Narendra Deepchand Hirwani
October 18, 1968, Gorakhpur, Uttar Pradesh
Right hand Bat
Narendra Hirwani started as a legspinner in Test cricket before Shane Warne made leg-spin fashionable again. His Test career started with an almighty bang when, as a
bespectacled 19-year-old, he took 16 wickets on his debut, against West Indies at Madras in 1987-88. "He was aided, it must be stressed, by a deplorably under-prepared pitch," said Wisden's correspondent, Dicky Rutnagur. And though Hirwani took 20 further wickets in his next three Test appearances, his fortunes changed when he left the spin-friendly surfaces of India. The magic never quite returned, and the arrival of Anil Kumble sentenced him largely to domestic cricket. However, he was a stalwart on the domestic circuit, finishing with 723 wickets from 167 matches, over 400 of which came for his home state of Madhya Pradesh. In the 1996-97 season he played for Bengal, taking 29 wickets at 23.13. He retired in 2006, ending a 23-year first-class career, and was appointed to the national selection panel in 2008.
Cricinfo staff September 2008
Batting & Fielding