Salim Aziz Durani
December 11, 1934, Kabul, Afghanistan
Left hand Bat
Slow Left arm Orthodox
An unpredictable genius, Salim Durrani was on his day a match winner either with the bat or the ball. He was one of the few cricketers who could turn the course of a match either by a few lusty blows or by a couple of wickets in one over. To the stodgy, fairly predictable image of the Indian cricketer, Durrani by his dash and vigorous play, injected an element of excitement into the game. An aggressive left handed batsman, who could demolish the best of bowlers and who acquired the reputation of hitting sixes on demand, Durrani in full flow was a joy to watch. But it was as a bowler that he first made his mark in Indian cricket. He ambled in to bowl with a lazy action but the best of his deliveries beggared description. For Durrani, having delivered the ball from his great height could make the ball lift and turn.
Durrani bowled India to victory over England in 1961-62, successively picking up eight and ten wickets in the country's triumphs at Calcutta and Madras. Almost ten years later he helped shaped another notable victory - this time over West Indies at Port of Spain - by dismissing Clive Lloyd and Gary Sobers, the latter for a duck. His only century in Tests was against West Indies in 1962. Durrani had a special rapport with the spectators, who once agitated, when he was inexplicably dropped for the Kanpur Test in 1973, with placards and slogans like ``No Durrani, no Test''. A tall, handsome figure, Durrani had movie star looks and in fact appeared in a film with Parveen Babi in the early 70s.(Partab Ramchand)
Batting & Fielding