Have you ever imagined looking at the TV screen and a test match is on, your eyes are glued to it, your brain is calculating the score and you, you are enjoying that little moment, and suddenly a very great thing happens, that the memory of that one moment (or ‘pal’ as we say in Hindi) remains in your mind for years to come. That’s the kind of bowler Bapu Nadkarni was, with every single spell of his, he would get you to stick your eyes to that screen (if at all he were here while the TV screens came up into the market, the people at that time used radios and they would hear the most of it, but that feeling, that was the same) A Maharashtrian hailing from the ancient city of Nashik, he was just exceptional with the ball in hand.
His most phenomenal performance would definitely be against the Englishmen at our Chepauk turf in Chennai. The year was 1964, and a young Nadkarni was bowling on a much of a spin friendly wicket, he bowled 21 consecutive maiden overs! Yes, you most certainly read that right, ‘Twenty-One’ consecutive maidens, or 131 consecutive dot balls! That’s not it, he also took 5 wickets in that game.
He has to his name, many such phenomenal bowling records in different matches of the span of his 13 year career.
Here’s a tribute to one the “Unsung Heroes” of Indian Cricket! Yes! There’s so many of them that we couldn’t fit them in one blog, so we’re coming up with a blog series, stay tuned.