TE Srinivasan December 10, 2010

Unexpected beauty

He was among the finest Indian batsmen, and had a colourful personality that lent itself to several apocryphal tales. It's a pity how he was ignored back then and even now in death
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Both in life and in death, TE Srinivasan deserved better. When he succumbed to cancer, he had just turned 60; when he succumbed to the political machinations in the Indian team, he was 30 and had played just one Test, in Auckland. Sunil Gavaskar apart, TE probably understood batting better than any of his contemporaries; he didn't merely make runs, he knew how runs could be made.

He was ignored after that one Test - the next series was at home against England, but the Tamil Nadu batsman did not make it even to the South Zone team - just as his memory was ignored by the Indian team in Wednesday's one-day international against New Zealand in Bangalore. A tribute would have been fitting. A two-minute silence before the match perhaps. Or a show of kinship with players wearing black bands.

Indian teams in the past have been quick to pay respects even to non-players. After Mark Mascarenhas was killed in an accident, the players wore black bands during a Test. Mark was a cricket buff, and more importantly, Sachin Tendulkar's agent and friend. TE was something more. A Test match player, and therefore special, his place in history assured.

The Indian team has a chance to make up for its apathy when the teams line up for the final one-dayer in TE's hometown, Chennai.

TE turned out for the MCC and India Pistons in Chennai. In the 1970s and 80s, he filled the grounds even for league matches. When word spread that he was batting, the crowds appeared miraculously, cheering him on; when he was out, a big chunk disappeared just as miraculously. In the years between the eras of CD Gopinath and Krishnamachari Srikkanth, TE was the finest Tamil Nadu batsman - a case can be made for his being the finest ever, his back-foot play alone placing him above the rest. He was the quintessential Tamil Nadu batsman too, capable of unexpected beauty at unexpected moments but prey to self-doubt at other times.

He walked to the wicket with a swagger, collar up in the manner of his hero ML Jaisimha, looked around the field with the air of a man who understood it belonged to him, and struck the ball with startling power for a man his size. TE carried the swagger into first-class and international cricket. The stories were exaggerated in the re-telling, and good one-liners were attributed to him in the manner in which people like Dorothy Parker or Oscar Wilde were given credit for things they didn't say.

"Tell Dennis Lillee I have arrived," is the best-known of them; and TE got so much publicity out of it he wasn't going to deny the story of his first quote in Australia. Nor did he bother to deny the story in Mike Atherton's autobiography where Gavaskar is quoted as saying - erroneously - that TE didn't have a long career because of his "low caste" status.

He batted No. 3 in the second innings of his only Test where he scored 29 and 19. The man who replaced him for the home series, one of the most boring ever played on Indian soil, Kirti Azad, had scores of 14 and 17, 24, 16. TE had been cast aside for an inferior batsman who could bowl a bit.

TE would have been a natural for the World Cup a year later. He would have been 33, but this man who swore by Test cricket but was just as comfortable in the one-day game, as centuries against the clock in the Duleep and Deodhar Trophy had shown.

It is possible TE was born in the wrong decade. The Indian system was excessively feudal, and bowing and scraping to captains and officials was expected of players working their way to the top. TE didn't suffer fools gladly, and spoke his mind clearly. It made him fascinating company but the word always got back to those he aimed his barbs at. He rubbed too many people up the wrong way with his credo - anything for a laugh. Gavaskar mistook TE's casual humour for arrogance when it might have been merely a case of over-compensation by an essentially diffident personality.

TE also had the right to expect better treatment from his cricket association, the sort of support that Srikkanth, for example, claimed as if by right. But the quota system was in operation then, and cricket associations had to choose.

Soon after he was struck by the cancer that was to end his life, TE contemplated building a hospital for cancer patients. He had come into money after selling some land. It would have been a worthy project; the contrarian that he was, TE could charm people just as easily as he could do the reverse.

It would be a travesty if the Indian team were to keep silent over the death of this gifted and articulate player who gave pleasure to so many.

Suresh Menon is a writer based in Bangalore

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | December 13, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Nice to see an established journalist pay tribute to a man who deserved a better deal way back in 70 s. TE Srinivasan caught the imagination with almost two back to back centuries against a good North zone attack and one against west zone in 77-78 I think. Was an excellent backfoot player, hallmark of class and indication of special talent.Acheivements on field did not quiote match up to the talent. Was partly the victim of selectorial bias and partly attributable to the amateur spirit with which playesr from south used to play the game. For some of us who used to follow Tamilnadu cricket closely inthe 70 s, it is almost a part of past has been taken away.He palyed for the excitement and love of the game.Excellent player of fast bowling

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    T E Srinivasan fondly known as TE was perhaps the MOST Stylish Batsman after the Great M L Jaismha....Quite possibly,may be that TE chose to model his approach to the Game Exactly like his IDOL M L Jaisimha...

