Full name Vaman Viswanath Kumar
Born June 22, 1935, Madras (now Chennai)
Current age 80 years 39 days
Major teams India, Madras, Tamil Nadu
Batting style Right-hand bat
Bowling style Legbreak googly
|Test debut||India v Pakistan at Delhi, Feb 8-13, 1961 scorecard|
|Last Test||India v England at Mumbai (BS), Nov 11-16, 1961 scorecard|
|First-class span||1955/56 - 1976/77|
An orthodox leg spinner in the classical mould who got a raw deal from the selectors, Kumar in his prime was the best of his type in the country. A master of spin, line and length, he seemed the logical successor to Subash Gupte. After a series of notable performances in the Ranji Trophy, he made his Test debut against Pakistan at New Delhi in 1960-61 and almost bowled India to victory by capturing five for 64 and two for 68. On the eve of his next Test, against England the following season, he was injured. But he was forced to play because of the opponents' traditional weakness against leg spin bowling. He failed, going wicketless for 70 runs. That remarkably was his last Test. Perhaps the advent of BS Chandrasekhar had something to do with Kumar not being considered again but he remained a fine bowler throughout the sixties and for much of the seventies. He was a regular wicket-taker and in 1970-71 he was the first bowler to take 300 wickets in the Ranji Trophy and four years later became the first to top the 400 wicket mark. He now runs the MAC Spin Academy in Chennai. (Partab Ramchand)
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