An Indian Civilizational Perspective

GR Vishwanath, the artist batsman turns 60 today

Vishy.jpgIndia was 41 for 4, soon after he entered. Farokh Engineer, Eknath Solkar, Anshuman Gaekwad and MAK Pataudi had already gotten out. Now, it was largely left to this artist and Ashok Mankad to dig India out of the hole. Mankad was never the best player of pace and West Indies attack was in full fury despite a slower wicket at Chepauk on this January morning (11th) in 1975. The foursome attack led by Andy Roberts with Vanburn Holder, Bernard Julien, and Keith Boyce was strong.

At that time, Gundappa Vishwanath played an innings of 97, which is often regarded as one of the greatest ever played by an Indian (probably at the same level as VVS Laxman’s 281 innings against Australia). Today that artist – GR Vishawanath – turns 60. An artist of a batsman who had built his wrists lifting buckets full of water was one of the finest that India has ever produced. He, along with Sunil Gavaskar, made a fearsome duo for any attack in the poetic, yet sure manner in which they would skin the attack.

Sunil Gavaskar though, had immense patience and hunger for runs.

Vishy (as Vishwanath was generally known) was also one of the greatest gentleman in the game. IN the Golden Jubilee match in 1980 in Bombay, he called back Bob Taylor when he found out that Taylor was incorrectly given out. In response to India’s 242 at Wankhede, Mike Brearley’s England were 58 for 5 at one stage. Bob Taylor (ultimately 43) had then barely begun his innings — an innings which saw him add 171 for the sixth wicket with lan Botham (114) — when umpire S. N. Hanumantha Rao declared that wicket keeper-batsman out, caught off bat-pad. But Taylor had not gotten any touch with his bat. Vishy called the batsman back after he started walking off.

1. GR Viswanath on turning 60
2. Match Scorecard

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