Bedi leads tributes
India's famed spin quartet benefited immensely from Eknath Solkar's close catching. Of his 53 catches from 27 Tests, as many as 48 came off the quartet. Small wonder then that Bishan Bedi led the tributes soon after Solkar died in Mumbai on Sunday.
Bishan Singh Bedi
His close-in catching was really intimidating. We would not have been the same bowlers without him. It is a very sad moment. I last met him in Mumbai two months back.
Solkar was the most outstanding close-in fielder in the history of the game and a tremendous utility cricketer ... [an] allrounder in true sense. I am very proud to have captained him.
I have played for many years with him. We have fielded in positions that normally people will not accept [to stand in]. He was a gutsy cricketer. His death is a personal loss.
This man gave his best to the team. He could bat, bowl medium-pace and spin. And his fielding was outstanding. He also kept one end up, supporting me in the Jamaica and Barbados Tests in the 1970s. And he was such a simple fellow.
I was in school during that period but I can still remember the great catches he took, especially that off Knott. He was the best close-in fielder I have ever seen and along with `Tiger' Pataudi one of the best in the outfield too.
Apart from being a utility player, Solkar was a soft-spoken and unassuming person. This is a big loss to the Indian cricket, especially Mumbai, where he was still very active with club cricket.
He was prepared to do everything to take a catch. His death is a great loss for Indian cricket.