03 August, 2021

The Shaping Hand

Perhaps India's greatest allrounder, Vinoo Mankad was also the architect of some of its finest victories.

The Shaping Hand

What Vinoo Mankad has meant to Indian cricket's advancement is not known to many - and one can not blame them. The game's popularity skyrocketed after India so unexpectedly won the World Cup on that historic day at Lord's in 1983. True, the exploits of cricketers of the past were written about. Rarely, though, has the documentation explained what the outstanding performances of these players meant to the development of cricket in the country. I would like to explain why Vinoo bhai, as I used to know him really should be India's Cricketer of the Century.

When a cricketer, and an allrounder at that, plays first-class cricket from 1935-36 till 1964-65 a span of 29 years we are at once talking about someone extraordinary. A right-hand opening batsman and a left-arm spin bowler, he was also a wonderful fieldsman and catcher, to his own bowling in particular.

How many know that Mankad virtually scripted the first five Indian Test victories? In India's historic first-ever Test win against England at Chepauk in Chennai he captured 12 wickets, and the margin...

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