    As long as JAI & TE were at crease in Hyderabad & Chennai,the Crowds would gather from nowhere to watch them & Leave the Grounds the moment they were out..Such was the Charisma they possessed. I have never seen a better Player of the Hook shot than TE and his back foot Drives & cuts were a Joy & Treat to watch....It is a great pity that he was never given the recognition & chances that he richly deserved for the Talent he possessed....The likes of TEs & MLJs will never be seen again..Privileged are those who have witnessed the likes of TE & MLJ...Thanks for the immense joy that these great Batsman gave us in terms of Class,Stlye & grace...They were certainly great ROLE Models for the Generations of their times!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Beautiful Article Suresh, I am 16 years old, and though i'm born and raised in the US, I am an Indian cricket fanatic. I have an extensive knowledge of cricket, but had it not been for this article, I would have never heard of TE Srinivasan. Even as recently as a few years ago, there was a lot of biase in the selection of the national team. That seems to have gone now, and hopefully it remains so forever. Such mistreatment does still occur at the domestic level though, and that needs to be sorted out. A couple of years ago, even Sehwag threatened to switch to Haryana because of some nonsense going on within the selection committee. This was really a fantastic artcle you wrote, brought to my attention a cricket who i would have otherwise never heard of. I agree with some of the comments made about naming a stand at the Chidambaram stadium in his honour. It was unfortunate that he passed away right before the final odi was played there.

  • POSTED BY VGYadav on | December 12, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    @Hari Murthy: I do not understand why you feel it is a pity that India adores Sachin Tendulkar (or Amitabh Bachchan). Do you think Sachin Tendulkar is undeserving of the love and respect that Indians and lovers of cricket have for him? Not good enough, you say? Why do you have to disparage another personality in a tribute to another? I am sure TE Srinivasan had many admirable qualities that made him great. Why don't you stick to those.

  • POSTED BY moscowman on | December 11, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO A FINE BATSMAN WHO DID NOT GET HIS DUE TO POLITICS IN CRICKET. DAMN THE QUOTA SYSTEM AND THE THEN DOMINANCE OF BOMBAY IN EVERYTHING CRICKET.BY NOT WEQRING BLACK ARM BAND DURING CHENNAI MATCH , BCCI HAS CONFIRMED ITS LACK OF SENSITIVITY OR TRADITIONS. BUT TE WILL LIVE IN THE MEMORIES OF ALL WHO HAVE SEEN HIM BATTING. IN INDIAN CRICKET, MY DVICE IS, DO NOT EXPECT STRAIGHT FORWARDNESS,OPENNESS OR JUSTICE. IT IS CONTROLLED BY FEW BIASED CHARACTERS.PLAY AND HOPE TO BE RECOGNISE. THAT IS ALL. LONG LIVE TE'S MEMORY.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    Thanks Suresh, for the movingl article.TE was a good batsman. He failed in the politics of cricket just as another Chennai son Badrinath is failing today. It is pity that in India cricket and films are over obsessed with Sachin Tendulkars and Amitabh Bachchans. May TE rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY BULTY on | December 11, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Well, it is truly a great loss in the sudden death of Mr.T.E.Srinivasan, who oldtime cricket fans like me remember not for the runs he scored, not for the records he spoke, not for the products he endoresed(in fact there were none in his days) but for the dirty politics played by the men who mattered in the BCCI, which was dominated in those days by people from Bombay, in seeing that he was not in the Indian team. Also it was a pity (and a shame on the present day cricketers) to have shown scant respect to him by their not even wearing the customary black arm bands, leave alone observing two minutes silence, again most probably because there were hardly any in the commentary team who remembered him or wanted to remember him. Just as opined by some others in this column, a stand in the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk would be a fitting tribute to this wonderful & gifted cricketer. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

  • POSTED BY vijujack on | December 11, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Nice Obit Suresh, and glad that Cricinfo carried it - better late than never, I say! TE will be remembered by all the ardent cricket lovers, for his stylish batting which matched that of GRV's, who himself is a Chennai favourite. It is a shame international cricket did not get to see much of him as he possessed the talent to play well against quality bowlers, both pace & spin - ask any Hyderabad blues player that went to West Indies with him when the famous fast bowlers bowled to him. He played without any helmet or protection and scored handsomely- I wish Tiger Pataudi will write something on this! To us cricket lovers from Chennai, TE will always be one of the best who brought in the crowds whenever he was batting. It was cricket at its entertaining best and his approach to batting was always positive and scored his runs attractively. In those days of dull batsmanship TE stood out and he should be hailed just for that reason alone. RIP TE

