There was politics even in 1950s

Published: Saturday, June 17, 2000, 18:23 [IST]
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Can you elaborate further?

You would be surprised that I have the highest Test average (60.33) but I could play only three Tests and I could bat only at number 8 in all the three Tests. There are some seniors who never wanted me to bat ahead in the order.

Could you single out that particular cricketer?

I can, but there is no point going back in the past.

That must be the greatest regret in your life?

Frankly speaking no. I knew that I could have played few more matches for India. Since they didn't want me in the side I lost interest though I continued to play for Gujarat and Baroda in Ranji Trophy. But certainly I have no regrets.

How was the team spirit in those days?

Even in those days there was no team spirit so can you expect team spirit in the present Indian team? When we toured to West Indies in 1952, we had a very poor manager and captain.

Smoke money was generally provided by the manager. On that tour the money was provided by one cricketer, who also used to select the team.

How was it to face Wesley Hall and Gilchrist on that tour?

Wesley hall was a terrific bowler and had great speed. Gilchrist was dangerous only when he used to bowl beamers and bouncers. Actually I had no problem facing any of them. I had some problem when it came to facing Sonny Ramadhin, the spinner.

How was Vijay Hazare as captain?

He was very poor and too defensive. A captain should be a leader and he wasn't.

Who was the most gentle cricketer of your time?

Very difficult to answer. But I think I would say "mama" Ghorpade was the most gentle cricketer of my time.

And who was the worst?

I wouldn't say the worst but there were few who may not have been good. Even C. K Nayadu used to tell me that there is nothing in the new ball and I should open the innings. I don't know what he was trying to convey by saying that.

Finally your views on match-fixing?

I can only say that I feel very bad by all these sort of developments.

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