Motganhalli Laxminarsu Jaisimha
March 03, 1939, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh
July 06, 1999, Sanikpuri, Secunderabad, Andhra Pradesh, (aged 60y 125d)
Right hand bat
Right arm offbreak
A stylist in the purest sense, Motganhalli Laxmanarsu Jaisimha brought a certain panache to everything he did. He opened the innings with the flair and poise we have now come to expect from Hyderabadi batsmen. No-one drove off the front foot - or knotted a tie - like ML Jai, it was said. Polite to a fault, warm and generous, he was a source of great inspiration to many Hyderabad cricketers, including Mohammad Azharuddin, who copied many things from Jai, not least the collar-up style that a younger generation wrongly believes is Azhar's trademark. Jaisimha's death in 1999, aged only 60, was widely mourned across the country.
Jaisimha made over 2000 runs in Test cricket, including three centuries. He made his Test debut against England in 1959 at the age of 20, having made his first-class debut almost five years before, and against England in 1963-64 he made his highest Test score, an unforgettable 129 in the second innings at Calcutta. And what of that apocryphal Brisbane Test against Bill Lawry's Australians in 1968? Jaisimha, called up as a replacement for the third Test, virtually walked off the plane and into the Gabba, and smashed 74 and 101. Jaisimha was also used as a part-time offbreak bowler. While he never captained India, he was a close aide of Ajit Wadekar, coming up with crucial advice at key moments. After his playing days were finished Jaisimha served Indian cricket as the manager of the national team, keeping up his close ties with the game.
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