  • POSTED BY SoftwareStar on | December 11, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    Very nie article. About a joy-to-watch batsman who was denied a fair run due to politics. Please continue to write about these men who bring wonderful memories of their skills to the viewers. It is getting boring to keep reading about the big stars all the time. You pretty much know whatever writers have to say. Much of my fascination for cricket came not from watching youtube or live cricket matches, but from my Dad and uncles describing fascinating stories about heroes of their generation in our living rooms, about Ranji matches, about tennis ball matches involving a test/ranji player etc Please continue writing about these wonderful men like Mr. TE who made cricket (and our world) more exciting and enjoyable

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    Mr. Suresh Menon - what an article ! it is more than T.E.'s talent = frankly, have not read a better tribute paid to any cricketer in my enthusiasm for this game for more than five decades. Yes, Gavaskar mistook his jovial comments as arrogance and it is a pity when lesser talents were given chance, T.E. Srinivasan was repeatdly ignored. Agreed - he blossomed lat, but still was within 30s when he was in prime. In 1977 he should have gone to Australia and as rightly pointed out by the author, his replacement in home was Kirti Azad, an inferior batsman as compared to T.E. who can bowl a pity ! His strokes all-round the wicket can only be matched by the stalwarts such as Gavaskar, Gundappa and Viswanath and Sachin Tendulkar - the master of all. It would be a travesty of justice if a stand is not named after him in Chepauk Stadium. The TNCA should act which would be the fitting farewell to this talented batsman from Tamil Nadu.

  • POSTED BY srikanths on | December 13, 2010, 7:51 GMT

    Nice to see an established journalist pay tribute to a man who deserved a better deal way back in 70 s. TE Srinivasan caught the imagination with almost two back to back centuries against a good North zone attack and one against west zone in 77-78 I think. Was an excellent backfoot player, hallmark of class and indication of special talent.Acheivements on field did not quiote match up to the talent. Was partly the victim of selectorial bias and partly attributable to the amateur spirit with which playesr from south used to play the game. For some of us who used to follow Tamilnadu cricket closely inthe 70 s, it is almost a part of past has been taken away.He palyed for the excitement and love of the game.Excellent player of fast bowling

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2010, 20:55 GMT

    T E Srinivasan fondly known as TE was perhaps the MOST Stylish Batsman after the Great M L Jaismha....Quite possibly,may be that TE chose to model his approach to the Game Exactly like his IDOL M L Jaisimha...

    As long as JAI & TE were at crease in Hyderabad & Chennai,the Crowds would gather from nowhere to watch them & Leave the Grounds the moment they were out..Such was the Charisma they possessed. I have never seen a better Player of the Hook shot than TE and his back foot Drives & cuts were a Joy & Treat to watch....It is a great pity that he was never given the recognition & chances that he richly deserved for the Talent he possessed....The likes of TEs & MLJs will never be seen again..Privileged are those who have witnessed the likes of TE & MLJ...Thanks for the immense joy that these great Batsman gave us in terms of Class,Stlye & grace...They were certainly great ROLE Models for the Generations of their times!!!!

  • POSTED BY on | December 12, 2010, 3:03 GMT

    Beautiful Article Suresh, I am 16 years old, and though i'm born and raised in the US, I am an Indian cricket fanatic. I have an extensive knowledge of cricket, but had it not been for this article, I would have never heard of TE Srinivasan. Even as recently as a few years ago, there was a lot of biase in the selection of the national team. That seems to have gone now, and hopefully it remains so forever. Such mistreatment does still occur at the domestic level though, and that needs to be sorted out. A couple of years ago, even Sehwag threatened to switch to Haryana because of some nonsense going on within the selection committee. This was really a fantastic artcle you wrote, brought to my attention a cricket who i would have otherwise never heard of. I agree with some of the comments made about naming a stand at the Chidambaram stadium in his honour. It was unfortunate that he passed away right before the final odi was played there.

  • POSTED BY VGYadav on | December 12, 2010, 0:04 GMT

    @Hari Murthy: I do not understand why you feel it is a pity that India adores Sachin Tendulkar (or Amitabh Bachchan). Do you think Sachin Tendulkar is undeserving of the love and respect that Indians and lovers of cricket have for him? Not good enough, you say? Why do you have to disparage another personality in a tribute to another? I am sure TE Srinivasan had many admirable qualities that made him great. Why don't you stick to those.

