‘Traditional 5-Day Test Cricket is Great’

‘Traditional 5-Day Test Cricket is Great’

November 14, 2022

Legendary cricketer G.R. Vishwanath in conversation with Krishna Prasad

Former cricketing great G.R. Vishwanath said that despite the advent of new forms of cricket such as One-Day (50-over a side), T20 and T10, the five-day Test cricket, which has decades of history behind it, has its own significance in the game of cricket.

G.R. Vishwanath (Gundappa Ranganath Vishwanath) was in conversation with senior Journalist Krishna Prasad, former Editor-in-Chief of Outlook magazine, at ‘An evening with Legendary Cricketer G.R. Vishwanath’, a talk show on his autobiography ‘Wrist Assured’, organised by HH Sri Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation at Gayatri Devi Pavilion in Sri Kanteerava Narasimharaja Sports Club (Mysore Sports Club) premises on Lalitha Mahal Road on Saturday.

Recalling his cricketing years, Vishwanath said that Test cricket was the only format at the International level during his playing days. But short-duration cricket seems to have become the order of the day and it is also getting popular with each passing year.

Pramoda Devi Wadiyar of erstwhile Mysore royal family lighting the lamp to inaugurate the event at the Sports Club on Saturday as G.R. Vishwanath and Krishna Prasad look on.

“A cricketer’s real talent and skills lie in the 5-day Test format. Those who perform well in Test cricket are found to perform well in One-Day cricket too.

“I made my Test debut on Nov. 20, 1969 at the Green Park Stadium in Kanpur when India played Australia. I fell for a duck in my first-ever Test innings. But that did not dishearten me and I scored 137 runs in the second innings which was inclusive of 24 boundaries. It was a very responsible knock as it saved India from defeat in the hands of the Aussies,” he said, while recalling that the then Captain Mansur Ali Khan Pataudi had patted him on the back and had a word of encouragement, which spurred his confidence.

Maintaining that he has high regards for Pataudi, he said that Pataudi had good leadership qualities, which was respected by his fellow team members. “Since my debut in 1969, I played 91 Tests scoring 14 centuries and a good number of fifties till my retirement in 1983,” he noted. Continuing his conversation, Vishwanath said that Pitch condition has been a topic of much debate now a days. “In my playing days I never bothered about Pitch conditions and I played with my usual self and confidence, which helped me in scoring runs. I practiced with a tennis ball on how to face fast bowling by opponents. This helped me a lot in tackling short pitched bowling, which fast bowers of my era normally did. Cricket has undergone a sea change since my playing days. Now a batter can stand covering his entire wicket, while it was not allowed during my days. Taking a batting stance that completely covers the wickets from bowler’s view, will help today’s batsmen to throw their bat around and score runs, which has become much easier these days. Scoring a boundary has become easier when compared to my days,” he remarked.

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Stressing on the need for all players to maintain physical fitness, Vishwanath said that batting skills too play an important role in scoring runs. Asserting that physical fitness is all the more important, he said that there are many instances where shorter players like him have met success.

Recalling an instance during a Ranji Trophy match when Karnataka played Andhra Pradesh in 1967, Vishwanth said that some, who termed him too short for cricket, wondered what he could do with the bat. But he proved his talent and skills by scoring 214 in that match.

He further said that he enjoyed playing Ranji Trophy matches as it helped him a lot in improving his batting skills and technique.

Picture shows a section of the audience.

Taking objection to use of cricketers for commercial purposes, Vishwanath said that such commercial activities should be outside the stadiums. Observing that sporting activities is seeing a spurt across the globe with each passing year, the legendary cricketer of yesteryears said that he was happy to note that cricket has gained a lot of popularity with the introduction of shorter versions of the game.

Narrating his Chambal Valley experience when he was playing a National level match at Gwalior in 1971, Vishwanth said that some persons astride horses who had covered their faces, intercepted the players, including him, when they were on an outing on a night and tied them to a tree. Later, the then Indian Captain Pataudi had got them released. But two years later, it was learnt that Pataudi was the man behind that episode and had played a trick on them.

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Pramoda Devi Wadiyar of erstwhile Mysore royal family, office-bearers  of HH Sri  Srikantadatta Narasimharaja Wadiyar Foundation, local cricketers and other cricket enthusiasts were present during the talk show.

ONE COMMENT ON THIS POST To “‘Traditional 5-Day Test Cricket is Great’”

  1. Mann Ki Baat! says:

    Only in India , Srilanka ,, Pakistan and Bangladesh , this bring colonial sport is the major national sport.
    Australia , New Zealand and South Africa has Rugby, England is heavily in football ( soccer), and West Indies into athletics.


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