to get the insights of these legendary encounters happend before our birth. Like to see many more of these..

  • on November 11, 2013, 8:42 GMT

    Until i watched (on TV and every ball at that) V V S Laxman's 281, Vishys 97 not out was the best ever innings i saw. The only difference is watching a match on the ground has no replays, and i had to see everything remember follow and recall. for me as of today V V S Laxman's 281 remains the best test match innings i have ever seen followed by Vishy's 97 not out(an innings i once thought will never be surpassed) and Virendra Sehwag's innings in Chennai(i was at the ground on that day) in the last session of the day against England. Having said this Vishy batted without headgear so his knock has to be given a special mention always....

  • US_Indian on November 11, 2013, 8:18 GMT

    I do remember this match vividly and crystal clear in my minds I was about 12 and was playing for u13 schools team at that time and my school was just 2 blocks away on the Big street, and we used to get free entry for school cricketers at that time and I can clearly visualize even now the late cuts Vishy executed when all the four namely B.Julian, Vanburn Holder, Keith boyce and andy robers huffed and puffed and bowled and vishy would leave it so close to the stumps and play it so late when the slip fielders would just get up and the ball would go past the gully and slip fielders as the case may be. Most cricket educated public felt vishy was a better player but most accolades were reserved for his brother in law sunny and as they say history repeats, even though both RSD and VVS could be termed as better players but most accolades are reserved for another Mumbaikar SRT, that is the irony with we Indians. I feel north/west v's south discrimination still prevails big time in India.

  • Longmemory on November 11, 2013, 7:47 GMT

    The pitch at Chepauk for this test - and the ones that were used in the mid-1970s - were all slow turners. The fast, bouncy pitches in Chepauk many readers are referring to came for a very brief while in the late 1970s and early '80s, most notably the one against Kallicharan's second string team (the big guys were all playing for Packer in Australia) with Sylvester Clarke in it. Other than Roberts, no one else could get the ball to bounce and fly around - a testament to the fast bowler he was.

  • on November 11, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Hey Krishna

    I was there too....and remember most of the happenings on that day though not as vividly as you do... That knock is still talked about as one of the finest at Chepauk.. though I do remember a knock by Keith Fletcher who scored 97 not out at Chepauk maybe in 1973-- that was also a great one...

  • Biso on November 11, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Contd: BTW BBCI those days had a fast pitch at Chepuk. A pitch at Green Park Kanpur was so green that commentators felt that it was greener than the rest of the ground. That pitch had been gifted to Lyod's WI's who had Roberts, Holding and Marshall in their ranks. India had a range of pitches then. I do not think any international pitch today ( not even the current day Perth wicket) had the quality of Chepuk in the 70's.

  • on November 11, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Krishna my memory is that Lloyd did hold back an Andy roberts leading the team back to the pavillion just a second and then let Roberts follow after. Thats how it seemed to me but Roberts did lead the team back to the pavillion....

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    thx for rekindling memories of d nicest gentleman of d game! this piece also shows how times change! as a kannadiga livin in mumbai i once bumped into sir gavaskar few yrs. back & how he rated this innings as d greatest exhibition against pace on a bouncy(yes, ur eyes r working) chepauk! i cant believe BCCI in those days made bouncy wickets against least of all WI WHEN we had pras & chandra, bedi! how hospitable we were! speaking of gr8 writing, few articles r nostalgic & funny. military-medium civilian-slow LOL!!!

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    In my 44 years of cricket watching, thi was the best innings by any batsman against quality bowling. The next best could by VVS at Kolkatta or Richards at Oval ( 291) Vishy was the darling of chennai crowd and th most stylish of all. I remember in 1977 tour of Austrial, Thommo did not bowl bouncer to Indian batsmen as Gavaskar and Vishy will duck comfortably, Mohinder will pull for 4, Chauhan and Vengsarkar will mve away . That team had excellent technique and the bowlers at that time were also at an advantage with batsman not protected and pitches not covered. Anothe gret from Vshy were the one at Port of Spain in 1976 and his début at Kanpur.