  • POSTED BY moscowman on | December 11, 2010, 14:29 GMT

    A WONDERFUL TRIBUTE TO A FINE BATSMAN WHO DID NOT GET HIS DUE TO POLITICS IN CRICKET. DAMN THE QUOTA SYSTEM AND THE THEN DOMINANCE OF BOMBAY IN EVERYTHING CRICKET.BY NOT WEQRING BLACK ARM BAND DURING CHENNAI MATCH , BCCI HAS CONFIRMED ITS LACK OF SENSITIVITY OR TRADITIONS. BUT TE WILL LIVE IN THE MEMORIES OF ALL WHO HAVE SEEN HIM BATTING. IN INDIAN CRICKET, MY DVICE IS, DO NOT EXPECT STRAIGHT FORWARDNESS,OPENNESS OR JUSTICE. IT IS CONTROLLED BY FEW BIASED CHARACTERS.PLAY AND HOPE TO BE RECOGNISE. THAT IS ALL. LONG LIVE TE'S MEMORY.

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2010, 10:42 GMT

    Thanks Suresh, for the movingl article.TE was a good batsman. He failed in the politics of cricket just as another Chennai son Badrinath is failing today. It is pity that in India cricket and films are over obsessed with Sachin Tendulkars and Amitabh Bachchans. May TE rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY BULTY on | December 11, 2010, 9:54 GMT

    Well, it is truly a great loss in the sudden death of Mr.T.E.Srinivasan, who oldtime cricket fans like me remember not for the runs he scored, not for the records he spoke, not for the products he endoresed(in fact there were none in his days) but for the dirty politics played by the men who mattered in the BCCI, which was dominated in those days by people from Bombay, in seeing that he was not in the Indian team. Also it was a pity (and a shame on the present day cricketers) to have shown scant respect to him by their not even wearing the customary black arm bands, leave alone observing two minutes silence, again most probably because there were hardly any in the commentary team who remembered him or wanted to remember him. Just as opined by some others in this column, a stand in the M.A.Chidambaram Stadium at Chepauk would be a fitting tribute to this wonderful & gifted cricketer. BETTER LATE THAN NEVER.

  • POSTED BY vijujack on | December 11, 2010, 8:07 GMT

    Nice Obit Suresh, and glad that Cricinfo carried it - better late than never, I say! TE will be remembered by all the ardent cricket lovers, for his stylish batting which matched that of GRV's, who himself is a Chennai favourite. It is a shame international cricket did not get to see much of him as he possessed the talent to play well against quality bowlers, both pace & spin - ask any Hyderabad blues player that went to West Indies with him when the famous fast bowlers bowled to him. He played without any helmet or protection and scored handsomely- I wish Tiger Pataudi will write something on this! To us cricket lovers from Chennai, TE will always be one of the best who brought in the crowds whenever he was batting. It was cricket at its entertaining best and his approach to batting was always positive and scored his runs attractively. In those days of dull batsmanship TE stood out and he should be hailed just for that reason alone. RIP TE

  • POSTED BY SoftwareStar on | December 11, 2010, 6:22 GMT

    Very nie article. About a joy-to-watch batsman who was denied a fair run due to politics. Please continue to write about these men who bring wonderful memories of their skills to the viewers. It is getting boring to keep reading about the big stars all the time. You pretty much know whatever writers have to say. Much of my fascination for cricket came not from watching youtube or live cricket matches, but from my Dad and uncles describing fascinating stories about heroes of their generation in our living rooms, about Ranji matches, about tennis ball matches involving a test/ranji player etc Please continue writing about these wonderful men like Mr. TE who made cricket (and our world) more exciting and enjoyable

  • POSTED BY on | December 11, 2010, 3:00 GMT

    Mr. Suresh Menon - what an article ! it is more than T.E.'s talent = frankly, have not read a better tribute paid to any cricketer in my enthusiasm for this game for more than five decades. Yes, Gavaskar mistook his jovial comments as arrogance and it is a pity when lesser talents were given chance, T.E. Srinivasan was repeatdly ignored. Agreed - he blossomed lat, but still was within 30s when he was in prime. In 1977 he should have gone to Australia and as rightly pointed out by the author, his replacement in home was Kirti Azad, an inferior batsman as compared to T.E. who can bowl a pity ! His strokes all-round the wicket can only be matched by the stalwarts such as Gavaskar, Gundappa and Viswanath and Sachin Tendulkar - the master of all. It would be a travesty of justice if a stand is not named after him in Chepauk Stadium. The TNCA should act which would be the fitting farewell to this talented batsman from Tamil Nadu.

