India v Pakistan, 1st Test, Delhi, 1952-53

Vinoo's web

Vinoo Mankad spun a web around Pakistan at Delhi © The Cricketer International

Electrifying passages revisits ten great passages of play that exemplify the intensity and passion of the rivalry between India and Pakistan ...

In the first Test match played between the two countries, Vinoo Mankad spun out Pakistan with a marathon first-innings spell of 8 for 52 in 47 overs. After India had made 372, Pakistan collapsed from 64 for 0 to 129 all out in their first innings, and eventually lost the Test.

Polly Umrigar

I rate Vinoo as one of the best left-arm spinners of all time. He could bowl on matting as well as on turf. The way he bowled at Feroz Shah Kotla was remarkable. If you look at the number of overs he bowled in the first innings and the number of runs he gave to take those eight wickets, his mastery over the Pakistan batsmen becomes clear.

The Pakistanis, used to seamers, were comfortable against the new-ball pair of Lala Amarnath and GS Ramchand. But once Vinoo and Ghulam Ahmed came into the attack they began to struggle.

On hard Indian wickets Vinoo used to bowl tirelessly, pitching it at the right length consistently, drawing the batsman out and deceiving him in flight. Vinoo was a master of deception in the air. Before the batsman had played a ball, Vinoo could judge as to where exactly to bowl to him. He normally attacked the off side with his flight, and he would get lbws with his faster ones, pushing the ball in with his arm.

And so it was with the Pakistani batsmen, who were trapped one by one. To get 13 wickets in a match you need to have some class - and Vinoo was top-class.

Umrigar made 25 runs batting at No. 6 in India's only innings. Interviewed by Nagraj Gollapudi.

Fazal Mahmood

Vinoo was one of the most outstanding allrounders India has ever produced. He and I had played together for the Commonwealth team against the MCC at Ceylon earlier that year.

In the Delhi Test Vinoo played havoc on Pakistan's batting line-up. We were happily placed at 50-odd without loss in our first innings when he struck. He was simply unplayable throughout the match and, with the exception of Hanif Mohammad, he tormented all our batsmen with his deceptive bowling. He bowled with immaculate length and direction, spun it well, and intelligently exploited the soggy wicket. Often the ball came at us chest-high.

Also, Vinoo was ably used by Lala Amarnath, who I think was one of the shrewdest Indian captains I have ever observed. Lala hailed from Lahore and had played with some of our players in the Ranji Trophy and zonal tournaments before Partition. He knew most of our cricketers and exercised his knowledge both on and off the field. Lala set an attacking field for his bowler, and Vinoo for his part was right on target from the first ball on.

I would also put on record that we were playing our first Test, after having attained Test status only two or three months before. Our batsmen couldn't cope with the pressure. But I am not offering an excuse to negate Vinoo's great performance in the first Test. He was the best at Delhi.

Fazal took two wickets and made 21 and 27. He was the only Pakistani player not to lose his wicket to Mankad in the Test. Interviewed by Asif Sohail.