Venkatapathy Raju

Muscles dishes it out

Raju pulls rank on McMillan

© Farzana Cooper

During the Cape Town Test of 1993 against South Africa, I walked in as a night-watchman in our first innings. Straightaway it was made clear to me that the bowlers were not going to spare me - especially Brian McMillan.

I showed a fair bit of resistance, so at one stage McMillan asked his bowling partner, Allan Donald, to "blow his head off". I had become good friends with McMillan during the tour, so I called out to him and said: "You're built like a rhino, why don't you do it yourself?" That flustered him. He bounced me and then ran up in his follow-through. "Do you like it?" he asked. Calmly I replied, "Bowl again and we'll see." He bounced me again. I smiled and said, "You're wasting your energy - it's going over my head." He was not happy, and some of the fielders were amused by it all.

Later that evening I went to their dressing room and found he was still pissed off. He asked me how many wickets I had taken on the tour. "Four from two Tests," I told him. Proudly he said that he had taken 11.

"How many international matches have you played?" I asked. He said 20. With a big smile I told him that I had played over 30. "So learn to respect your seniors," I added. He was furious, but we had a good laugh once he calmed down.

As told to Nagraj Gollapudi. This article was first published in the print version of Cricinfo Magazine in 2006