  • POSTED BY Gatewayofindia on | December 11, 2010, 1:58 GMT

    A touching tribute to one of India's greatest batsman, denied his due in life and in death.

    Oldtimers like me never understood how he was kept out of the Indian Team. You have filled that gap through your article.

    You gave immense pleasure to cricket lovers...forget the sinners

    TE RIP. ...

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | December 11, 2010, 0:22 GMT

    The previous generation it was TE. This generation it is Badri.

  • POSTED BY TRAM on | December 11, 2010, 0:13 GMT

    Every thing is well written except the apple-polishing statement of the author "Sunil Gavaskar apart, TE probably understood batting better than any of his contemporaries". I have seen GRV, SMG, & TE at Chepauk at their best. Dont ever call Gavaskar as understood batting better than the other 2. If you talk about exploiting batting conditions to score huge scores, yes, SMG is good at that. (So was Ganguly, Dravid, etc). But playing the best bowling in bowling friendly track ... sorry, Gavaskar is nowhere. SMG did not know how to play strokes on the off-side for first 2 years. His centuries in his debut tour in WI was completely on legside only. He developed offside skills over time. Ask Gavaskar himself if you have doubt or watch the videos if they are there.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 23:25 GMT

    Wonderful tribute by Suresh Menon.Am from Kolkata but always wondered how TE S never got chance in more than I test.Tremendous injustice was done to him.Now it seems that the great SMG had a lot to do with it -master craftsman that he was he killed two birds in one stone by axing Chauhan,unceremoniously&quite surprisingly after a successful Aus/NZ tour in '80/81(may be because he didn't want to 'walk out' unsportingly with SMG in the Melbourne Test)&TE S but suddenly opting for Srikkant in the next series against England in '81-82-this way appeasing the Tamil Nadu cricket Association.Srikkant was in no way (his Test career is extremely ordinary)as good a batsman or prolific a scorer as TE. Strange are the ways of TamilNadu cricket authorities-poor Badrinath keeps performing for TamilNadu &South Zone for years at a stretch but he is repeatedly ignored for national colours -instead Murali Vijay gets all the chances. Mr Menon-TE was dropped not for Kirti A but for the lucky Srikkant

  • POSTED BY Krish1kicha on | December 10, 2010, 19:43 GMT

    Nice Artcile!!!! RIP TE Srininvasan

  • POSTED BY KishoreSharma on | December 10, 2010, 18:19 GMT

    A moving article - but with some factual inaccuracies. Kirti Azad was not a substitute for Srinivasan in 1981/82. He was picked as a second spinner to accompany Dilip Doshi after he took 7 wickets against the England tourists in a pre-Test game in Nagpur. It is also wrong to say that Srikkanth calimed support "as if by right". In the early part of his career Srikkanth was constantly in and out of the team while lesser openers like Prannoy Roy, Ghulam Parkar, Gaekwad etc took his place. Moreover, his treatment in 1990, when he was unfairly stripped of the captaincy, suggests that, even if he had unqualified support from his state association, this mattered little to the powers that be in the BCCI.

  • POSTED BY RogerC on | December 10, 2010, 17:51 GMT

    TE, Rest in piece. I saw TE in a league match in New grounds, Chennai way back in 1978. Till today I remember that day and his batting. Somehow, his batting never gets out of memory though I have seen many other great batsmen live or in TV.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 17:30 GMT

    A good article by Suresh Menon. TE was a very stylish batsmen who was regarded very highly when he toured Australia and New Zealand in 1980/81. India did well to draw the series in Australia due to the heroics of Kapil at MCG, but their trip to Kiwi Land ended in a narrow 1-0 loss of which TE was a part of only the last test at Auckland scoring 19 & 29. Indian batting failed as a unit but on their return home he was omitted from the squad along with Chetan Chauhan(in favour of Krish Srikkanth) for the home series against England,while the others made tons of runs on feather beds.He was never considered for selection again whereas the likes of Ghulam Parkar,Pronob Roy and Suru Nayak made it to England only to be exposed of their limitations, thanks in no small measure to the captain, the Mount Everest of batting at the time.May his soul rest in eternal peace.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    His story is quite similar to a Parthsarthy Sharma who never got his due as well.... But produced players like Gambhir and Dravid

  • POSTED BY muski on | December 10, 2010, 16:44 GMT

    Good to see you Suresh afer a long time on Cricinfo. As a child, I do remember watching TE in a Ranji game against Karnataka at the erstwhile KSCA. Though he was nearing the end of his first class career, the stylishness of the man was there to see. Cricketers like Azhar who were to follow later in Indian cricket, reminded one more of TE. As you said, it was probably a wrong time for him to play cricket when the Zonal politics was at his peak. Does this remind us of somebody by the name Rajinder Goel?