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Vishy did a repeat performance in 1978/79 on what could be described as the fastest pitch at Chepauk. Once again another match winning innings!

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63229.html

  • sailorsupreme on November 11, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I have read a lot about this particular innings, but no one has recreated the magic that was in those lissome wrists of a diminutive man. My favorite cricketer as well. I stil lremember a ferocious square cut he played off John Lever at Hyderabad playing for South zone against the visiting English side in the seventies.

  • priyatham on November 11, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Very nice write up - one minor correction. The Chepauk wicket in those days was a hard bouncy track and played that way until 1980. It was definitely not a turner. It assisted spinners who got bounce which is why Prasanna who relied on bounce bowled so well in that test.

  • on November 11, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    thanks for this wonderful piece about the great vishy.

  • vineetkarthi on November 11, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Beautiful write-up. Thanks.

  • vineetkarthi on November 11, 2013, 3:53 GMT

    Beautiful write-up. Thanks.

  • on November 11, 2013, 4:11 GMT

    thanks for this wonderful piece about the great vishy.

  • priyatham on November 11, 2013, 4:32 GMT

    Very nice write up - one minor correction. The Chepauk wicket in those days was a hard bouncy track and played that way until 1980. It was definitely not a turner. It assisted spinners who got bounce which is why Prasanna who relied on bounce bowled so well in that test.

  • sailorsupreme on November 11, 2013, 4:47 GMT

    I have read a lot about this particular innings, but no one has recreated the magic that was in those lissome wrists of a diminutive man. My favorite cricketer as well. I stil lremember a ferocious square cut he played off John Lever at Hyderabad playing for South zone against the visiting English side in the seventies.

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:12 GMT

    Vishy did a repeat performance in 1978/79 on what could be described as the fastest pitch at Chepauk. Once again another match winning innings!

    http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/engine/match/63229.html

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:36 GMT

    In my 44 years of cricket watching, thi was the best innings by any batsman against quality bowling. The next best could by VVS at Kolkatta or Richards at Oval ( 291) Vishy was the darling of chennai crowd and th most stylish of all. I remember in 1977 tour of Austrial, Thommo did not bowl bouncer to Indian batsmen as Gavaskar and Vishy will duck comfortably, Mohinder will pull for 4, Chauhan and Vengsarkar will mve away . That team had excellent technique and the bowlers at that time were also at an advantage with batsman not protected and pitches not covered. Anothe gret from Vshy were the one at Port of Spain in 1976 and his début at Kanpur.

  • on November 11, 2013, 5:39 GMT

    thx for rekindling memories of d nicest gentleman of d game! this piece also shows how times change! as a kannadiga livin in mumbai i once bumped into sir gavaskar few yrs. back & how he rated this innings as d greatest exhibition against pace on a bouncy(yes, ur eyes r working) chepauk! i cant believe BCCI in those days made bouncy wickets against least of all WI WHEN we had pras & chandra, bedi! how hospitable we were! speaking of gr8 writing, few articles r nostalgic & funny. military-medium civilian-slow LOL!!!

  • on November 11, 2013, 6:41 GMT

    Krishna my memory is that Lloyd did hold back an Andy roberts leading the team back to the pavillion just a second and then let Roberts follow after. Thats how it seemed to me but Roberts did lead the team back to the pavillion....

  • Biso on November 11, 2013, 6:50 GMT

    Contd: BTW BBCI those days had a fast pitch at Chepuk. A pitch at Green Park Kanpur was so green that commentators felt that it was greener than the rest of the ground. That pitch had been gifted to Lyod's WI's who had Roberts, Holding and Marshall in their ranks. India had a range of pitches then. I do not think any international pitch today ( not even the current day Perth wicket) had the quality of Chepuk in the 70's.

  • on November 11, 2013, 7:06 GMT

    Hey Krishna

    I was there too....and remember most of the happenings on that day though not as vividly as you do... That knock is still talked about as one of the finest at Chepauk.. though I do remember a knock by Keith Fletcher who scored 97 not out at Chepauk maybe in 1973-- that was also a great one...