Brijesh Pursuram Patel
November 24, 1952, Baroda, Gujarat
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
A dashing right-hand middle-order batsman and a prolific run getter at domestic level, Brijesh Patel was also the outstanding outfielder in Indian cricket in the seventies. Very much the `glamour boy' of the game at his peak, Patel was capable of ripping apart the best of bowling on his day. However he was suspect against pace or the swinging ball when conditions helped bowlers and he was exposed on the tours of England in 1974 and 1979 and in Australia in 1977-78. But he did very well in the West Indies in 1976, when in his four innings, he scored 207 runs at an average of 207.00. This included his only Test hundred, 115 not out at Port of Spain when he added 204 runs for the fifth wicket with Sunil Gavaskar. Three other notable innings were 73 not out against West Indies in a losing cause at Bombay in 1974-75, a strokefilled 83 against England at the same venue two years later and a hurricane 82 against New Zealand again at Bombay in 1976-77. After failing on the tour of Australia the following season, he was dropped only to be brought back for the tour of England in 1979 keeping the World Cup in mind. He was one of the first Indian cricketers to be a natural for the shorter version of the game.
But if Patel's international career was not in keeping with his initial promise, at the domestic level, he was verily the monarch. For a long while he held the two most important batting records in the Ranji Trophy - most runs (7126 at an average of 57.00) and most centuries (26). In his heyday, he played some of the most commanding knocks in the national competition and the Duleep Trophy. After
retiring, he was a Test selector and then went into administration and was elected secretary of the Karnataka State Cricket Association.
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