  • POSTED BY Sathyabhama on | December 10, 2010, 16:41 GMT

    Mr.Suresh Menon's tribute to T.E brought tears in my eyes.T.E was really a great batsman and should have played more test matches.I had the good fortune of playing with him in TNCA league match when he played for our team for 1 year.He used to bat in no3 and finish the match.No4 and No 5 players would be with pads on and would never get a chance to bat as long as T.E was at the crease.As an ALL india Umpire(now retired),I officiated in matches where T.E played and it was great pleasure watching him unleash wonderful strokes.Whenever we met, he used to affectionately call me' Hi Dhandu,How are you?' He was a very jovial person.Less talented players represented the country due nto the quota system that was then prevailing then.The local association also did not put up his case.The result-India lost the services of a very very talented player.Had he got his chances ,he would have certainly become a world class player like G.R. Viswanath. V.Dhandapani

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 16:34 GMT

    Tamil Nadu and India has lost a jewel in cricket stroke-play. Let his soul rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY inswing on | December 10, 2010, 16:15 GMT

    I doubt that there is any region in India which hasn't had a very good player, at one time or another, who unfairly wasn't given a chance or dropped too soon. It is time to end parochialism, either by trumpeting or disparaging players based on their state.

  • POSTED BY govisri on | December 10, 2010, 16:14 GMT

    Nice one Suresh Menon. I consider TE as one of the best batsmen TN had and I would rate him alongside GRV,SRT,Lakshman and SMG in that order. Sandeep Patil comes next. He was definitely a better batsman than Vengsarkar in the 70s (how many innings Vengsarkar took to score his first fifty in tests?) .

    I really wish that you scribes, Rajan Bala before you and R.Mohan had waxed eloquent about TE's batting then, TE would have got a look-in much earlier. Sure enough,SMG had erroneously mentioned "low-caste" since he treated TE as an "out-caste". Have heard stories that how SMG wouldn't let TE bat in the nets in Australia after TE had mentioned something about SMG's technique. And I don't think that Srikanth was pushed ahead of TE by TNCA - Srikanth hogged the limelight only from 1982.

    And its a shame that the Indian team didn't bother to wear even black armbands.

    R.I.P. TE - you will be remembered by discerning cricket lovers.

  • POSTED BY BabaKR on | December 10, 2010, 15:57 GMT

    Didnt find the black bands even today at Chennai

  • POSTED BY silku on | December 10, 2010, 15:16 GMT

    A very nice tribute to TE as he is fondly called in the cricket circle those days. I, as a school boy with my friends would throng any ground where TE played. I always use to consider TE as the most stylish batsman of his era of cours, next only to the ever wonderful GRV. The truth is TE never got what is rightfully due to him in Indian Cricket. Let us not dwell into WHY?! Let his soul rest in Eternal Peace.

  • POSTED BY kkandadai on | December 10, 2010, 14:14 GMT

    Lovely article.It is a pity that we did not pay respects to a fantastic cricketer even in death.The Indian cricket team of the 70s and early 80s were dominated by dull cricketers from one or two states and TE was most unjustly ignored.I still remember the Ranji match at Chepauk when TE and V.Siva decimated the famed Karnataka spin attack of Prasanna, Chandra and Vijaykrishna. What a thrilling batsmen to watch.... It is a shame that the Indian selectors did not give him his due and denied the millions of cricket fans his audacious and exciting strokeplay.. RIP TE

  • POSTED BY aravabalaji on | December 10, 2010, 14:12 GMT

    It's a solace to see such a touching article about the unsung hero. Thanks.

  • POSTED BY DaredevilsUnlimited on | December 10, 2010, 12:17 GMT

    i remember those days in bangalore watching Mysore vs Madras needle matches which used to attract huge crowds. TE with his superb stroke filled innings used to attract lot of attention. He had the talent to represent India in atleast 50 tests alas due to caste and quota system which prevails in Indian cricket in particular Karnatala and Tamilnadu.I remember about vijaykrishna ,Nagabhusan etc Condolenses to his family

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 9:26 GMT

    @gulshan grover: u've not been following cricket, u simply have been following some cricketers, ur favorite ones. RIP TE! u deserved better, for u were amongst d few who in india cud play fast bowling in 70s n 80s. others being mohinder n sandeep patil. no! sunny g didnt "play" fast bowling in 80s, he merely " ducked".

