Live cricket scores, Cricket news and updates by Cricket Nirvana

COLUMNS

Bishen Singh Bedi - Turning Square

Kapil's first captain Bishen Bedi remembers the young turk who stormed into India's hearts



Tuesday, January 06, 2022
Like a Arabic horse in the desert

Kapil Dev was a cricketer with a lot of charisma. His performances have inspired a generation of cricketers. His world record may have been broken now but not many would have had the adulation that the 'Haryana Hurricane' had the world over.
 
Amongst the great all-rounders of his era, which include legends like Imran Khan, Richard Hadlee and Ian Botham, Kapil had his pride of place and commanded a lot of respect from all and sundry. 

I remember him as a young lad who was passionate about the game and had the hunger to excel at the highest level.

He could bowl fast-medium, with a nice bounding run-up and an exaggerated side-on action. The out-swinger being his stock ball, he could also bowl the late in-swinger, and in his early days used the bouncer to good effect. When he was running up to the wicket, he looked like an Arabic horse racing in the desert. 

Kapil Dev was the greatest pace bowler India has produced, and their greatest fast-bowling all-rounder. If he had played at any other time _ not when Imran Khan, Ian Botham and Richard Hadlee were contemporaries _ he would surely have been recognised as the best all-rounder in the world. 

In any case he did enough to be voted India's Cricketer of the Century. His greatest feats were to lead India almost jauntily, and by his all-round example, to the 1983 World Cup, and to take the world-record aggregate of Test wickets from Hadlee. It was the stamina of the marathon runner that took him finally to 431 wickets and only a yard beyond. 

He might not have been quite the bowling equal of Imran, Hadlee or Botham at his best, and his strike rate was less than four wickets per Test. But he was still outstanding in his accuracy and ability to swing the ball, usually away from right-handers. And he could hit a ball even more brilliantly than he bowled it, with uncomplicated flair.

The tall and well-built Haryana Jat showed that he had the potential to develop into a world-beater. And is still the finest example of – 'Triumph of the spirit'.

(As told to Gaurav Saxena)


COMMENTS