The secret behind former India batsman Gundappa Viswanath making square-cuts his trademark shot in world cricket was his exercise of lifting two buckets of water and strengthening his wrists.
Viswanath, who was presented the Lifetime Achievement Award here on Thursday night at the Castrol awards ceremony, revealed: “I was very weak. Captain (Tiger) Pataudi told me to do something about the wrists. I tried dumbbells but Pataudi told me that I carry two buckets of water and strengthen my wrists.”
The 60-year-old said he enjoyed watching the current Indian team batting. Some of the Indian batsmen who he thought were good with wristy strokes included Mohammed Azharuddin, V.V.S. Laxman, Sachin Tendukar and Rahul Dravid.
The awards presented for cricketing excellence in the calendar year 2008, saw Gautam Gambhir walk away with two awards --- Cricketer of the Year and Batsman of the Year.
“There is still a lot to achieve in cricket,” said Gambhir.
Only a handful of the South Africa-bound cricketers were present at the ceremony. Virender Sehwag, who won the Test Cricketer of the Year award; Harbhajan Singh, the Bowler of the Year and Rahul Dravid, who was given a special award for his world record number of catches in Tests, were present besides Gambhir.
Sehwag rated the unbeaten double century in Sri Lanka higher than the triple he scored against South Africa in 2008.
“It helped India bounce back in the series and that was for the first time that I went after two spinners in a Test. More importantly, after I returned from batting, someone told me that only Gavaskar had carried the bat through previously.”