  • POSTED BY Rajesh_Kalyan on | December 10, 2010, 9:20 GMT

    There are a set of cricketeers whom you would just enjoy watching ,no matter what they do. It could be a simple defense or a sparkling square cut. TE was certainly one of them. Having watched a few games, there is no doubt that he is one of the best the country has ever produced. An absolute joy to watch. I concur with Suresh's views. Kirti Azad's cricketing skills were pedestrian compared to TE. I would not even switch the TV on to watch Kirti Azad bat! However, you are a function of choices you make and the powers that govern. TE's story could have certainly been a different one.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 8:48 GMT

    Very nice article even though the subject is not a happy one.TE was one of the very successful domestic players, who got very little or no international exposure.Suresh reminds us of the great Rajan Bala in his articles.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 8:36 GMT

    Amazing article - i do hope that the powers that be remember to pay tribute to TE today.

  • POSTED BY Arvind3 on | December 10, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    RIP TES. Good on you Mr. Menon for writing this article.

  • POSTED BY ramesh_sound on | December 10, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    It is unfortunate that such biases continue to this day. V. Sivaramakrishnan was another fantastic batsman, who would have provided a left handed opening alternative. Those days, TN chose Srikkanth over TE, V. Siva etc. These days, it is players like Vijay, Karthik,Mukund etc, while Badrinath keeps proving himself every match.

    And the Mumbaikars still keep saying Vijay should be dropped ; even after him sharing a 300 run partnership. I agree, Jaffer is a great batsman against moderate attacks. Rahane is coming up by leaps and bounds. But that does not make Vijay a selector's choice right?

  • POSTED BY EPBA on | December 10, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    T.E Srinivasan one of the finest batsman of India never got his due.As a distant relative of T.E I remember hearing about his batting . i have a faint memory of having seen him batting in a Duleep tie vs NZ and Ranji match against Karnataka in Bangalore. Those were the days when TN- Karnataka match had a full house. Thanks to Suresh Menon for the touching article. May his soul rest in peace

  • POSTED BY LoftedShot on | December 10, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Paying tribute is one thing,blind obsession for someone, quite another. The way the writer lambasts Kirti, a hard hitting batsman who was so promising in his youth, merely to eulogise TE, merely underscores its more of a South Zone obsession for an obvious Southie.

    May TE's soul rest in peace, and may Menon grow up (atleast in his old age).

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Arrogance was never a part of TE's make-up ... neither was there any insecurity ... it was a simple disposition to speak his mind, and his penchant for a good healthy laugh (be it at others or himself) that got him into trouble with others. He never held a grudge against anyone inspite of the glaringly apparent lack of opportunity to play more for India - for purely non-cricketing reasons. Committed to the core to his skills, a club match was approached with as much passion as an international one. He was at peace with himself, deriving happiness in coaching youngsters and spending time with his family in the later years. On a different note, must acknowledge the assistance provided by Indian Pistons, his employers of many years and the BCCI in the times of his medical crisis. How do I know all this? Because he was my childhood hero, and also my immediate maternal uncle. TE to the cricketing world, Murali Mama to me. A lost gem. A lost genius. RIP.

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | December 10, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    Finally something on TE Srinivasan. A real pity, the Indian team was not informed, let us see if there is a tribute at Chepauk.

  • POSTED BY nbalajhi on | December 10, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Wonderful tribute to the batsman who captured minds of people who watched him play and those who heard him play. Thanks you Suresh Menon for this wonderful post.

    Rest in peace TE.

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | December 10, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    It was nice reading Suresh Menon's tribute to an unsung genius of Indian cricket. He was a contemprary of Gavaskar and Vishwanath, two of the greatest Indian batsman, but sad to have been only known in Tamil Nadu as far as cricket is concerned.His percieved arrogance, which grew with each rendition ensured possibly that India was denied another batsman who would be known the world over. I have often wondered whether this streak was the result of some inner insecurity. Those days cricket meant Bombay. Even Karnataka despite the presence of Vishwanath,Prasanna, and Chandra were seldom in the forefront. It was just Bombay. The rest had to just bow all the time Which could be what caused this brilliant strokeplayer to say the things which are attributed to him rightly or wrongly. It is quite possible that there may have been others who were similarly denied. But the fact that there has not been anyone spoken of in the manner of TE would show that he stood alone. May his soul rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY Gulshan_Grover on | December 10, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    Who?? I have been following cricket for almost two decades...

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    TE is known to someone like me, in Coimbatore. We grew up hearing stories about TES and ML Jaisimha and their batting. And yes was shocked to see that he was not remembered fondly. I remember my coach saying, "you have to drive like Jaisimha and cut like TES".. my deepest condolences to his family.

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  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 3:18 GMT

    TE is known to someone like me, in Coimbatore. We grew up hearing stories about TES and ML Jaisimha and their batting. And yes was shocked to see that he was not remembered fondly. I remember my coach saying, "you have to drive like Jaisimha and cut like TES".. my deepest condolences to his family.

  • POSTED BY Gulshan_Grover on | December 10, 2010, 3:24 GMT

    Who?? I have been following cricket for almost two decades...

  • POSTED BY Percy_Fender on | December 10, 2010, 4:13 GMT

    It was nice reading Suresh Menon's tribute to an unsung genius of Indian cricket. He was a contemprary of Gavaskar and Vishwanath, two of the greatest Indian batsman, but sad to have been only known in Tamil Nadu as far as cricket is concerned.His percieved arrogance, which grew with each rendition ensured possibly that India was denied another batsman who would be known the world over. I have often wondered whether this streak was the result of some inner insecurity. Those days cricket meant Bombay. Even Karnataka despite the presence of Vishwanath,Prasanna, and Chandra were seldom in the forefront. It was just Bombay. The rest had to just bow all the time Which could be what caused this brilliant strokeplayer to say the things which are attributed to him rightly or wrongly. It is quite possible that there may have been others who were similarly denied. But the fact that there has not been anyone spoken of in the manner of TE would show that he stood alone. May his soul rest in peace.

  • POSTED BY nbalajhi on | December 10, 2010, 4:45 GMT

    Wonderful tribute to the batsman who captured minds of people who watched him play and those who heard him play. Thanks you Suresh Menon for this wonderful post.

    Rest in peace TE.

  • POSTED BY vatsap on | December 10, 2010, 7:19 GMT

    Finally something on TE Srinivasan. A real pity, the Indian team was not informed, let us see if there is a tribute at Chepauk.

  • POSTED BY on | December 10, 2010, 7:24 GMT

    Arrogance was never a part of TE's make-up ... neither was there any insecurity ... it was a simple disposition to speak his mind, and his penchant for a good healthy laugh (be it at others or himself) that got him into trouble with others. He never held a grudge against anyone inspite of the glaringly apparent lack of opportunity to play more for India - for purely non-cricketing reasons. Committed to the core to his skills, a club match was approached with as much passion as an international one. He was at peace with himself, deriving happiness in coaching youngsters and spending time with his family in the later years. On a different note, must acknowledge the assistance provided by Indian Pistons, his employers of many years and the BCCI in the times of his medical crisis. How do I know all this? Because he was my childhood hero, and also my immediate maternal uncle. TE to the cricketing world, Murali Mama to me. A lost gem. A lost genius. RIP.

  • POSTED BY LoftedShot on | December 10, 2010, 7:42 GMT

    Paying tribute is one thing,blind obsession for someone, quite another. The way the writer lambasts Kirti, a hard hitting batsman who was so promising in his youth, merely to eulogise TE, merely underscores its more of a South Zone obsession for an obvious Southie.

    May TE's soul rest in peace, and may Menon grow up (atleast in his old age).

  • POSTED BY EPBA on | December 10, 2010, 7:44 GMT

    T.E Srinivasan one of the finest batsman of India never got his due.As a distant relative of T.E I remember hearing about his batting . i have a faint memory of having seen him batting in a Duleep tie vs NZ and Ranji match against Karnataka in Bangalore. Those were the days when TN- Karnataka match had a full house. Thanks to Suresh Menon for the touching article. May his soul rest in peace

  • POSTED BY ramesh_sound on | December 10, 2010, 8:21 GMT

    It is unfortunate that such biases continue to this day. V. Sivaramakrishnan was another fantastic batsman, who would have provided a left handed opening alternative. Those days, TN chose Srikkanth over TE, V. Siva etc. These days, it is players like Vijay, Karthik,Mukund etc, while Badrinath keeps proving himself every match.

    And the Mumbaikars still keep saying Vijay should be dropped ; even after him sharing a 300 run partnership. I agree, Jaffer is a great batsman against moderate attacks. Rahane is coming up by leaps and bounds. But that does not make Vijay a selector's choice right?

  • POSTED BY Arvind3 on | December 10, 2010, 8:27 GMT

    RIP TES. Good on you Mr. Menon for writing this article.